On behalf of the ASUSF Senate Mission Committee, I would like to address an editorial that appeared in the November 3rd issue of the Foghorn. The article to which I am referring is “Identifying as a Catholic University” written by Dylan Hull-Nye for the opinion section. I realize that the opinion page is where writers are allowed to express their views, but the way this article presented those views offended many students.
The part that elicited a great negative response was the following:
“It may also include other moral issues such as the immorality of homosexual relations and the promotion of the virtue of chastity. Both students and the Institution have a right to speak up against immorality and injustices of our current times, and to promote…authentic Catholic values and morals.”
The rhetoric used here is not sensitive to various communities present on this campus, particularly the LGBTQ community. Students have expressed concern, not with Dylan’s opinion, but rather with the language he uses to express his opinion and the meaning derived from its usage. Students feel that what is being said in the article is that homosexuality is immoral and unjust.
USF is a Jesuit institution, and this article was written to get to the core of those beliefs and how they should be represented more effectively on campus. However, this article goes against one of the core values of our university which “include a belief in and a commitment to advancing…a culture of service that respects and promotes the dignity of every person.” The Jesuit Catholic identity of our university is grounded is this belief, among several others, in order to create a more humane and just world that accepts every individual.
This article marginalizes a particular community that has a large presence both on this campus and in the greater Bay Area by negatively referring to those who identify as LGBTQ. By isolating this group in particular, and not accepting and being respectful of each individual’s identity, we are not staying true to the mission of our school nor will we be able to “change the world from here.”
Though the segment was most likely aimed at creating more awareness of Catholic values, the reaction from readers was negative. I spoke to a student who is a member of Queer Alliance who had this to say: “The implications from this article that University support of the LGBTQ community is an injustice is insulting, ridiculous, and naive.” This was just one of several responses to the article from students across campus.
I feel the piece was well-written and had good intentions, but still had a negative effect on students. This letter was submitted to make sure that your staff is aware of the harm this article caused students, so that in the future this can be mitigated.
Vice President of Mission, ASUSF Senate