Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington
From Tim Drake at the Cardinal Newman Society comes this
bit of news about my alma mater, Jesuit Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington:
Spokane's Gonzaga University has denied a Knights of
Columbus group application to be recognized as an official student
organization. Those seeking the status were notified of the University’s
decision at a meeting on March 7.
group was notified of the decision by Dean of Students Kassi Kain and Assistant
Director for Student Activities Dave Rovick.
Knights of Columbus, by their very nature, is a men’s organization in which
only Catholics may participate via membership,” says a letter obtained by The
Cardinal Newman Society written by Sue Weitz, Vice President for Student Life.
“These criteria are inconsistent with the policy and practice of student
organization recognition at Gonzaga University, as well as the University’s
commitment to non-discrimination based on certain characteristics, one of which
“I …believe strongly in the University’s commitment to
non-discrimination and inclusivity,” continues Weitz in the letter. “If Gonzaga
was an institution that served only Catholics and limited the benefits of the
collegiate experience only to them, the decision-making process may have been
embrace the diversity and yet endorse a group based on faith exclusivity is a
challenge that cannot be reconciled at this time,” Weitz wrote in closing. “It
is a decision about social justice, equity, and the desire of the University to
create and maintain an environment in which none are excluded.”
UPDATE, 4/6/13: Gonzaga released a statement about the Knights of Columbus controversy, saying that President Thayne McCulloh will be reviewing the Student Life division's decision.