Notre Dame to increase support, services for GLBTQ students
The University of Notre Dame on Wednesday announced plans to provide more support and services for students who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or questioning, including creating a university-recognized student organization.
The move is in response to requests to officially recognize a gay-straight student alliance club on campus, which student groups have requested annually for years. Students involved in the most recent request have withdrawn their application for club status and are working with administrators to form the recognized student organization.
"This is very good news," said Alex Coccia, co-president of the Progressive Student Alliance, the student activists' group that has been leading the effort. "The university is recognizing a student organization. It's going to provide the peer-to-peer support that is needed."
The changes announced are part of a comprehensive pastoral plan that includes an array of initiatives based on Notre Dame's Catholic mission, the university announced. The plan, titled "Beloved Friends and Allies: A Pastoral Plan for the Support and Holistic Development of GLBTQ and Heterosexual Students at the University of Notre Dame," was developed by the university's Student Affairs staff. The university announcement states the plan follows a study of Catholic doctrine and teaching, listening sessions with students, and an examination of student clubs and structures at other Catholic universities.