The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Letter to the Editor: Support all identities on campus


We write this letter as a community of peer ministers: students who lead Campus Ministry’s various programs. As individuals, we are students who have exercised our privileges and have been subject to various forms of discrimination. While we hold different faithful and spiritual backgrounds, we are united in the common passion for justice and equity.

We acknowledge that Campus Ministry is built upon the phrases, “All Are Welcome” and “Come As You Are.” All are not welcome when authentic identities are not. While the impulse to say “All Are Welcome” is well-intended, inclusivity is reflected in what we do, and not just what we say.

We speak for ourselves when we say that you are welcomed, celebrated and accepted by us with no exceptions.

As we sit in our frustration, anger and humility, we are standing in pain. Our Catholic and Jesuit identity has positively traced its way into our building. Yet, the limitations of religious institutions manifest in moments like these.

What has and is happening is wrong.

As we swallow the reality, we see the hurt, especially in the silence. It is in the corners of our community room and the edges of each church pew. The LGBTQIA+ community has been excluded from the safety others know by name.

We demand to reclaim our mission. The Church’s teaching is to reach out to all, but on this campus, this is not true.

With your help, we will be taking concrete steps to change the culture of Campus Ministry by creating a shared responsibility of action with staff members. In this, we will outline a list of asks that will be sent to all staff members on Feb. 13.

These calls to action include but are not limited to: the implementation of diversity, equity and inclusion training for all leaders, a rebranding of our slogans and a more comprehensive application process for leaders.

Our own identities do not encompass all lived experiences. Therefore, if you have any input about the action we take together, please reach out to [email protected].

This is not a reaction; this is a redirection.

—Jess Arends, Mark Bernstiel, Grace Cote, Gabbie D’Agostino, Jamie Deni, Regina Dongilli, Anne Donnelly, Kara Evans, Kelly Flynn, Jeffrey Hunt, Paul Koenig, Jack McCarthy, Luis Nunez, Robert Rizzi and Sophia Terry

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