Student government pushes for use of wine for Eucharist on campus

Non-denominational Christian services at the Hongde Tang Church in Shanghai, China allow all worshippers who have been baptized to take communion. (Katherine Rodriguez/Penn State University/MCT)

Baylor student government will decide Thursday night on a bill seeking to allow religious student organizations to use alcohol for Eucharist on campus.

The Baylor Student Organization Policies and Procedures currently prohibit the possession or use of alcoholic beverages on campus or at University-related activities off campus.

Support for this bill is based on the many faith traditions within the Christian church that use alcohol for holy communion. Passage of this bill seeks to allow university-sanctioned religious groups who believe in these traditions the opportunity to practice consistently with their Church’s views.

San Antonio senior and student senator, Chase Hardy, officially sponsors the legislation.

“[The current policy] is an injustice that affects a huge percentage of Baylor students and ultimately, prevents them from fully practicing their Christian beliefs,” Hardy said.

The bill points out exceptions that have been made for non-University events at McLane Stadium, which is considered an on-campus facility. Also written into the bill is that The Baylor Club regularly serves wine and liquor on-campus “as a part of daily operations for no religious purpose.”

Roswell, N.M., senior Cody Coll, who belongs to the Anglican Student Ministries organization at Baylor, helped co-author the bill.

“Passing it is so important because it promotes the ecumenical outreach and fight for religious freedom that Baylor holds up as a key element of their mission,” Coll said.

There are two main points for consideration highlighted within the bill that should be considered before a vote takes place Thursday night, Coll said. The first is that student members and representatives who wish to participate according to their organization’s Christian doctrine must be of legal drinking age. The second is that the only intent and purpose for the alcoholic consumption is to be for the administration of Christian Communion.

Hardy expects the vote to go their way.

“I believe the bill will pass.” Hardy said. “I am confident, now that the problem has been brought to light, that policy will be updated. This is a just and principled concept.”

Should it be shot down, those who support the bill intend to reintroduce a revised version of the bill. The result of Thursday night’s meeting could show where school leadership stands regarding wine, not grape juice, on campus.