Tell Seattle Pacific University: Recognize LGBT Group on Campus
  • Petitioned Jeffrey C. Jordan

This petition was delivered to:

Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs/Dean of Student Life
Jeffrey C. Jordan
Administrative Assistant to the Dean
Stacey Rall
Vice President for Administration and University Relations
Marjorie Johnson
President
Philip Eaton

Tell Seattle Pacific University: Recognize LGBT Group on Campus

    1. Michael Jones
    2. Petition by

      Michael Jones

      Boston, MA

  1.  
  2.   
March 2011

Victory

Administrators at Seattle Pacific University (SPU) initially refused to work with LGBT students and straight allies on campus to form a club known as the Haven, a safe space for all students to come together and talk about issues like bullying, harassment, discrimination, and homophobia. But after weeks of pressure from SPU students, alums, faculty and more than 3,000 Change.org members, SPU administrators reversed their decision and announced that they would find a way to move forward that allows the Haven to meet on campus. Students with the Haven sent a special message to the Change.org members that signed this petition: "Without the help of Change.org, we might not have been able to get this recognition. We really appreciate all your support."

Seattle Pacific University was founded in 1891. Looks like their policies are still stuck in the same time period, too.

That's because Seattle Pacific University recently ruled that a group of LGBT students and straight allies could not meet on campus, and could not be recognized as having official group status. The group, known as The Haven, hoped to be a place where students could go to discuss issues surrounding the intersection of sexuality and religion. Seattle Pacific University, after all, is a Christian college affiliated with the Christian College Consortium.

Yet instead of allowing students with The Haven the chance to discuss issues with one another and create a safe space for all Seattle Pacific University students, the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Jeff Jordan, ruled that the club was no longer allowed to be given meeting space on campus, and would not be considered an official campus group.

The decision has led students with The Haven to say that college administrators are trying to define LGBT students and straight allies "out of existence."

Send administrators at Seattle Pacific University a message that denying LGBT students and straight allies the chance to meet on campus, sends a damaging message about the school's priorities. Is Seattle Pacific University the type of place where speech and ideas related to sexuality and religion are censored? So much for academic freedom ...

Moreover, is Seattle Pacific University a place where when it comes to discussions about creating safe spaces on campus for all students, administrators shut the conversation down? That appears to be so, and it does a huge disservice to the reputation of the school.

As one student put it in the school's student newspaper, “They can define us out of existence all they want, but Haven will continue to meet on campus because there’s a need for Haven on campus."

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 3 signatures
    2. Michael Jones
      Senior Campaign Director

      The Falcon, Seattle Pacific University's student newspaper, provides some continuing coverage of the LGBT group on campus trying to gain official club status -

    3. Michael Jones
      Senior Campaign Director

      The Slog wonders whether there's signs of movement at Seattle Pacific University to dialogue with students over recognition of an LGBT group -

    4. Michael Jones
      Senior Campaign Director

      Seattle Pacific University faculty issue letter saying that their university needs to be a safe place for all students -

    5. Reached 2 signatures
    6. LGBT Students Deserve a Safe Space to Meet at Seattle Pacific University

      Michael Jones
      Senior Campaign Director

      LGBT students and straight allies at Seattle Pacific University -- not to mention a dedicated group of graduates from the school -- have been working overtime these past few weeks, asking administrators to recognize a campus group known as The Haven,...

    7. Michael Jones
      Senior Campaign Director

      Concerned alumni from Seattle Pacific University ask administrators to recognize LGBT group on campus -

    8. Michael Jones
      Senior Campaign Director

      The Seattle University Student Development Association looks at whether students might be able to change the culture at Seattle Pacific University -

    9. Michael Jones
      Senior Campaign Director

      Parent of a Seattle Pacific University graduate says no more donations for the school unless it recognizes LGBT group on campus -

    10. Reached 2 signatures
    11. Seattle Pacific University President Comments on LGBT Campus Group

      Michael Jones
      Senior Campaign Director

      It's been several weeks since administrators at Seattle Pacific University put the kibosh on a campus group known as The Haven, a group of LGBT students and straight allies who wanted to be officially recognized on campus. In the wake of that...

    12. Michael Jones
      Senior Campaign Director

      Alumni to Seattle Pacific University: "We demand that SPU offer Haven official club status and award it all the rights and responsibilities of other formally-recognized student clubs within the University." -

    13. Reached 1 signatures
    14. Michael Jones
      Senior Campaign Director

      Amazing work by a group of Seattle Pacific University alums to show support for an LGBT student group on campus -

    15. Reached 1 signatures
    16. Michael Jones
      Senior Campaign Director

      Article in the Slog: "At Seattle Pacific University, It Gets Worse" -

    17. Seattle Pacific University Alumni Call for Recognition of LGBT Campus Group

      Michael Jones
      Senior Campaign Director

      Last month, administrators at Seattle Pacific University -- led by Dean Jeffrey C. Jordan, the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs/Dean of Student Life -- told an LGBT group on campus that the University would not officially recognize them...

    18. Michael Jones
      Senior Campaign Director

      The Seattle Lesbian blog weighs in with some pointed analysis about Seattle Pacific University's decision to ignore an LGBT student group on campus -

    19. Michael Jones
      Senior Campaign Director

      Check out some great coverage of this campaign by Cate Regan over at Alan Colmes' Liberaland -

    20. Reached 500 signatures
    21. Michael Jones
      Senior Campaign Director

      Seattle residents and potential students say why SPU's decision to not recognize an LGBT group on campus harms the school's reputation -

    22. Reached 250 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Sandra Beges LOS ALTOS, CA
      • over 3 years ago

      I do not want my daughter (2009 graduate) to feel shame when she tells people where she attended college. Actually, SPU has no name recognition whatsoever here in California. Until now. The poor result of a very backward thinking administration. They need to get their heads out of the sand and move forward like the rest of society. It's 2011!!!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Jean Rogacki LAS VEGAS, NV
      • over 3 years ago

      Did these students not pay the same tuition everyone else did? Does that not entitle them to the same consideration?

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Tyler Sliker POTSDAM, NY
      • over 3 years ago

      As president of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Allies Association at SUNY Potsdam, I think have a GSA on college campuses is essential is firstly, creating a safe, comfortable environment for all students but is also essential is giving LGBT individuals the opportunity to learn about their community and culture.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Jessica Nelson WEST POINT, NY
      • over 3 years ago

      As a senior at the United States Military Academy at West Point, I find it embarrassing that there are still academic institutions out there that are so closed minded--especially now when the rest of society is moving forward, the military included! LGBT students are not a myth, they're YOU students, and they deserve to be represented as tuition-paying members of your school. Get your act together.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Amy Jones TACOMA, WA
      • over 3 years ago

      I am outraged that our nation is still so backwards.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the Change.org API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.