Skip to comments.Gonzaga U president reviewing decision on Catholic club
Posted on 04/11/2013 6:44:43 AM PDT by narses
A month after Gonzaga University officials denied an all-male, all-Catholic student club official recognition as a student organization, the colleges president has announced hell review the decision.
The university is concerned that all of the factors involved in this decision have not been represented in their entirety, and thus may be misunderstood, a GU spokesperson wrote in a statement released last weekend.
A Knights of Columbus College Council, a Catholic fraternal group, does exist on campus, but the denial means the group is not eligible for funds from the schools student government and cannot officially use the college brand.
President (Thayne) McCulloh has received a request from the sponsoring student to review the institutions decision regarding the recognition of the organization as a student club, and has decided to undertake this review, the schools prepared statement said.
News of the denial spread fast, mostly through religious periodicals. The Catholic community, including GU alumni and parents of current students, are decrying what many are calling a hypocritical decision.
Maybe the people who made this decision are not familiar with Knights of Columbus and the role they play in the Catholic church, said Spokane resident and GU alumna Valerie Mullen. She, her husband and four of their children are GU graduates. I think someone at Gonzaga was not thinking when they made this decision.
Emails about the decision have been flooding the inbox of GU faculty member Eric Cunningham, associate professor of history and assistant director of Catholic studies. The messages, primarily from parents of students and some alumni, share a theme, Cunningham said: They are worried about Gonzagas Catholic identity.
GU officials handed down the decision in early March. Sue Weitz, vice president of Student Life, stated in a letter published in The Catholic World Report that the club didnt meet the universitys student organization guidelines of being nondiscriminatory and all-inclusive, and cited religion as one of the discriminatory factors of the Knights of Columbus club.
Weitzs letter continued: If Gonzaga University served only Catholics and limited the benefits of the collegiate experience only to them, the decision-making process may have been different. To embrace the diversity and yet endorse a group based on faith exclusivity is a challenge that cannot be reconciled at this time.
Cunningham wrote to Weitz about her decision. He expressed his confusion about the logic; his letter was published Wednesday in the same Catholic periodical.
I cant help but wonder if it is the intention of the Office of Student Life to dissociate itself from Gonzaga University because of the Jesuits long-standing practice of such discrimination, or will Student Life instead choose to initiate action to remove the Society of Jesus from its affiliation with the Gonzaga community?
He added, This may strike you as an absurd inquiry, but it is actually a logical response to the rationale in your decision. As you noted, the revival of the Catholic Daughters on campus would solve the gender-exclusivity problem, but alas, the Catholic Daughters are Catholic too, and that seems to be (the) central problem.
Requests from The Spokesman-Review to talk to Student Life administrators and the sponsoring student were denied by GU officials. The universitys student union president also refused to talk when reached by phone.
With respect for everyone involved in this internal matter, the statement we have offered is all that Gonzaga intends to share at this time, said Mary Joan Hahn, a GU spokeswoman.
Cunningham, who used to be an adviser for the colleges Knights of Columbus group, said, Gonzaga, to its credit, is a very all-inclusive place, but when youre all-inclusive, you stop making distinctions. If you really want to honor diversity, you have to honor your own distinctness.
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In Spokane, Washington
If the new Pope did the right thing and rid the clergy of homosexuals, the Jesuit order in the US would disband. This is another example of how very odd Jesuit colleges have become. They can no longer be considered Catholic in any real sense.
“If the new Pope did the right thing and rid the clergy of homosexuals, the Jesuit order in the US would disband. This is another example of how very odd Jesuit colleges have become. They can no longer be considered Catholic in any real sense.”
You know, unless you have some basis for this calumny, you should keep your thoughts to yourself.
I have known many, many Jesuits since I started in a Jesuit high school in 1964. I attended a Jesuit college, as did my wife. Both my children attended Jesuit high schools. While I have encountered a few Jesuits who were not straight, the vast majority have been very good men who take their ministry seriously.
While I may agree that a Catholic ‘Club’ on the grounds of a CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY may not be ‘necessary’ because it is already a Catholic Institution, shouldn’t the ‘needs’ of the target students ‘ THE CATHOLICS ‘ be put ahead of ‘we serve other faiths’.
I really can’t see them turning down an AA club, etc and since the ‘Basketball Gods’ have smiled on Gonzaga I imagine the Institution attracts more than Catholics.
This BS of CATHOLIC INSTITUTIONS not acting Catholic is ridiculous. When Georgetown (supposedly) covered a statue so as not to offend a Non Catholic Guest Speaker and the President of Notre Dame openly embraces ‘people/pols’ that support and live by matters that are supposed to be repugnant to the Catholic Church.
The ‘Learning Experience’ should allow people who disagree with you to speak to your students (such as Ann Coulter (I am NOT a fan) is allowed to speak at any University of her choosing.....sarc/
If you were to invite me to your home for dinner or whatever and I come in and DEMAND you remove the Crucifix from your hallway or I won’t enter, THE ONLY gesture should be “Sorry you feel that way, the wife prepares a mean ‘brisket’ and I will now ask YOU to leave since you are ‘offended’ by my beliefs. Which is perfectly within your rights BUT you don’t have to stay”.
What we teach our students is that the First Amendment Right of Freedom of Assembly is subject to official university recognition. Thus teaching our kids that Freedom of Assembly (thus association) is not absolute, but subject to state approval and the Political Correct Thought of the Day.
But we further teach our kids that in exchange for losing your rights, you get supported by the State (University) in the form of Funding. The funds come from Student Fees (TAXES) imposed by the state. But no worries, the Student Government, a democratically elected body, votes on the distribution of the funds so all is "legal". However, we quickly teach our kids that the purpose of government is to doll out goodies rather than protect liberty. We also teach our kids to get involved in elections not to insure responsible limited government, but to elect people friendly to your association's cause. This teaches candidates to go from organization to organization promising to increase funding in exchange for endorsement.
No wonder young people come out of the University blind democratic supporters.
Stupid title ... the KofC is not a “club.”
We know personally a president of one of their universities here in the States who is a practicing homosexual. I don’t however paint them all with that wide brush.
If they have tendencies and remain chaste we must respect them.