Online Survey Allows Neighbors to Weigh in on EMU's Hiring Policies

By: Estephany Escobar Email
By: Estephany Escobar Email

HARRISONBURG, Va.--- Neighbors can now voice their opinions on whether a local Christian University should hire people in same-sex relationships.

Eastern Mennonite University is currently reviewing its hiring policy, which does not allow people in same-sex relationships to be hired.

An online survey, open to members of the community, is the next step in a six-month listening process the university is undertaking. A previous survey only allowed EMU stakeholders to comment on the matter.

"The survey for the general public is made available to provide a forum for those who feel some connection with EMU as community members or for other reasons, but who were not invited to complete the survey for stakeholders (current students, faculty, staff, alumni and donors)," said EMU in a statement.

Valley Family Forum Chaplain Dr. John Sloop, who opposes the change, plans to voice his opinion through the survey.

The survey asks neighbors if they would support the change and how this would impact their relationship with EMU.

"For EMU to do this, it would be to go against over 2,000 years of church history and to go against the word of God," says Dr. Sloop.

He thinks the change would not only impact him, but others.

"I think it would be a death blow to EMU's witness in the community and it would lose a lot of support," said Sloop.

For Claire Whiting, who attends a Mennonite church, the change could be positive.

"I think it is a discrimination that is not totally going to be dependent on what the professor is going to be teaching," said Whiting.

In addition, she said it could be beneficial for students.

"It gives more challenges for students to deal with their belief systems before they get out rather than where they are in a safe environment," said Whiting.

The survey will be open until April 30.

The results from both surveys will help the President's Cabinet to give a recommendation to the board of directors in June.


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