Kulturstyret changes their minds

Oslo Student Christian Fellowship (OSCF) has been granted financial support from Kulturstyret after all – due to a coincidence.

– No one had changed their mind. On both meetings, one person were absent, and at the last meeting this was to OSCF’s advantage, explains Tor Ivar Hansen, leader of Kulturstyret, the executive body for culture politics at the University of Oslo. He now considers the case closed on behalf of Kulturstyret.

On 15 August, Kulturstyret rejected Oslo Student Christian Fellowship’s application for financial support. The board was of the opinion that OSCF did not want to co-operate with the student ministers, Studentprestene, after the employment of the homosexual priest Nils Jøran Riedl. Thus, four out of seven members of the board felt that OSCF did not meet the requirements of Kulturstyret’s non-discrimination paragraph. OSCF complained against this decision.

– On 4 October we were informed that the complaint was accepted and that we would get financial support after all, says Øystein Nedrebø, contact person at OSCF, who is very pleased with the decision. – This shows that the society does not discriminate against homosexuals.

– Unprofessional

Earlier this autumn, Øyvind Gjengaar, leader of the student welfare body The Velferdsting, told Universitas that he expected Kulturstyret to follow up the strict application procedures after refusing to give financial support to OSCF.

– This is childish. Kulturstyret comes across as completely unprofessional when they change their mind in this way, says Gjengaar, who adds that this still isn’t so much Kulturstyret’s mistake, but the fact that the Non-discrimination paragraph seems unclear from a legal point of view.

Can be changed

At the moment, it is up to Kulturstyret to decide how this paragraph is to be understood, and their political stand will automatically become a decisive factor when the paragraph is defined, Gjengaar states. He goes on to say that the Non-discriminating paragraph will be discussed at the next meeting at The Velferdsting, and he hopes that a change will force Kulturstyret to act more professionally in the future.

– Societies at the University of Oslo are run on a voluntary basis and they need something stable to act in accordance with in cases such as these. Kulturstyret is supposed to be a resource to these societies, and cannot act confusingly.