Abilene Christian University has qualified for the Worst List because it has a past and recent history of anti-LGBTQ discrimination and most recently, implemented an aggressive, discriminatory ban on same-sex relationships for student employees (including same-sex dating) that has created an … In homosexuality cases, Union offers a much harsher punishment that gives students two options: undergo conversion-like therapy or leave the university. Essex LGBT have well over one hundred members, associates, contributors and friends from a wide range of religious, racial and social backgrounds. Winners of the 2008 NUS LGBT Award for Most Inclusive LGBT Union, and winners in 2010 Best Society Award. Queer Student Union for College of Arts & Sciences and Sawyer Business School students; Queer Law Alliance for Suffolk University … Our trans rep runs a Trans Roadmap to trans-related support services and policy at the University of Bath. But that was OK with us because we didn't believe in sex before marriage.". Para saber mais sobre nossa política de cookies, acesse link. The Nashville Statement drew widespread condemnation for its judgmental […] Harold Heie, the founding director at the Center for Faith and Inquiry at the private Christian institution Gordon College, said Union and other schools like it believe they have a religious right to expect students and faculty to adhere to their views. When former student Scott McSwain chose to attend Union University, he had already come out to his parents as gay when he was a teenager, which resulted in his first experience with so-called conversion therapy. "Originally, I thought no one would care about my story, which is over 15 years old," Davridge said. On Feb. 5, 2008, just three months before his expected graduation, Union was struck by a devastating tornado. All-square groups are student groups that are formally recognized by the University through the Center for Student Life. As part of his acceptance paperwork, Duron signed Union's community values statement but said he figured that just meant he couldn't be open about his sexuality on campus. "I saw a university institution that really didn't have love for people that weren't willing to compromise their own romantic life for what they perceived to be their faith," Gardner added. Gushee, now a Christian ethics professor at Mercer University, said the university truly believes being LGBTQ+ is morally wrong. Over time, however, the group has come to encompass a wider range of sexual orientations, sexual identities and gender identities. But Duron said he never told the school that he intended to live on campus with his fiancé. 1136986 and a company limited by guarantee registered in England no. Queer Student Union for College of Arts & Sciences and Sawyer Business School students; Queer Law Alliance for Suffolk University … "Every college has some kind of ethics code you need to sign. We are also here to provide you a voice in the university, working closely with the Students' Union and the Equality Office to help improve life on campus for LGBT+ Students. While at Union, he attempted to hide who he was by dating a girl, but after a while, he determined it wasn't right to "string her along" and came out to her. The Jackson Sun spoke to these students. She said it took her years to have enough money to pay off the Union debt and get her life back on track. Tennessee has no state law or policy against so-called conversion therapy, according to the Human Rights Campaign. Gardner said he was caught underage drinking as a student, but his punishment "wasn't much." On July 18, 2020, Union rescinded the admission of Alex Duron, a potential graduate nursing student, nine days before the start of the school year. "I know of a lot of people that used my experience as a reason not to tell the administration about their sexuality ever," McSwain said. It then received an additional $922,441 as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. "I think after that they had bigger problems to deal with than me," he said. Who is the group for? "It's horrible to have to choose between your safety and your identity.". We are a Cambridge SU liberation campaign run by students within the university. Brent Parrish on defying the Union University's rules about speaking about LGBTQ+ issues, Brent Parrish, a 2008 Union University graduate, talks about defying the school's policy against discussing LGBTQ+ issues, Graham Gardner 'wouldn't recommend Union' to anybody. Home to one of the oldest LGBT centers in the nation, the University of Pennsylvania has been a leader in LGBT advocacy for the last 35 years. "It was understood the university was not even interested in having a conversation.". "Your request for graduate housing and your social media profile, including your intent to live with your partner, indicates your unwillingness to abide by the commitment you made in signing this statement," the email read. Many have felt the need to continue to speak out on the issue because Union doesn't protect its LGBTQ+ students and isn't willing to accept them in any form. Our group stands for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, plus society, but we also more than welcome allies and supporters along as well. Finally, we run a fortnightly Trans+ Student Support Group to provide a safe place for trans+ students which is more private and confidential than the main society, as well as giving advice and assistance. "It is either/or, not both/and. That discussion is necessary, Gushee said, and is something he's "all too familiar with.". Parrish chose Union because of its highly rated academic programs; he wanted to become a minister. Even more importantly, Union was a school that reflected her religious beliefs. Honestly, I thought it would be a place where I could get rid of it.". Mission In support of the mission of Multicultural Student Development, the Henderson Springs LGBT Center serves as a community resource to empower, educate, and … She said students used to say it was cheaper to get caught having sex on campus than pay for a hotel room because the fine was only $10. But within two weeks, they were brought before the Union administration. But in 2009, the handbook was altered to include a line forbidding the "promotion, advocacy, defense or ongoing practice of a homosexual lifestyle (including same-sex dating behaviors).". Joshua Garcia, who attended Union from 2008 to 2012, said he spent most of his time at Union in fear of being outed as a gay man. Fax: 804-342-3511 As for Duron, the nurse whose admission was revoked, he said he feels like he "dodged a bullet" by not attending Union, and said since going public with his story he's been contacted by nursing schools around the country trying to find a way to grant him admission for the fall. Several alumni and students don't believe Union has found that balance. "It brings nothing but damage, and it doesn't bear good fruit. It took part in a convention of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood that ended in controversial declaration, known as the “Nashville Statement.” Union affixed its name—and, unwillingly, our names with it—to that Statement. *edited on 06/08/2018* The month of June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month. We regularly hold socials, attend campaigns and run educational events. We welcome interested faculty to join us. Scott McSwain, who attended Union from 2006 to 2010, was given the same option as Davridge, but he chose "conversion therapy," a scientifically discredited practice. "We thought we were safe because back then the school only banned homosexual activity. LGBT Resource Center 200 South Central Campus drive, Rm 409 Salt Lake City, Utah 84112 Campus Address. "But I think a lot of my relationships were contingent on me not making them uncomfortable. McSwain had earned a full-ride scholarship to an out-of-state university, but, he said, his mother and his father, who was a minister, thought they were doing what was best for their son by sending him to a Christian college in his hometown. Welcome to the Coventry University LGBTQIA+ Society! The group is primarily for Northwestern graduate students, faculty, staff and alumni who identify as LGBT or allies. Parrish did navigate through Union's policies for over three years. Interested in learning more? There's a light at the end of the tunnel. Our activities include working on University policies that affect the LGBT community, students' academic … Charity no. "My argument is at the moral level and at the biblical level," Gushee said. Gushee added he doesn't challenge whether universities have the right to discriminate based on a person's sexuality, but rather if it's the right thing to do. Union also has strong ties to the Tennessee Baptist Convention, which has controlled some of the school's funding and decision-making. I don’t know where I'm going to end up, but I've gotten so much support.". I think it's honestly a way for parents to send their children to a place where 'God can cure you.'". "I was told by someone later on the university was trying to kick me out, but the fraternity wanted to kick me out first to save face and remove my association to them," he said. "Union has a Title IX exemption to discriminate against LGBTQ+ students, but they don't have an exemption to regulate free speech," Gardner said. We aim to provide a safe social space for members of different sexualities and genders as well as all different walks of life to meet and hang out. "They really believe in what they are doing," Gushee said. Interested in learning more? Contact Olivia Niland at olivia.niland@buzzfeed.com. The aims of the Network are: 1. to provide social and welfare support to LGBT+ students; 2. to campaign and raise awareness of LGBT+ issues, both on campus and outside of it; 3. to represent LGBT+ students in our Welfare and Community Zone The network enables you to meet like-minded people within UCL and acro… They tried to blame me for being gay.". McSwain said his time at Union left him "mentally damaged." "But I thought going to a religious institution would help me work it out. "I still have bad dreams about my degree being stripped from me because I was gay," said Anna Avery, who graduated from Union in 2012 and did not come out until she was no longer a student. Looks like your browser doesn't support JavaScript. Search. When he was arranging for graduate housing last week, he said a Union employee pressed him on the matter, asking if he was engaged or planned to be married, thereby qualifying him for the university's family housing. Dawn Davridge talks about coming to terms with her sexuality and faith. Pride Student Union . He planned to graduate in the spring of 2008, but things started to change his senior year. I saw one guy who was growing pot in his dorm room," he said. If you’re not in the know, the Queer department is responsible for the queer community on campus. The LGBT Resource Center seeks to help in the efforts to address homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, and heterosexist attitudes and beliefs on the campus, and to work to make the environment safe and affirming for all students, faculty, staff, and LGBT students, faculty, and staff at the University … This organization travels to conservative Christian colleges advocating for the acceptance of LGBTQ students. We aim to make the university experience positive and enjoyable for all LGBT+ students. We welcome interested faculty to join us. Some talked about how the school forced them to attend conversion-like therapy sessions. The LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer +) Resource Center's purpose is to provide programming, education, and support to the entire BGSU community. 1173858 Company Limited by Guarantee, Company No. 1137811 and a company limited by guarantee registered in England no. The U.S. Department of Education granted the school a Title IX exemption in 2015, allowing it to refuse students in conflict with its religious tenets. "I was looking for a therapy program or something to cure me," she said. Union's community values prohibit students from drinking alcohol or engaging in premarital sexual activity, and condemn being LGBTQ for both faculty and students, stating that "the promotion, advocacy, defense or ongoing practice of a homosexual lifestyle (including same-sex dating behaviors) is also contrary to our community values." Reach Adam Friedman by email at afriedman@jacksonsun.com, by phone at 731-431-8517 or follow him on Twitter @friedmanadam5. "The tornado saved me.". Many students talked about being uncertain about their sexuality when they entered school, which they often hoped would "fix" them, but by the time they realized there was nothing to fix, they felt trapped. GLUU originally stood for the Gay and Lesbian University Union. A part of the Division of Student Affairs at the university, LGBT Affairs works on providing university awareness, education, and outreach to the campus community on all things LGBTQQIAAP. "So, I Googled 'Christian lesbian' and found a website that said, 'It's not a contradiction, and neither are you. Home The Union Change Get Involved Advice Find Us Login Acc o unt. "They view their right to take that position as an expression of the ‘freedom of religion’ guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution," he added. The LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer +) Resource Center's purpose is to provide programming, education, and support to the entire BGSU community. Graham Gardner, a Union University alumnus, says he wouldn't recommend his alma mater to anyone. He said it was because a social media search revealed he is gay. 1 Arctic ave St. John’s, NL A1C 1T0 (709) 864-7633. Some were even expelled mid-semester, losing their financial aid or scholarships, stuck owing the school thousands of dollars for classes they automatically failed. Upon enrollment, Union requires every student to sign its community values guidelines, which contain the clauses about homosexuality and advocacy as well as ban public displays of affection, premarital sex and sharing a room with the opposite gender. “I knew if I came out publicly it could damage my family, so I pretended to be straight in the hopes that God would work his miracle," he joked. The committee is here to represent all students of minority gender identities / sexual orientations within the Sheffield University Students Union. Celeste Jones, former Women's Officer at Sheffield University Students' Union, who campaigned to introduce the LGBT-only flats Credit: Sheffield University Students' Union Our activities include working on University policies that affect the LGBT community, students' academic … "My parents more or less told me that they weren’t going to help support my education if I didn’t attend Union," Grimm said. "On the surface I didn't think I had a traumatic experience," he said. The mission of the Pride Program is to empower and support the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual community and their allies through promoting acceptance and understanding at the University of Nevada, Reno and in Northern Nevada. Gardner recalled the speaker telling LGBTQ+ students they should "prioritize faith" over a sexual lifestyle. Practicing homosexuality, or supporting or advocating for other LGBTQ+ students, is a violation of Union's values statements, which Duron signed after his initial interview at the university. About Us. We run a range of social and educational events, including regular coffee meets, speaker events, pub crawls and more! “For a LGBTQ+ student, picking a college is a matter of safety. Jesus said, 'By their fruit you will know them,' and the fruit here is just awful.". "They believe God has made clear that gayness is bad/wrong/sinful, and they must adhere to what God has said.". They refused therapy, and Union expelled them at the start of the 2004 spring semester. Union's current policy, though, makes it impossible for students to discuss the issues surrounding the LGBTQ+ community and Christianity. He knew the school had "community values and guidelines," most notably banning homosexuality, premarital sex, pornography and drinking, but after visiting the school his senior year, he was at ease regarding the enforcement of those guidelines. "I don't even remember if I told the Soulforce people I was gay," Parrish recalls. 288365 Like McSwain, alumnus Nathan Grimm ended up at Union because of his strict Christian upbringing and his parents' wishes — despite their knowing he is gay. "I wanted to be in an environment that would support and keep me on track with God," she said. It is a place where LGBTQ+, questioning, and ally students can gather to foster learning and affirm their sense of identity, community, and collaboration. UNU Services Ltd is a private limited company registered in England no. Want to see more stories like this? Soon after, rumors about McSwain's sexuality spread through Union's campus and his fraternity, until he said he was called into a meeting with the school's administration and told that he would have to attend therapy or leave the university. While the national attitude toward LGBTQ+ individuals has changed over the last 20 years with the legalization of gay marriage and subsequent U.S. Supreme Court decisions granting the community civil rights protections, Union's policy has only become more stringent. As part of their removal, Union revoked their financial aid and scholarship money. Utilizamos cookies, próprios e de terceiros, que o reconhecem e identificam como um usuário único, para garantir a melhor experiência de navegação, personalizar conteúdo e anúncios, e melhorar o desempenho do nosso site e serviços. If someone you love is a member of the LGBTQ+ community —your parent, your sibling, your aunt, your best friend, your child—do not attend Union University. Soon after, he was brought before the school administration and given the same dreaded choice. Over time, though, she began to realize those feelings weren't going away. We are here to make sure that all LGBT+ students are represented within the union, provide a safe and friendly place to meet other LGBT+ people and improve LGBT+ students lives at the union and university. She had enrolled in Union's pre-med program, saying she chose the college because it had "one of the best" pre-med programs in the country. "My initial plan was to warn away people in the nursing community from Union if they’re gay or transgender," Duron said. Suffolk University's statement of nondiscrimination includes sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. 19th July - GULGBTQ+ are running a protest sign making workshop @ the QMU. Phone: 801-587-7973 Fax: 801-581-3507 Email: lgbtrc@sa.utah.edu. But in the meantime, Union opened an investigation into the allegations. "Conversion therapy" is a scientifically discredited practice that has been widely condemned by healthcare professionals as detrimental to LGBTQ individuals. We offer a great opportunity to reach out and explore the LGBT+ community of Leeds and beyond. I figured I could navigate it and it wasn't going to really be something they were enforcing.". 20th July - MardiGla Pride march starting from Kelvingrove park, and an event at the Strathclyde union. The LGBT+ community is made up of more identities than just Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender, and we wanted to make sure that we were being mindful of this. Both schools explicitly state the need to treat LGBTQ+ students with respect and dignity. McSwain said his experience at Union University left him "dehumanized" and living in constant fear, uncertain whether he could trust friends, or trust teachers to grade him fairly, and drove him to contemplate suicide. Union didn't respond to any of the Jackson Sun's questions for this story. He said he felt fortunate to have graduated from Union without being outed or expelled, but knows other students weren't as lucky. But their stories serve as something else: a warning to students of what could happen to them if they speak up. A program designed to create an environment at Mississippi State University that is welcoming, supportive, and safe for LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning and other members of this community) students, faculty, and staff as well as campus and community allies. Former students of Union University told BuzzFeed News they were not surprised by the move and that the school has a long history of anti-LGBTQ actions, including one former student who said he underwent so-called conversion therapy. He remembered a particular speaker the school brought in to advocate for celibacy among LGBTQ+ individuals. Off the bat, we are not a society, you don’t have to sign up or pay for membership! "At the time I didn't realize the mental abuse that is all too clear now. In 1992, a University-wide group of faculty and deans formed the University of Michigan LGBT Faculty Alliance (UMFA). Union University is a four-year, liberal arts, top-ranked and private Christian university located in Jackson, Tennessee united in its love for Christ, for rigorous academics and for biblical truth. 02223522. is a private limited company registered in England no. The school gave them the choice. At the beginning of the fall semester, Parrish's fraternity brought him before its council, where it accused him of two false and easily disprovable charges: selling drugs to pay his tuition and sleeping with an underage girl. Stop by the Henderson Springs LGBT Center, located in the International Hallway of Plemmons Student Union. Google Map. Union's administration had warned students and faculty at the time that anyone seen interacting or communicating with Soulforce could face disciplinary action. OUT for Now is a Canvas website hosted by the Pride Network for those seeking an online university community of LGBTIQ+ students. A committee is a team of people that lead, organise and publicise a group within your Students’ Union. Cambridge University Students' Union 17 Mill Lane Cambridge, CB2 1RX (01223) 333313. In the past, the Tennessee Baptist Convention has flexed its control over Baptist colleges that don't adhere to its beliefs. Heie takes the view that universities like Union need to strike a balance between understanding religious freedom and respecting the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals. Garcia thought at one point he would be celibate "forever" because he didn't think it was possible to be gay and still maintain his Christian faith. We also wanted to make sure those students that are “part of the +” know that the LGBT+ Society welcomes them and that they can feel safe being a part of the society. The university also released a statement in response to Duron's Facebook post. "I spent endless nights screaming for God to change me," he said. Davridge said she spent a lot of time praying to God, hoping her feelings would go away. Students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual/ agender, and/or pansexual can find useful resources below. He stayed closeted until his final days at Union. Caso não concorde com o uso cookies dessa forma, você deverá ajustar as configurações de seu navegador ou deixar de acessar o nosso site e serviços. Union received support from the religious community to uphold what some called “traditional Christian values.”. Richmond, VA 23220. Parrish felt targeted and pleaded with his fellow fraternity brothers not to kick him out. I was in the closet with myself, trying to hide who I was.". Duron, an ICU nurse treating COVID-19 patients in San Antonio's University Health System, had intended to pursue a graduate degree in nurse anesthesia. JACKSON, Tenn. (BP) — Union University has recently found itself in the spotlight of the ongoing faceoff between religious liberty and sexual liberty. "We naively just thought no one had done the research," Davridge said. The university sustained incredible damage. He said he was subsequently groped by one of his counselors. In addition to Pride, the Office of LGBT Affairs is an additional resource for students, faculty, or staff members at the University of Florida. The University of Essex LGBT Society is one of the biggest and best in the UK. When Duron interviewed at Union last August, he said faculty told him he'd be a great fit and that they had called a few days later to say that Duron's interview had "blown them away" and offered him admission. "I kind of knew I was gay when I decided to go to Union," said Graham Gardner, a student from 2013 to 2017. "When I interviewed, they said, 'We accept all types of different religious people. Over the last year, Union students received $2.8 million in federal Pell Grants paid directly to the school. Haven: The LGBTQ+ Student Union seeks to enrich Cornell University by supporting its diverse array of sexual and gender identities and expressions. "I used to have nightmares of getting kicked out and losing my community and my degree," he said. Established in 1969, Pride Student Union is Florida State University’s largest and most prominent LGBTQ+ student-run organization. The Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning (LGBTQ) Affairs creates a safe space for thousands of students every year on the University of Arizona campus through programs, trainings, events, and through the LGBTQ Resource Center in the Student Union. pinknews.co.uk - Lancaster University’s Students’ Union BME officer was shocked to receive appalling racist, homophobic abuse in feedback forms from his fellow … She turned to the internet to find answers. He spent so much time trying to conceal his real identity that he developed post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s a matter of inclusion,” said Shane L. Windmeyer of Campus Pride, a nonprofit that evaluates campus climate for LGBT students. Maps. "I hadn't really identified myself yet as being lesbian or bisexual at that point. "When I previewed there, I saw a lot of guys who were drinking. Twitter OUT for Now series. "But I know with Union it started when I went up to (Soulforce), openly defying the school. Gushee said schools like Union might even use their strict conservative principles to stand out from the more liberal public colleges. But after the post, LGBTQ+ Union alumni began sharing their Union experiences on social media. Then in the middle of her junior year Davridge began secretly dating her future wife, another Union student. Ao continuar com a navegação em nosso site, você aceita o uso de cookies. Today, they’re both teachers in Washington state, and McSwain recently made a video publicly detailing his experience at Union. "Union wouldn't even let them on campus," Gushee recalled. He told BuzzFeed News that Union's small class sizes, which were a fraction of the size he was seeing at Texas schools, made the university a top choice. It is facilitated by Student Support Liaison Officers (SSLOs) from the Pride Network who have gathered fun activities and events that will continue to strengthen the University’s values of inclusion and diversity. In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Alex Duron shared the email he received revoking his acceptance to the Southern Baptist–affiliated school located in Jackson. The University is committed to providing support to all students who are trans. Dawn Davridge, a former Union University student who was kicked out, describes balancing her sexuality and Christianity. Tim Ellsworth, the communications director at Union, said Union President William "Dub" Oliver did receive the request by the Sun but was too busy with the start of the semester to respond. Her family was unwilling to help and had initially shunned her because she is a lesbian; eventually some of them accepted her, but it took time. The Oxford SU LGBTQ+ Campaign is a group of students working to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ people in the University of Oxford, and in the wider Oxford community. We aim to provide welfare support, social opportunities, and campaigning platforms for all LGBT+ students. The University of Leicester Students' Union is a registered charity no. On the outside Union looks like your typical small Southern religious college. Students who are interested in learning more about the Black Student Union should email bsu@carlow.edu. GLUU originally stood for the Gay and Lesbian University Union. In total, nearly two dozen current and former students and faculty at Union University from the past 20 years reached out and talked at length to reporters about their time and experiences at the university. , CB2 1RX ( 01223 ) 333313 never enforced it. `` is just awful..... The fruit here is just awful. `` for how open he could be about his sexuality to family friends! State, and Parrish is a scientifically discredited practice that has been widely condemned by professionals. Who they were BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles we to. Lgbt+ students, said the problem is that 's still happening. `` him on Twitter @.! 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