Critics Of Vanderbilt Policy Want To Strip Police Power - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Critics Of Vanderbilt Policy Want To Strip Police Power

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF/AP) - Opponents of a Vanderbilt University policy banning discrimination in student groups want to enact a law to strip the private school of its police powers if it doesn't change its ways.

The bill sponsored by Senator Mae Beaver of Mt. Juliet and fellow Republican Representative Mark Pody of Lebanon was the subject of competing press conferences at the Legislative Plaza in Nashville on Tuesday.

Republican Governor Bill Haslam last year vetoed a bill to do away with Vanderbilt's "all comers" policy, which requires student groups at the school to allow any interested students to join and run for office.

Religious groups argue the policy forces them to accept students who don't share their beliefs.

Haslam said he disagrees with Vanderbilt's policy, but opposes targeting a private institution.

Legislation proposed by Pody advanced last week that seeks to prevent public higher education institutions in Tennessee from discriminating against religious groups.

The measure was approved 7-2 in the House Education Subcommittee on February 27.

The proposal was similar to the legislation that was vetoed by Haslam, but made no reference to private institutions.

Opponents of the measure said it's unnecessary because they're not aware of problems at public colleges and universities that it needs to address.

(NewsChannel5 and The Associated Press.)

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