Last year, Notre Dame senior Stephen Love formed a group with a few of his friends, called — no kidding — “Atheist, Agnostic and Questioning Students” (AAQS). They applied for club status on campus in the hopes of securing funding for the group, so they could “provide a forum for students to discuss philosophical, scientific, religious and political topics free from [in]tolerance.” Notre Dame wasn’t feeling that one:
The Student Activities Office (SAO) denied the club official recognition last year, citing a contradiction between Notre Dame’s mission and the intended purpose of the club.
“A club’s purpose ‘must be consistent with the University’s mission,'” the letter stated. “No organization, or member of any organization on behalf of the organization, may encourage or participate in any activity which contravenes the mission of the University or the moral teaching of the Catholic Church.”
Love said the given reasoning was inconsistent with the University’s policy toward other, existing clubs.
“An easy rebuttal to that would be that we have a Jewish club, a Muslim club,” he said. “The only difference between us and them is that we don’t assume the existence of the Judeo-Christian God. We just thought if those clubs were allowed, we would also be allowed.”