Target: Andrews University President Niels-Erik Andreasen
Goal: Allow student groups to fundraise for homeless LGBT youth on college campus.
Student groups at Michigan’s Andrews University can no longer raise funds to help homeless LGBT youth because doing so is in “conflict” with the Christian school’s “mission and practices.” This is an egregious prioritization of dogma over human welfare. Demand that the university allow LGBT fundraising to occur on its campus.
This clarification of school policy was brought about when the university’s unofficial gay-straight alliance, AULL4One, tried to host a bake sale on campus to benefit Fierce Chicago, a nonprofit that provides services and help to homeless LGBT youth. The Seventh Day Adventist Church-affiliated university, when notified by the group of its plans, did not approve the event.
Citing Fierce Chicago’s “perceived advocacy” of LGBT sexual orientations and gender identities, administrators instead offered that fundraisers benefitting LGBT youth might go through in the future if an organization could be found that “more fully reflects the University’s mission and the stance of [its] denomination.” How any organization that serves the LGBT community could specifically pass the university’s muster, though, is unknown.
The health and welfare of people should be the first priority of all institutions that affiliate themselves with any religious denomination, regardless of the sexual orientations or genders of the people in question. Sign the petition below to demand that Andrews University allow fundraising for LGBT organizations to take place on its campus.
Dear President Andreasen,
I am writing you today regarding one of your university’s policies that has recently gained national media attention. I am, of course, referring to not allowing fundraising to occur on your campus for the benefit of Fierce Chicago, a nonprofit that helps homeless LGBT youth, because the organization apparently “advocates LGBT lifestyles.”
This is, frankly, shameful. LGBT youth make up 40 percent of all homeless minors in the United States. Clearly, this is a community that needs help. Your school, however, refuses to let your students provide it, all because you think that they would be doing so by funding an organization that is somehow converting people to non-heterosexual orientations and non-cis gender identities.
You say that your students would be more than welcome to raise money for a different organization, one that doesn’t advocate LGBT “lifestyles.” That begs the question, though: what, in your administration’s mind, is the difference between an organization that helps the oppressed LGBT community and one that actively propagandizes it? Apparently, they are one in the same.
Denying your students the ability to help homeless LGBT youth is archaic and heartless. I demand that you allow students to openly fundraise for LGBT organizations on your university’s campus at once.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Gary Dee via Wikimedia Commons