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Our future of inclusion at Notre Dame

| Thursday, December 6, 2012

n October of 2011, Progressive Student Alliance initiated the 4 to 5 Movement in an effort to address the need for greater inclusion on campus for members of the community who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning (GLTBQ) and their allies. We sparked a legitimate conversation, bringing the topics of sexual orientation and gender identity into the mainstream discourse on campus to foster an environment in which allies are not afraid to express their support. The 4 to 5 Movement has brought together a diverse group of students to address these issues. These efforts would not have been possible without the collaboration and tireless commitment of students, faculty, staff and senior administrators.

In this spirit, we place our full support behind the pastoral plan and initiative that the Office of Student Affairs released yesterday, having completed the broad review initiated May 1, 2012. The University recognized student organization specified in the plan will provide the important peer-to-peer support and service needed on campus, an important resource for questioning students, and an opportunity for student allies to work to create an environment of support, respect and understanding. The student development professional has been a component of this discussion for many years and the initiative to create this new position illustrates the administration’s commitment to improving inclusion for the student body in the long term. The advisory council will be able to gauge campus climate in order to provide the student affairs professional with the best possible information and resources on how to continually improve the environment for GLBTQ students and their allies.

This plan is an enormous accomplishment for the entire Notre Dame family. We would like to thank the students, faculty, staff and administrators who have been an integral part of the 4 to 5 Movement through their involvement and support. Now, as students, we have the responsibility to remain dedicated through the implementation process in order to utilize the full potential of this pastoral plan. Though we remain fully committed to these efforts, today we celebrate this achievement for our community.

Alex Coccia
co-president, PSA
junior
Siegfried Hall
Dec. 6

Lauren Morisseau
co-president, PSA
sophomore
Breen-Philips Hall
Dec. 6