Notre Dame expanding resources for LGBTQ students

After a five-month review process, Notre Dame's Office of Student Affairs has decided to expand services for students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning.

The decision comes after many students requested additional resources for LGBTQ students and their allies over the past year.

"It's really exciting," said student Caitlin Logue. "It definitely makes a more welcoming feel for the students."

The changes are outlined in the university's new pastoral plan.

Among them, the university will create a new student organization that will offer support and services to LGBTQ students and their allies.

Notre Dame will also form an advisory committee to provide guidance on issues LGBTQ students face.

The third component of the plan involves hiring a new, full-time student development staff member, who will oversee all new programs and ensure they help emphasize Notre Dame's goal of inclusion.

"That's what Notre Dame's about, it's about making everyone feel accepted," said student Austin Hickman.

While many students are excited about the changes, some argue they violate the Catholic Doctrine.

But, the co-president of Notre Dame's Progressive Student Alliance says the changes are rooted in church teachings.

"Our greatest commandment as a Catholic university is love," Alex Coccia said. "And, as Notre Dame, we stress family and inclusion so much. And, ultimately that's what it came down to -- a question of are we really providing for family the way we should be?"

Notre Dame says the changes will be implemented by next fall.

Until then, existing resources will be available to LGBTQ students.


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