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Wednesday, June 19, 2024
The Observer

Senate discusses LGBTQ History Month

The Notre Dame student senate met Wednesday with Sara Agostinelli, Gender Relations Center (GRC) assistant director for LGBTQ initiatives and administration, to discuss programming and allyship for LGBTQ History Month.

“Coming up next Tuesday, we’re offering ‘LGBTQ 101,’” Agostinelli said. “This is a great opportunity if you would like to learn more — we talk about information here at Notre Dame, we talk about Catholic Social Teaching and how we spread allyship in a Catholic model.”

Agostinelli also discussed how the GRC will be bringing in a Catholic deacon to speak about the transgender community.

“We are bringing in Deacon Ray Dever,” she said. “Deacon Ray is a Catholic deacon in Florida, who has a transgender daughter and has done specific ministry around transgender ministry and care. He will be talking about what that looks like and … sharing his story of walking with his daughter.”

Additionally, the GRC will also be hosting Fall Fest on Halloween in the Fieldhouse Mall.

When asked by the senate the best way to be an ally, Agostinelli pointed to the GreeNDot method of using “distracting, delegating and directing” skills to combat adversity.

“I think what the beauty of being an ally is that education of yourself is a really great thing,” she said. “I think GreeNDot is a really beautiful tool that is great for violence prevention, but it’s really great for any instance where maybe someone feels harmed. It doesn’t have to just be violence prevention, but we can think about whether that’s racism, if something happens, whether if someone feels upset or harmed — any reason.”

After the meeting with Agostinelli concluded, student union parliamentarian Thomas Davis, a sophomore, proposed organizing a meeting with senators to draft a statement from the senate on all of the recent changes to residential life — including the new ID card access policy, which restricts students card from swiping into dorms that are not their own.

“A bunch of senators have come to me about housing policy, or the ID card transparency request,” Davis said. “Because time is scarce, I’m going to try to have a group session for office hours if you guys want to meet with me to work together and craft those statements.”

After the meeting, Davis said he hoped the senate would be able to take tangible action to put into writing student disagreement with the newly announced policies.

“All the voices of all the halls, whether it was the newer halls, the older halls or even different levels, classes, whether it be just the sophomores, or the Hall Presidents Council, or even some of the senators who are seniors,” Davis said. “It’s no lie that at a lot of senate meetings, we talk about things, we discuss things, but at some points it’s just like hot air, and it doesn’t really matter until we actually draft these statements which we have the power to do. … I think that’s the best way of getting all the things we’ve been talking about on paper in a concise format that really addresses the main grievances.”