Notre Dame offering support for GLBTQ students - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Notre Dame offering support for GLBTQ students

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Notre Dame released its plan Wednesday that includes expanded and enhanced support for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning students.

"I think it's great. I mean, a very Catholic conservative University, it's kinda great to get ourselves out there and make it more acceptable for these types of things," says Notre Dame student Stephanie Peragallo.

Inclusion is exactly what Notre Dame's Student Affairs Office says it had in mind when crafting a new plan to support gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and students questioning their sexuality, or GLBTQ.

"That our students feel welcome, they feel included, and they feel they can have thoughtful conversations about their faith and being members of this community," says Erin Harding, the Vice President of Notre Dame Student Affairs.

So what exactly does this plan mean?

GLBTQ students will have a new support and service organization to join.

Though not a club or political advocacy group, the organization will be open to any student.

Notre Dame's Catholic foundation does beg the question of whether the move is controversial.

"It definitely is and there will probably be some people who are upset with it," says Peragallo.

Notre Dame Sophomore, Michael Williams says, "There are common misconceptions with how Catholics view rights with homosexuals so I don't think the decision they came out with does not align with the Catholic church."

In fact, the University says it's drawing on Catholic principles of inclusion, friendship, sexual intimacy and chastity in its decision to offer more support.

"The way I think about our decision is it is grounded fundamentally in the church's teaching," says Harding.

The University will hire a full time employee to act as a liaison for GLBTQ students to get support and services.

That employee will also educate students about the University's spirit of inclusion and Church teachings.

Here's a link to the news release, including the entire plan, from Notre Dame:

http://newsinfo.nd.edu/news/36057-glbtq/

 

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