NextSharkNextShark.com

Article

UNC Charlotte officially allows Sikh students to wear kirpan on campus

  • The University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) has officially altered its policies to allow Sikh students to wear a kirpan while on campus.

  • The kirpan is a sheathed dagger that serves as an article of faith within Sikhism.

  • Under university policy, students are permitted to carry a kirpan as long as its blade is less than 3 inches (approximately 7.62 centimeters) in length and “is worn close to the body in a sheath at all times.”

  • The move comes two months after a video of a Sikh student being handcuffed for wearing his kirpan went viral.

  • Chancellor Sharon L. Gaber said UNCC has “engaged in dialogue with representatives from the local and global Sikh communities about how we could modify University policies to honor the tenets of religious freedom while protecting the safety of our campus.”

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) has altered its policies to allow Sikh students to wear a kirpan — a sheathed dagger that serves as a religious article — on campus.

In an announcement on Thursday, Chancellor Sharon L. Gaber said students are permitted to carry a kirpan as long as its blade is less than 3 inches (approximately 7.62 centimeters) in length and “is worn close to the body in a sheath at all times.”

Meanwhile, requests for other religious accommodations — including longer kirpans — will be processed by the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX and “will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.”

The new policy comes two months after a Sikh student was handcuffed for wearing his kirpan on campus.

“You can’t take it off me. You want me to take the whole thing off?” the student asks a deputy in a now-viral video. “What are you doing to me, bro?”

The incident quickly sparked outrage on social media and forced university administrators to hold discussions with its Sikh community.

“Over the past several weeks, we have engaged in dialogue with representatives from the local and global Sikh communities about how we could modify University policies to honor the tenets of religious freedom while protecting the safety of our campus,” Gaber said on Thursday. “We want to express our appreciation to the Sikh leaders, especially the Sikh Coalition and the Global Sikh Council, who have taken time to share their perspective and expertise with us.”

Aside from officially allowing kirpans on campus, UNCC also conducted additional awareness training last week with its police department to “expand our cultural education and training opportunities for all of campus.”

 

Featured Image via chucka_nc (left; CC BY-SA 2.0) and Hari Singh (right; CC BY 2.0)

 

Support our Journalism with a Contribution

Many people might not know this, but despite our large and loyal following which we are immensely grateful for, NextShark is still a small bootstrapped startup that runs on no outside funding or loans.

Everything you see today is built on the backs of warriors who have sacrificed opportunities to help give Asians all over the world a bigger voice.

However, we still face many trials and tribulations in our industry, from figuring out the most sustainable business model for independent media companies to facing the current COVID-19 pandemic decimating advertising revenues across the board.

We hope you consider making a contribution so we can continue to provide you with quality content that informs, educates and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way.  Thank you for everyone's support. We love you all and can't appreciate you guys enough.

Support NextShark

Mastercard, Visa, Amex, Discover, Paypal

;