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Embracing the spirit of inclusion

Bryan Ricketts | Thursday, December 6, 2012

                  Yesterday, Notre Dame took a long-awaited step forward – it embraced its identity as a Catholic University. For those here who identify as GLBTQ or as an ally, Notre Dame is finally realizing that “catholic” means “universal”. It has begun to make good on the promise of its Spirit of Inclusion.

                  As a freshman, my decision to come here is still clear in my mind. I came for the community in my dorm, in my major and in the larger student body. But one of the greatest communities I have found here is the one that accepts all students as deserving of recognition of their personhood, no matter where they fall on the spectrum of gender identity or sexual orientation. That’s what this decision really means to us: Inclusiveness. Unlike structures currently in place, such as the Core Council, this group is open to everyone.

Realizing and accepting identity is not an easy process for anyone, especially for those who are GLBTQ. Having a visible group on campus allows us to show to those who are gay or questioning that we stand together in support of them.

                  This is not the end of the conversation on campus about GLBTQ issues. But what Notre Dame has done today deserves thanks for taking a stand and recognizing that yes, gay students exist here on campus, and the University will give them the support they need to accept who they truly are.

 

Bryan Ricketts

Freshman

Duncan Hall