DISTRICT BRIEFING

DISTRICT BRIEFING

Thursday, May 10, 2007

HOMELAND SECURITY

Bill Would Elevate Office's Status

Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.) introduced legislation yesterday that he says would restore clout to the regional federal office for homeland security.

The Office of National Capital Region Coordination, created after Sept. 11, 2001, coordinates disaster and anti-terrorism preparations for the Washington area. The office initially was directly under the nation's homeland security secretary but is now within the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Davis said that the office should be put back under the homeland security secretary to ensure the tightest possible coordination in the event of an emergency. He introduced the bill after Democratic House leaders would not accept his measure as an amendment to homeland security legislation for the regional office.

GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY

Ministry Groups Back on Campus

Eight months after Georgetown University limited the campus work of six independent evangelical Protestant ministry groups, the school has reached a deal letting the groups operate freely again.

In August, Campus Ministry officials told the groups, which include the national organizations InterVarsity and Chi Alpha, that the school thought it was unable to properly monitor how Protestant students were being ministered. The school cut off privileges such as letting the groups advertise on campus, use the Georgetown name in their publicity materials and reserve campus rooms the way school-run ministry groups can.

School officials at the time said their goal was to meet the needs of Protestant students -- who make up about a fifth of the population at the Catholic school -- with their own staff.

The Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, vice president for mission and ministry, announced a deal in a letter to the school Sunday that would allow the groups to return with their previous privileges, as well as to have seats on a new Protestant ministries council. The school also committed to adding 2 1/2 staff members to the current 1 1/2 .

The deal addresses the issue of proselytizing, which school officials complained about last year. The groups are required to agree not to use "any coercive techniques."

-- Michelle Boorstein


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