On May 25, 2022, the Adelaide University Occult Club (AUOC), a student organization made by and for students who practice satanism, paganism, and witchcraft, had their registration rejected by the Australian college.
Ashley Towner, AUOC president, told ABC (Australia), "Even if we did want to summon Satan, it's not against university or union policy to do so, so it's still not really grounds to reject us."
The student club was formed in the latter half of 2020 and provisionally registered with the Adelaide University Union (AUU) in early 2021. In early May of this year, an application for full registration was not approved.
The AUOC is planning to appeal the decision of the AUU clubs committee to the union's board. However, they are under the control of the same people.
Registration is essential as it allows for funding and access to space and equipment at the university. The AUOC is now unaffiliated and not allowed on university grounds.
Towner told ABC that rejection came from one complaint that claimed that their club wanted to summon Satan to the university and that "occultists are always involved in criminal activity".
They said they were not aware of anyone in the club who literally believes in Satan, and no rituals are performed since the members have a variety of different beliefs.
An AUU spokesperson said a motion to register the occult club failed because only half of the committee members voted, and motions require three out of four votes to be carried. AUU president, Oscar Ong, insisted the application had not been rejected but "tabled" for a later decision, which in his words, was "standard procedure."
"These people have just made this decision based on their own political gain rather than what's actually democratically desired at the university," Ashley said.
According to the AUU website, there are six Christian clubs, one Muslim club, and one secular club that are all registered.