I am writing to express my concerns and frustrations over a recent LTE written by Grace Dietrich. In the letter, Dietrich responds to an article written by Michael Razis in which he calls on the University and Father Leahy to create an LGBTQ+ Resource Center on campus. Dietrich has expressed her concerns with this action, asserting that an action such as this goes against Jesuit Ideals and that Father Leahy is “merely exhibiting the very Jesuit ideals this University was founded upon in 1863.” However, I don’t think an LGBTQ+ Resource center goes against the Jesuit ideals Boston College was founded on at all; in fact it supports them completely.
Razis discusses the idea of “Cura Personalis,” or care of the whole person, a phrase we hear often at Boston College. An LGBTQ+ resource center would serve just this purpose, and not just for LGBTQ+ students on campus. Queer students could have a centralized place to access resources and support, and students who aren’t a part of the community could go to the center to learn, something we all came to Boston College to do, about the community. Education and support sound like Jesuit ideals to me.
While it is true that, as Dietrich states, “The Catholic church … is firmly in support of ‘traditional marriage and traditional relationships’,” an LGBTQ+ resource center would in no way contradict this stance. The resource center would be there to support students as individuals, and not to set up queer students on dates.
Finally I would like to address the point that “If BC students wanted to attend a school with a university-run LGBTQ center, they shouldn’t have chosen a Jesuit, Catholic university.” I have heard this far too much throughout my years at Boston College, and to put it lightly, this argument is ridiculous. People choose schools for a multitude of reasons, and for many BC hits plenty of the requirements people want for their four years of college: good academics, a gorgeous campus, a fun sports culture, a strong emphasis on faith and spirituality, plenty of social activities, etc. If the one thing that BC does not have is an LGBTQ+ resource center, they may not be deterred from coming. And for many students they come into BC unsure of their identity. According to a survey put out by the Pew Research Center, the median age that LGB people come out to their first person is 21 for gay women, 18 for gay men and 20 bisexual people. A resource center would provide supports for students in the midst of the coming out process.
Ultimately none of that matters, because LGBTQ+ people should not have to qualify their existence on this campus, or anywhere. However year after year I find myself doing just that. If we want to continue to grow as a Boston College community it is important that we do not hide behind what is perceived as Jesuit ideals and other kinds of groupthink and think for ourselves.
Nick Massimino, LSOE ’18, Chair of the GLBTQ+ Leadership Council
Michelle Yan, MCAS ’20, Vice Chair of the GLBTQ+ Leadership Council
Rayan Habbab, MCAS ’20, Chief of Staff of the GLBTQ+ Leadership Council
Ekta Alwani, MCAS ’19, Director of Communications of the GLBTQ+ Leadership Council
Hugh McMahon, MCAS ’20, Director of Policy of the GLBTQ+ Leadership Council
Fidelia Ge, MCAS ’20, Co-Director of Outreach of the GLBTQ+ Leadership Council
Connor Shine, MCAS ’19, Co-Director of Outreach of the GLBTQ+ Leadership Council
Christian Ramirez, MCAS ’19, Assistant Director of Communications of the GLBTQ+ Leadership Council
Marisa Romanelli, MCAS ’20, Asst. Director of Gender Identity Programming of the GLBTQ+ Leadership Council
Michael Burke, MCAS ’18, Co-Director of Programming of the GLBTQ+ Leadership Council
Tt King, MCAS ’18, Executive Vice President of UGBC
Taraun Frontis, CSOM ’19, Chair of AHANA+ Leadership Council
Cameron Kubera, MCAS ’20, Sophomore Coordinator for UGBC Leadership Academy
Tom Downing, CSOM ’18, Vice President of Student Initiatives
Michael Osaghae, MCAS ’20, Vice Chair of AHANA+ Leadership Council
Claire Chatellier, MCAS ’19, Chair of UGBC Council for Students with Disabilities
Letitia Asare, MCAS ’20, Chief of Staff of UGBC
Tyng Pan, MCAS ’18, Vice President of Communications
Dinah Jean Philippe, MCAS ’18, Manager of Diversity and Inclusion Programming
Colin Vergilio, CSOM ’19, Vice President of Financial Affairs
Diana Hernandez, MCAS ’20, Assistant Director of Intersectionality of the GLBTQ+ Leadership Council
Chris Kim, MCAS ’18, Vice President of Student Organizations
Featured Image by Zoe Fanning / Heights Editor