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Students of Redefine Purple Pride Demonstrate at University of Portland

UP students and members of the Redefine Purple Pride movement gather in the academic quad in silent protest for equality. Photo by Caroline Lai.

The fight for equality continues at University of Portland. Last Thursday, February 28, almost a hundred students and I stood from 12 -2pm in the main quad of UP in silent protest of the university’s current Non-Discrimination Policy. With signs and purple duct tape crossed over our mouths, we stood in solidarity with those who feel silenced and voiceless on campus.

While Fr. Ron Wasowski told a protester with purple equal signs painted on that she had “some smudges” on her face with a cool smile, other faculty proved to be supportive and enthusiastic about the demonstration, whether they watched, walked around with hugs and smiles, or actually joined in standing alongside the protesters, like Professor Martin Monto and Professor Jeff Gauthier.

Professor Jeff Gauthier (left) and Professor Martin Monto (right) demonstrating in solidarity with the students. Photo by Caroline Lai

Professor Jeff Gauthier (left) and Professor Martin Monto (right) demonstrating in solidarity with the students. Photo by Caroline Lai.

The demonstration proved to show how students and faculty can unite in a common cause to make everyone- students, teachers, and faculty- at UP, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, feel included and safe on campus.

Students gather outside Waldschmidt Hall to silently protest to the administration. Photo by Caroline Lai

Students gather outside Waldschmidt Hall to silently protest to the administration. Photo by Caroline Lai.

In that Thursday morning’s Beacon, Fr. Bill Beauchamp included a letter to the UP population explaining that though the school’s Non-Discrimination Policy does not legally bind the school to not discriminate against those of different sexual orientations or gender identities, the school does include a non-legally binding Statement of Inclusion that offers full acceptance and inclusion of everyone on campus, including those of different sexual orientations or gender identities.

While the Statement of Inclusion was an important stepping-stone for UP and should not be overlooked, members of the RPP movement find it insufficient because of its lack of legal-binding status. Beauchamp claims that the school cannot change the Non-Discrimination Policy because it would then be condoning the sexual acts that the Catholic Church do not condone, which would lead to legal complications. But if so, why have other holy cross schools such as, Gonzaga, Santa Clara, Loyola Marymount, Creighton, Stonehill College, and St. Edward’s College, changed their Non-Discrimination Policies to be more inclusive?

Shanay Healy, member of the Redefine Purple Pride movement, demonstrating. Photo by Caroline Lai

Shanay Healy, member of the Redefine Purple Pride movement, demonstrating. Photo by Caroline Lai.

Help change the culture of silence on campus and Redefine Purple Pride by signing the petition to adopt a LGBTQ friendly, all-inclusive Non-Discrimination Policy at University of Portland.

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4 Responses to “Students of Redefine Purple Pride Demonstrate at University of Portland”

  1. Elizabeth

    Great use of links to tie the story together, and good photos. My only suggestion is that you are writing from the first person, and this is a news story, so it should have been written from the third person so it is unbiased/no agenda. I instantly know that you are in support of the movement because you write “we stood”. I’m not sure if Lovejoy talked about it, but if you are reporting an event, you should not partake, but be an outside observer looking in. Otherwise, great story!

    Reply
    • Caroline Lai

      Super true, I agree though I meant it to be a blog post I didn’t make that clear!

      Reply
  2. JosieLilly

    Wow, I thought this post was great! It was poignant and informative and your questions are gold. I see your voice and I disagree with Elizabeth, I think its great since this is a blog post. I can see where this would be an issue for news posts but I think it works well here.

    Reply
    • Caroline Lai

      Thanks! Yeah, I meant for it to be a blog post but I definitely see how I didn’t make that clear.

      Reply

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