Beloved Friends and Allies FAQ

A Pastoral Plan for the Support and Holistic Development of GLBTQ and Heterosexual Students at the University of Notre Dame

What is the difference between a recognized student club and a recognized student organization at Notre Dame?

The University of Notre Dame, through the Student Activities Office, recognizes both student organizations and student clubs. Student organizations are more permanent in structure and, therefore, have an administrative staff member who has been appointed to advise the group as a part of his/her job responsibilities, based on his/her expertise in a particular area. Student clubs apply for recognition and operate based on student interest, meaning that they may choose to be inactive or disband and make constitutional changes at will. Clubs also have the ability to select or change their advisors, whereas organizations’ advisors are always appointed.

What is meant by the term “Student Development Professional?”

The Student Development Professional will be a full‐time staff member who embraces the University’s Catholic mission, with training in student development theory and experience working in Student Affairs administration or a related field.

When will the Student Development Professional be hired?

The drafting of a position description has already begun, and Student Affairs expects to post the position by the start of the Spring 2013 semester. Review of applications and interviews will be ongoing, and the staff member will ideally begin no later than July 1, 2013.

When will the recognized student organization be launched?

Throughout the Spring 2013 Semester, the Office of Student Affairs, the Student Activities Office, and the Gender Relations Center will work with student leaders and pastoral/theological consultants to establish additional details around the organization’s operation. The recognized student organization will be formally launched after the advisor is in place.

When will the Advisory Committee be launched?

The Advisory Committee will be formally launched for the Fall 2013 semester. The Core Council will remain functioning for the Spring 2013 semester until the launch of the Advisory Committee.

What is the status of the undergraduate club application submitted to the Office of Student Activities in Spring 2012?

In order to incorporate relevant components of the proposed club constitution as the newly created student organization is developed, the student co‐chairs of AllianceND have withdrawn the application from consideration of the Student Activities Office.

Why are Transgender students included with Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Questioning students?

Persons who self‐identify as “transgender” have not necessarily taken actions to realign their biological sex with their perceived gender identity; i.e. they are not necessarily “transsexual”. Likewise they do not always self‐identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual; nor do they necessarily act on any homosexual orientation. As a result, the same distinction between homosexual orientation and actions applies here between transgender perceptions and transsexual realignment procedures. The University calls for the same treatment of “respect, compassion, and sensitivity” for transgender students as it does for those who identify as GLBQ.

What is the difference between this Pastoral Plan and the Spirit of Inclusion?

The Spirit of Inclusion, which was adopted by the Officers of the University in August of 1997, remains in place as the overarching commitment to inclusivity at Notre Dame. The Pastoral Plan, undertaken in 2012, describes the results of the University’s review of support for GLBTQ students and undertakes comprehensive action for the support and holistic development of Notre Dame students, while adhering to Church teaching on sexual orientation and gender identity.