By John Connolly
On Monday, October 19th, School of Arts and Sciences Senator of the Student Government Association (SGA) Stephen Morris, presented the ongoing discussion about recognizing CUAllies as a student organization to the floor of the SGA Senate.
CUAllies, originally founded in 2009, advocates for the equal representation and treatment of LGBT students at Catholic University. According to its mission statement, CUAllies “seeks to create a safe, welcoming, and affirming environment at The Catholic University of America for all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender-identity.”
Morris, co-chair of CUAllies, wants to show a new perspective for the group.
“We want students to a fresh, new face for the organization, a movement which I feel is all to often characterized by division.”
Morris is seeking official recognition for the organization from the University, which has been denied in previous years.
CUAllies was first denied under the O’Connell administration in 2009. According to Dean Kathryn Jennings, Director of Campus Activities, who was not involved in the 2009 decision. Approval of the organization was brought up again in 2012, which was again denied under the Garvey administration. Jennings noted that decisions were made with input from various individuals.
Morris explains that the main position of CUAllies is simply that “people can be allies” and the group does not exist to advocate for any kind of LGBT lifestyle. Instead, they want the University to recognize that there are LGBT students on campus and to give them equal recognition and treatment.
CUAllies hopes to increase the services and help that are offered to LGBT students at other universities. For example, Georgetown University provides students with an LGBT counseling center. Morris hopes that more support for LGBT students is given, but does not want the University to feel the group will be advocating for that lifestyle.
Morris says that members of the board have reached out to Residence Life and other individuals and groups.
“Right now, we’re focused on giving them a track record of what we do. We have our first general meeting this month. We want to go to them and say ‘this is what the organization was in the past, and this is what we are now.’”
Morris is not the only one who is hopeful for recognition of CUAllies by the University.
Freshmen Sydney Rexing said, “I think that brining back CUAllies is a great idea because I think many people in the LGBT community feel vulnerable and it can be a way for them to express their feelings and thoughts. I think that many members of the LGBT community think, once they don’t feel safe, that suicide may be the only option. I think that bring it back may give people a chance to talk about it.”
CUAllies will hold a meeting, open to all, on a date to be determined next week in Barnes & Noble on Monroe Street. For more information, CUAllies can be found on Facebook, on Instagram (@CUAllies), and on Twitter (@CUAllies).