Catholic University of America has blocked a student from starting a chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) on campus, expressing concern about the organization's advocacy of abortion.
University officials also said the NAACP would "cause redundancy" with other groups that already exist on campus for African American students.
William Jawando, a senior who will enter the university's law school in the fall, said he spent months trying to get an NAACP chapter approved. He received a reply in April from university officials, who said allowing the NAACP on campus would not be consistent with the mission of the university or of the Catholic Church.
The NAACP's abortion rights advocacy "was a factor in the considerations,” said the university’s director of public affairs, Victor Nakas, “because we steadfastly uphold the teachings of the Catholic Church and would apply that rule to any student group."
Jawando, a 21-year-old Washington native, said he told university officials that the group would not engage in any pro-choice activities but it didn’t make any difference in their decision.
Nakas said the primary reason Jawando's request was denied was that the university has two organizations that represent African American students, who accounted for 386 of the university's 5,740 undergraduate and graduate students last fall.