The Rapidian

Aquinas College and the need for more LGBTQIA inclusivity: Part two

Aquinas Alumnus: Brittany Devon and Tyler Clark, shared their reactions to the anti-LGBTQIA film and the need for a more inclusive campus for all.

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"As far as getting involved/taking action goes, I think the biggest thing people can do is write letters or make calls to decision makers at AQ and respectfully let them know you disagree with the decisions which caused this situation to happen. Make your voice be heard.”-Tyler Clark

 

/Laura Gerich

Aquinas Alumnus Brittany Devon and Tyler Clark shared their reactions to the film and the need for a more inclusive campus for all.  

Brittany Devon shares that, “As an alumnus, I feel there is a gap between Aquinas' inclusion with alumni in general. There are not many events we as alumni can attend, or an opportunity for our voice to be heard. The campus still holds a dear place in my heart, and the impact this has had against the students and faculty at Aquinas saddens me. During my years at Aquinas, I felt safe to be myself and be included on campus. Now, with lack of inclusion, I feel my support for the LGBTQIA students has no direction.”

Tyler Clark, who was involved in the online petitions that were sent to The Saint campus newspaper and the administration shares that, “For students on campus, particularly the LGBTQ+ ones and their allies, I think the showing at the very least demonstrates a lack of understanding of the LGBTQ+ community and potentially helps contribute towards the creation of a more hostile atmosphere at AQ for these students, something we've seen already given the anti-LGBTQ+ graffiti on The Rock prior to the showing.

The showing was of course within AQ's rights to conduct, but one wonders what motives could be behind showing a film so deeply biased against the LGBTQ+ community. So I think for many students and alumni this entire situation has been a source of concern as to what direction AQ is moving in and impacts current students in that it might make them feel not so welcome at a college which really markets itself quite heavily on being an inclusive space. AQ really has something incredible, it's a Catholic college that fiercely embodies the values and teachings of the church as a whole while still striking a balance that makes the 50 percent of the students there who aren't Catholic feel welcome and wanted. It was seeing the church "in action" at AQ that convinced me to have my confirmation there my senior year; I truly hope and pray that AQ doesn't lose this balance.

I think the petition was helpful in a few ways. Most importantly, the act of spreading the petition helped to alert many alumni to the situation at AQ, many of them were unaware. I also think the petition was important in that it showed those students at AQ working to protest the showing that they had a ton of support, both from their fellows on campus and those of us who've already graduated. Finally, the petition sends a message that there are a large number of current and former students who were opposed to the choice made to show the film- we were able to collect 300+ signatures in only a little over 12 hours.

As far as getting involved/taking action goes, I think the biggest thing people can do is write letters or make calls to decision makers at AQ and respectfully let them know you disagree with the decisions which caused this situation to happen. Make your voice be heard.”

Read Part 1 here.

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