By Chris Huqueriza
The University of Notre Dame is establishing an official LGBT student organization after an almost two decades-long push by its ever-changing student body.
"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,” said Erin Hoffman Harding, vice president for Student Affairs according to an interview with the Observer. “We think this is a plan that we believe and hope will be much more than about one organization."
The alliance will provide services to students who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and/or questioning (GLBTQ) as well as their allies. The alliance will work in accordance with the ideals of the school’s Catholic mission and to sponsor social justice for all.
“The parameter for this solution needed to serve our students well and be grounded fundamentally in our Catholic mission as a University,” said Harding.
As one of the nation’s most renowned Catholic campuses, they had previously rejected the push for an LGBT organization.
Students of all backgrounds and orientations are accepted to the school, yet no legal protection is provided for students who identify as GLBTQ. The University’s non-discrimination policy excludes sexual orientation.
"These denials in club recognition and campus policy date back to before 1995, when students started citing concerns of discrimination, harassment, and fear for personal safety on campus," wrote Blogger Shane Windmeyer on the Huffington Post.
As a call to action, Notre Dame students created an “It Needs To Get Better” video in support of LGBT students which has received over 18,000 views.
You can watch the video below.