University Approves 'Allies of Boston College'

University Approves 'Allies of Boston College'

By Jack Dunn
Director of Public Affairs

University President William P. Leahy, SJ, announced last week the approval of a proposed student group to address issues concerning sexual orientation at Boston College.


University President William Leahy, SJ: "[It] is essential that the topic of sexuality be examined in the Boston College community in light of Scripture, our Christian, Catholic roots and moral teachings, and contemporary culture."
The group, called Allies of Boston College, will provide support to students of various sexual orientations "by developing and sponsoring educational programs that promote a fuller appreciation of sexuality as a gift from God, especially as understood in the Catholic tradition," according to the organization's constitution.

In the constitution, proposed by UGBC President Adam Baker and Vice President Orville Thomas, the group states its purpose is "to advance understanding of issues, concerns, and needs regarding sexual orientation among undergraduates at Boston College.

"Allies recognizes that psycho-sexual development is a critical component of personal identity and that all persons, independent of their sexual orientation, are called to integrity, generosity and individual responsibility."

The constitution goes on to say that "[Catholic] tradition teaches that all human beings are created in the image and likeness of God and are thus to be valued, treated with respect, and enabled to feel welcome and appreciated at Boston College, whether they are heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, transgender or questioning in regard to sexual orientation."

Allies of Boston College will welcome as its members "all undergraduate students who seek a clearer understanding of their sexual orientation and who support the organization's purpose." Officers will be elected and will work in concert with a staff member appointed by the dean for student development in consultation with the vice president for student affairs.

According to the constitution, the organization's activities "will respect the Jesuit, Catholic mission and heritage of Boston College...and shall not sponsor or support programs that involve public protests, petitions or activities and events that conflict with University policy or that University officials judge promote positions or behavior inconsistent with BC's religious traditions."

Activities may include forums to discuss sexuality, presentations on the psycho-sexual developments of young adults, programs and networks aimed at supporting students in their quest for responsible, mature sexual identity, and events that deepen knowledge and understanding about issues concerning sexuality and sexual orientation among members of the Boston College community.

In approving the new student organization, Fr. Leahy acknowledged the role of Baker and his administration in the establishment of Allies.

"It is obvious that Adam and his officers care deeply about the needs and issues faced by students at BC who are homosexual in orientation or questioning their sexual identity," said Fr. Leahy. "Adam deserves recognition for his efforts to help advance this initiative from a proposed to an approved student organization."

Throughout the year-long deliberations between Fr. Leahy and Baker on the proposed group, Fr. Leahy said he was open to an organization that would focus on education and support and not advocate positions that are in conflict with Church teaching.

"As I have said on a number of occasions, all individuals, no matter their race, religious beliefs, intellectual talents, sexual orientation, or geographic origin, are created in the image and likeness of God and are thus to be valued, treated with respect, and enabled to feel at home on our campus. I also believe that it is essential that the topic of sexuality be examined in the Boston College community in light of Scripture, our Christian, Catholic roots and moral teachings, and contemporary culture. In particular, I think we need to come to a fuller appreciation of sexuality as a gift from God that not only shapes human identity and relationships but that also calls us to integrity, generosity and personal responsibility."

Baker said, "It is wonderful to see this initiative come to fruition. It is so important that all members of the Boston College community feel appreciated, respected, and welcomed on our campus. We would like to thank Fr. Leahy and Vice President for Student Affairs Cheryl Presley for their efforts in working with us throughout this year, and in helping us to create such a positive student organization for Boston College."

 

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