Notre Dame Officially Recognizes First GLBTQ Organization

For the first time, Notre Dame says it will officially recognize a student organization providing services and support to LGBT students and allies, The Observer reports:

NotredameThough this is a historic decision in Notre Dame’s efforts to better serve a diverse student body, University President Fr. John Jenkins said the plan for the unnamed student organization is a natural progression of previous initiatives. “In the 1990s, as I said, we created the Standing Committee [on Gay and Lesbian Student Needs]. In 2006, that was changed to the Core Council [for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Questioning Students], and various initiatives were undertaken in conjunction with those efforts,” he said. “I see this as the next step to be more effective.”

The announcement was made after a five-month review process by Erin Hoffmann Harding, vice president for Student Affairs:

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,” details the establishment of a “new support and service student organization for GLBTQ students and their allies,” as well as a new advisory committee and the establishment of a full-time student development staff position focused on GLBTQ issues, according to a Dec. 5 University press release.

Harding said members of the Notre Dame community should consider more than the establishment of the student organization when evaluating the plan.

“The comprehensiveness of this not only being about the organization is a very important element to the entire thing because of the education, because of the awareness, because of the support and interaction with other University offices, we think this is a plan that we believe and hope will be much more than about one organization,” she said.
Harding explained the significance of the planned group’s intended status as a student organization rather than a club, a distinction she said is meant to ensure the continuity of the organization over time.


  1. Jean de Florette says

    Jesuit-affiliated Georgetown University has had a gay group since a 1980’s lawsuit forced their hand. Then they opened an LGBT resource center in the mid-2000’s after a series of hate crimes. All that to say that the Catholic mullahs will probably pitch a fit, but the decision should be pretty secure.

    Anyway, kudos to Notre Dame for coming at this decision on their own.

  2. Daniel Berry, NYC says

    @KP: I’m sure that’s what they HAVE to post to be allowed to exist. but I’m willing to bet that the flesh-and-blood reality in the organization is quite different.

  3. andrew says

    This is not the first gay group to be recognized by Notre Dame University. The founders and I believe still owners of the University are the CSC, The Congregation of the Holy Cross. If I know anything about Catholic Religious Orders, and I do, the majority of their priest members were and are probably gay. Closeted, to be sure, but Oh so gay!

  4. Diogenes Arktos says

    @Daniel Berry, NYC: I totally agree. I am reminded that Liberty University has little liberty for the student body. In particular no sex and certainly no LGBT. OTOH, I’ve heard that Craig’s list is very active in the neighborhood.

    @Yupp: for someone who has only been posting here ~6 months, please explain about Andy and given your apparent feelings about him why you’re still here.

  5. Major Onions says

    Yay! Thank God! I remember when gay students had to post coded messages in the student paper to announce secret meetings. The early 90s wasn’t a great time to be a gay student at ND. I see this as a GIANT leap forward for the university. Now all we need is T’eo to win the Heisman and the football team to roll the Tide and it will be a very Merry Christmas indeed! Thank you Fr. Jenkins!

    SM ND’95

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