ECU chemistry students allowed to mention God during ceremony
Posted May 6, 2014
Greenville, N.C. — The provost at East Carolina University has told chemistry students to disregard instructions from a professor who forbade them from mentioning God during a departmental recognition ceremony Friday.
Eli Hvastkovs, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry, sent an email to students Thursday with a list of four guidelines for the recognition ceremony that included keeping their statements short, family friendly and “not gross.” Topping the list was an instruction not to thank God.
“I’m sorry about this – and I don’t want to have to outline the reasons why,” Hvastkovs wrote in the email.
The statement prompted a quick response from Marilyn Sheerer, the school’s provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, who sent an email the next day to chemistry majors telling them to disregard the prohibition.
“Religious references of any type will not be restricted,” she wrote. “I regret that, without approval from the appropriate University officials, any other limitations were communicated to you.”