The Catholic University of America, one of the nation’s most prestigious Roman Catholic colleges, is giving queer students an un-merry Christmas: The Washington, DC, school has announced that it would not officially recognize an LGBT student organization.
Ryan Fecteau, the openly gay speaker of the CUA’s Student Association General Assembly, spearheaded the movement to try to get the school to acknowledge the group CUAllies as an official campus group, qualifying it for funding and event space on campus. (Several major Catholic schools have recognized LGBT groups, including Georgetown University, Notre Dame, and Chicago’s Loyola and DePaul Universities.)
The Washington Blade reports:
Dean of Students Jonathan Sawyer and Katie Jennings, director of campus activities, told Fecteau, who spearheaded the effort, in a Dec. 6 meeting the university had denied CUAllies’ request “out of fear that they would become an advocacy organization.”
“It is unfortunate the Catholic University of America is not providing space for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning of whatever to feel they are welcomed into the faith community on campus,” Fecteau said.
The university, which denied to officially recognize the group after it formed in 2009, told the Blade in a statement the two administrators who met with Fecteau “expressed their appreciation for the thoughtful and respectful way in which CUAllies had pursued its request for recognition.” According to the statement, the goal “articulated by CUAllies of fostering a safe and welcoming environment for all students is shared by the university.”
How exactly do you foster a welcoming environment without actually, y’know, welcoming them?
Photo: Ryan Fecteau