- SPU's associate vice dean for academic affairs, Jeff Jordan, wont support the school's LGBT group, according to the student newspaper.
In the spring of 2007, I went to Seattle Pacific University to watch as the school welcomed a group called Soulforce (which promotes "relentless nonviolent resistance" to religious-based homophobia) onto campus.
It was a controversial event within the school community, but at least it was allowed to take place.
According to this recent report in the school's student newspaper, the Falcon, SPU—which promises an education "grounded in the gospel of Jesus Christ"—is no longer welcoming this kind of open discussion and instead is seeking to "define out of existence" a student-run group called Haven, dedicated to discussing sexuality and LGBT issues.
According to the Falcon, Jeff Jordan, SPU's associate vice president for academic affairs, recently reminded Haven that it is not an officially recognized club at SPU (the club has been trying to get official recognition for four years) and said that as a result Haven "will no longer be granted the right to reserve rooms on campus for group meetings."
Haven’s faculty adviser, sociology professor Kevin Neuhouser, told the Falcon:
We don’t seem to be making progress toward a place where our students can be safe... I would love the day when Haven is no longer necessary because the whole campus was safe for all our students.
A day when Haven is no longer necessary? I'm not sure how one can even begin to imagine that when this group can't get a room for a private meeting—much less official recognition—at this school whose mission is to "influence the world for good."
(Neither Jordan nor Haven's student leaders were able to respond to a request for comment yesterday afternoon. I'll post about this again when they do.)