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TRANSCRIPT OF "It Needs to Get Better at Stonehill College"
According to Stonehill's mission, "Stonehill College educates the whole person so that each Stonehill graduate thinks, acts, and leads with courage towards the creation of a more just and compassionate world."
This mission aims to foster an environment embracing "many minds, one purpose."
However, not all of our policies reflect this mission.
Fifteen years ago, Stonehill students, alumni, faculty, and staff asked the college to uphold its mission consistently through its policies. For fifteen years, the college has resisted the opportunity to do so.
The College refuses to include sexual orientation in its non-discrimination policy.
Although the college has Community Standards designed to protect students from discrimination, Stonehill's official overarching non-discrimination policy does not protect anyone-staff, faculty or students- from discrimination on the basis of sexuality.
This is inconsistent with Stonehill's mission to create a more just and compassionate world, and is a blemish on Stonehill's identity as a Catholic college.
When students and faculty confronted the school about this inequity 15 years ago, Father MacPhaidin issued a letter claiming that the school fostered a "spirit of inclusion" towards all people, regardless of sexuality.
However, Stonehill still chose not to change its written policy to include sexual orientation and to protect all people from discrimination.
Of the schools that rank higher than Stonehill on the US News and World Report Ranking, 92% have a non-discrimination policy that includes sexual orientation, as do 100% of the schools in the top 40.
Because we do not have an inclusive non-discrimination policy, we have been repeatedly denied entry into the most prestigious national honors society, Phi Beta Kappa. Clearly, this has an impact on our identity as a prestigious school where academics are highly regarded.
This diminishes our status as an institution and puts students at a structural disadvantage as they seek to compete in the workforce and apply for graduate school.
Stonehill's Catholic character doesn't preclude these changes towards inclusivity. Many other Catholic colleges have included sexual orientation in their nondiscrimination policies. Our Holy Cross sister school, St. Mary's, even states "Based on Catholic values, the College also commits to avoiding discrimination based on sexual or political orientation."
Our Stonehill community needs to get better.
The college's refusal to adopt an inclusive nondiscrimination policy creates a culture of fear among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning students, faculty, and staff.
A fear that discourages some from attending Stonehill
A fear that provokes some to leave Stonehill
A fear that inhibits the ability of some to live openly
It's time for the voices of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning students, faculty, and staff and their straight allies to be heard.
So listen up, Fr. Cregan:
Listen up, Board of Trustees:
Listen up, Holy Cross Incorporators
Listen up, student body:
Listen up, faculty and staff:
Listen up, alumni:
Listen up, Stonehill: It needs to get better.
It needs to get better because in order to truly live out our values of social justice, compassion, and the belief in the inherent dignity of all people, we need to start right here, at our own school, on our own campus.
It needs to get better because we cannot fight for a more just and compassionate world while standing for discrimination on our own campus.
It needs to get better because our Catholic identity suffers until it does.
It needs to get better because this is not consistent with our mission statement, our value, or our work to make the world a better place.
It needs to get better.
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