Recent events, both locally and nationally, have led to an increase in the discussion of issues related to the GLBT community. Nationally, these include recent reports of harassment, cyber-bullying and the tragic suicides of GLBT students. Locally, the suicides of four teens in the Anoka-Hennepin School District have brought these painful incidents to our doorstep. In addition, local papers are filled with editorials arguing about the DVD on same-sex marriage sent by the Minnesota bishops to the Catholic households in the state. In light of these recent circumstances, the University of St. Thomas community wishes to express its support for all GLBT students, faculty and staff. As a Catholic institution, while we continue to reflect the teachings of the Catholic Church on all matters related to human sexuality, we strongly affirm the dignity of all human persons.
As a university, we expect civility and charity in all discussions or interactions among our university community. As our university convictions state:
- We respect the dignity of each person and value the unique contributions that each brings to the greater mosaic of the university community.
- We work for a more just and inclusive society.
- We foster a caring culture that supports the well-being of each member.
We unequivocally state that every student has the right to a safe campus climate, void of intimidation and harassment in which all can learn, grow and flourish.
Supporting this climate are these St. Thomas policies:
- The Student Code of Conduct, which clearly outlines the university’s expectations regarding student behavior.
- The Statement on Offensive Behavior, which states, “hatred has no place in a community based on principles of Christian love for our fellow human beings. Harassment of an individual or group of individuals based on their race, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, marital status, creed, religion, socio-economic status, physical or mental disability is an attack on the very fabric of the institution itself.”
- The Hate Crimes and Bias-Related Incidents Policy, which provides the university’s definitions of hate crimes and bias-related incidents and includes procedures for reporting such incidents.
Students are responsible for abiding by these behavior expectations on and off campus, as well as in cyberspace.