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Time to act on GLBT issues

Chris Beesley | Tuesday, February 2, 2010

 As a recent alumnus and member of the 2006-07 Student Senate, it is disheartening to witness the actions — or, rather, inaction on the part of this administration — taking place on Our Lady’s campus.

The Student Senate passed a resolution in March, 2007 requesting the University add “sexual orientation” to its non-discrimination clause. While I do not personally identify as GLBTQ, I remember strongly supporting the Social Concerns committee chair during Senate proceedings. I was shocked such wording did not already exist. And I remember being a part of the 25-1-1 majority that voted to pass the resolution.
This publication, The Observer, reported at the time that both the Student Senate and Faculty Senate had passed similar language in 1998. Two Holy Cross schools, King’s College in Pennsylvania and Holy Cross College in Indiana, already included the language at the time. I recall students on campus having civilized and intelligent debate regarding the issue.
Yet, three years later, we have not progressed. Students, faculty, and alumni continue to support measures to be more inclusive with regard to our GLBTQ brothers and sisters, but nothing is done. It is not news that the administration can be selectively deaf regarding student issues, but 12 years of repetitive voices and increasing volume must have an effect.
Notre Dame, it is time to act. Alumni, students and faculty have done all they can. Now, it is up to this administration to stop dismissing the issue and step up to the plate. Take bold steps to live your “Spirit of Inclusion” in word and deed. Include “sexual orientation” in the University’s non-discrimination clause. Allow the Student Union Board to recognize groups of gay students on campus as legitimate student groups. And if you won’t, you at least owe 12 years of the Notre Dame community an explanation of your reasoning. Refusing to address the issue — hoping that ignoring it will make it go away — will not cut it any longer.
Chris Beesley
Class of 2008
Jan. 29