Clause needs updating
Melanie Fritz | Tuesday, October 6, 2009
After attending the community meeting for freshmen students sponsored by the Core Council for GLBQ students at Notre Dame, I left feeling refreshed that there exists such a movement to welcome and accept gay students at Notre Dame. Last year the Princeton Review ranked Notre Dame as the fifth most homophobic university in the country, and hopefully with the efforts of the Core Council, we can rid ourselves of this distinction. But one glaring inconsistency made me question the sincerity of the University’s efforts – the non-discrimination clause.
“The University of Notre Dame does not discriminate on the basis of race/ethnicity, color, national origin, sex, disability, veteran status, or age in the administration of any of its employment, educational programs, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletics, recreational, and other school- administered programs.” Nowhere in its non-discrimination clause does the University express this professed acceptance of homosexual students. How can gay, lesbian, bisexual and questioning students feel at home at Notre Dame if there is no promise of protection from discrimination? By the current clause, it is perfectly acceptable from a policy standpoint to deny athletic participation, scholarship money and even admission to the school based on someone’s sexual orientation.
As long as the clause exists in the present state, no matter how much we claim to be accepting of differences in sexual orientation, there is no guarantee that gay students would even be admitted if they were open about their sexuality on their applications. If I am to believe that Notre Dame is the welcoming place I have chosen as my home for four years, I have to believe that this type of discrimination doesn’t occur, so why not change the clause and definitively say so?