Students at Aberystwyth University recently voted to have Bibles banned from being placed by default in their accommodations on grounds that the institution was not multicultural enough. The Students’ Union at Aberystwyth University carried out a poll before their votes went on to end the longstanding tradition that goes back generations.
The union has been criticized, however, for implementing the ban on grounds that only five percent of the total 10,000 students at the university had cast their votes on the issue. Of the five percent, 63 percent voted in favour of the ban but that percentage constituted only 300 people.
According to the new motion, bibles would be removed from bedrooms that are reserved for first-year students at the end of this academic year. Thereafter, new students would have to specially request for a religious text in their rooms if they want one. Daniel Brothers and John David Morgan are the two university students that started this initiative to have the bibles banned.
“Compulsory inclusion of Bibles in university bedrooms is inappropriate in a multicultural university such as Aberystwyth. It could be offensive for some, and the university should provide a safe space for students to explore and develop their beliefs in a neutral environment. Bibles should however still be available for those who wish to have them,” said Morgan.
A survey at Pentre Jane Morgan, the halls of residence at the university, conducted by the union in 2014, concluded that half the student population felt the default inclusion of the Bible in rooms by Gideon International was either unacceptable or uncomfortable. It also concluded that only four percent found the default inclusion to be a good idea. Yet, the union has been criticized for implementing a motion that received such few votes in its favour.
On its website, the union said that 475 votes had been cast in total and that number was approximately twice as much as the minimum requirement, as required by their democratic structure.
A spokesperson for the union said, “475 students voting is a higher number than any attendance at a democratic meeting and so we are delighted that we have managed to open up democratically to this extent.”
Photo Credits: South Wales Evening Post