Whitworth University Young Americans for Freedom Chapter (WU-YAF) is a chartered club at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington, and a chapter of Young Americans for Freedom, a national, nonprofit youth activism organization. WU-YAF advocates for limited government and individual freedom, including religious freedom. It has members who are eligible for the State Work-Study Program and who desire the opportunity to work for employers considered ineligible because they are “sectarian.” In fact, WU-YAF members and other Whitworth students cannot undertake Washington Work-Study employment for Whitworth University itself, because the university is an evangelical, Presbyterian institution. Students attending nonsectarian private colleges and universities, by contrast, are free to work for their own colleges and universities under the program. The “sectarian” exclusion in Washington’s Work-Study Program is particularly harmful to WU-YAF members and other Whitworth students majoring in fields that are traditionally occupied by religious employers, such as education, social services and medicine, and who wish to perform the types of work that such employers perform. The program also specifically discriminates against those students who want to work for employers whose religious affiliations mirror their own convictions.
Summit Christian Academy wanted to hire college students to be tutors under the state’s work-study program, but Washington officials barred the academy from doing so, simply because it’s a religious school. After IJ got involved…