The Constitutional Council Rejects the YU Alliance's Request for a Hearing

By: Rachel Jacobi  |  March 2, 2020

By Rachel Jacobi, News Editor

The Beren Constitutional Council rejected the case brought by the YU Alliance, formerly called the YU Pride Alliance, against SCWSC for discriminatory action. The YU Alliance has issued a press release in response to the council’s decision, stating: 

“The YU Alliance is immensely disappointed by the Beren Constitutional Council refusing to hear our case. We believe that SCWSC giving alternative treatment to The YU Alliance because of the fact that it serves LGBTQ students is a clear violation of the Beren Campus Constitution, and we believe that our report to the New York City Commission on Human Rights about discrimination by Yeshiva University is irrelevant to internal student life matters and the Beren Constitution. By declining to enforce the non-discrimination article of the Beren Constitution, the Constitutional Council has rendered that article effectively meaningless. While we recognize and appreciate that the Constitutional Council has the right to decline to hear cases, we feel that by doing so here it has let the student body down.”

This is the latest episode to unfold in a series of events regarding the development of the YU Alliance club status for the YU LGBTQ+ and allied community. Earlier this month, the YU Observer reported that the undergraduate student council presidents abstained from voting on the LGBTQ+ club in an unprecedented move. This has led to the filing of an unofficial claim of discrimination by the YU Alliance against YU with the New York City Commission on Human Rights. 

As the reason for its rejection, the Constitutional Council explicitly named the complaint that the YU Alliance filed against Yeshiva University with the New York City Commission on Human Rights. The claim cites the same issue of discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community as the appeal brought to the Beren Constitutional Council. The Council has decided to abstain from this case in favor of letting the matter be settled in the New York City courts. 

The Beren Constitutional Council defended its decision, saying that “according to the Beren Constitution, the Constitutional Council has the power to ‘hear and decide questions of constitutionality of any actions taken under the provisions and jurisdiction of [the] Constitution, and have original and appellate jurisdiction over such questions’.”

The Council told the YU Alliance in an email: “Since the New York City courts, rather than the Constitutional Council will ultimately ‘decide’ the merits of your claim, the justices on the Constitutional Council have determined that it would not be appropriate for us to hear the case or issue our own decision….Though this was a difficult conclusion to come to, we feel that the Constitution supports us in this decision. We ask that you recognize it as our final decision and realize it was made by fellow students who thought through all the information we were presented with. We appreciate your attempts to create an inclusive campus and wish you luck moving forward.” 


Photo: YU Alliance Logo

Photo Source: YU Alliance