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California university president apologizes after student ordered to remove cross necklace

Catholic World News - July 05, 2013

A student at Sonoma State University was ordered by her supervisor to remove her cross necklace while she was working at an orientation for new students.

Audrey Jarvis, 19, was told “that she could not wear her cross necklace because it might offend others, it might make incoming students feel unwelcome, or it might cause incoming students to feel that ASP [Associated Students Productions] was not an organization they should join,” her attorney said.

The supervisor also said that the university’s chancellor had forbidden the wearing of religious items, according to the attorney.

Jarvis is “a strong Christian, a faith-filled young woman who spent her summers at Catholic camp,” her mother observed.

Her mother recounted that Jarvis said, “Our faith was attacked. It’s unnerving. I know what’s going on in this country. I know Christianity is being attacked. Now, I know it first-hand and it sickens me and saddens me.”

Ruben Armiñana, the university’s president, offered a public apology.

“It was a stupid request and uncalled for and unsubstantiated and the person who did it has admitted all that,” said Armiñana, who added that there are “no constraints whatsoever, and there should not be and there will not be, about wearing what you want to wear — a cross, the Star of David, a covering on your head.”

When asked whether Jarvis’s supervisor would be disciplined, Armiñana said, “I think I’m going to let the process dictate that.”

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