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SAGA asks board for formal recognition

Justin Tardiff | Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Saint Mary’s Board of Governance discussed recognizing the Straight and Gay Alliance (SAGA) during their first official meeting in the new student center Monday.

Megan Schaeffer, president and founder of SAGA at Saint Mary’s, spoke in front of BOG to ask for recognition of the alliance as an official club at the College.

“There are a lot of Catholic schools that support gay and straight alliances, and I really feel that Saint Mary’s needs to be one of them,” Schaeffer said.

Schaeffer said that she first recognized a need for an organization such as SAGA on campus after students came to her looking for someone to talk to.

Schaeffer described SAGA as a group of 25 to 30 straight, lesbian and bisexual students who meet weekly to discuss various issues in education and awareness, support and social activities.

“I really want to stress that this is something that is affecting our entire community,” Schaeffer said. “I think the support group will be the one that has the biggest impact on this campus and affects the most people.”

Schaeffer said that SAGA was asking to be recognized as a club primarily to receive funding to be able to bring in speakers and show movies, but also to be able to advertise and use campus facilities.

BOG members held an extensive discussion on the status of the group and ultimately voted to table their decision to next week’s meeting. Student body president Sarah Catherine White said that members felt they needed to seek a more informed perspective in order to make a decision.

“We understand that our decision with this club, as with every club, is to review how this club supports our mission and represents our students,” White said.

BOG members recognized the benefits SAGA could bring to the inclusiveness, support and education of the student body but also discussed concerns that could grow among alumnae, prospective students and the overall reputation of Saint Mary’s as an all women’s Catholic college.

“By researching and taking time to decide, we’re not letting fear get in the way,” White said. “Our primary focus is not what the reaction will be, but what those we represent believe in.”

In other BOG news:

u BOG approved a co-sponsorship with Faith Rocks, an organization that will hold a free concert at Notre Dame in April to promote Christian music among the Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame and Holy Cross student body.

u The Student Diversity Board will sponsor a frost-your-own-cookies event Wednesday at 10 p.m. in the Regina Lobby.