More and more letters:

Dear Dean Jordan,

I am writing to you today to let you know that I am sickened by your decision to no longer allow Haven to have a place to meet on campus. It's unfair and it's homophobic and that should not be what Seattle Pacific is about.

Roxanne Harris

Dear Dean Jordan,

I am a Seattlelite, a Christian, and a post-undergraduate student in the process of researching quality graduate programs in Seattle.

There are several things I admire about SPU — the quality of education, the care of the professors, the commitment to faith, and specifically your mission to 'Engage the Culture. Change the World.'

Unfortunately, I cannot consider attending SPU for graduate school because of its appalling stance on disallowing Haven to become a recognized student group. While I understand the need to not lose conservative donors, it saddens me to think that the issue of financial gain would stand in the way of the rights of your LGBT and allied students to have a safe and welcoming space to dialog important issues, just as any of their heterosexual peers do.

It is my hope and prayer that SPU will find a way to extend the love and grace embodied in Christ to this issue and truly be able to 'engage' ALL culture, regardless of sexual orientation.


Kate Harris

Dear Dean Jordan,

Many years ago, as an 18-year prospective student visiting colleges in Seattle, I very nearly chose to attend SPU. I was impressed with the academic rigor, but was ultimately turned off by what seemed an overly prescriptive religious atmosphere that did not really seem conducive to innovative thinking. I chose rather to attend Seattle University (which is very affirming of its LGBT students and minorities in general). Your actions are confirming in my mind that I made the right choice all those years ago. I would be incredibly embarrassed to be an SPU alum in Seattle right now.

David Moser

You can reach Mr. Jordan here, and you can send me a copy of what you've sent him here.

More letters in the jump.

Dear Dean Jordan,

I'm very disappointed to read that you will not allow an LGBTQ group to be a part of campus life at SPU. I believe that refusal to recognize Haven represents a regressive step and is not in line with the teachings of Christ, as I understand them.

I have a close friend who attended your university for his undergraduate work. He is gay, ashamed and living an inauthentic life. He struggles with an addiction to pornography, alcohol abuse and self-loathing. He has recently married a young woman and is trying to live the life of a heterosexual in spite of his biologically-rooted sexuality. I believe that refusal on the part of religious institutions to accept gays contributes to very sad cases like that of my friend. I feel concern for religious gays who are persecuted by or invisible to the institutions they belong to. I believe if we all worked towards a society that loves and accepts differences, holds up and cares for all people (as Christ taught and lived) we would have a peaceful world.

Please reconsider embracing Christ's teachings more fully by allowing diversity of sexuality to be honored, discussed and recognized on your campus.

uhhnananana on Slog

Dear Dean Jordan,

How can you love Jesus and hate gay people? Please change your mind, and think of What Would Jesus Do?

Kevin Hope
bgk on Slog

Dear Dean Jordan,

I have always admired the fact that Seattle Pacific University considered community outreach a large enough priority to put it in their mission statement: Engage the culture, change the world. This desire to make an impact on the world around me is one of the greatest lessons I took from the halls of my alma mater, and I am extremely disheartened to learn that this institution no longer believes it to be true.

I graduated in 2007 from Seattle Pacific University, with majors in Art and Theatre, and concentration in K-12 education. I am profoundly grateful for my education from this institution; I use it daily in my work with The New Teacher Project, and the NYC school district. I am asked daily to engage the culture around me in my fight for education reform in the largest, most diverse school district in the nation. My college education has shaped who I am and how I live my life, and I am proud of who I have become. However, I do not consider myself proud to be a graduate of Seattle Pacific University.

The refusal of the administration to grant Haven, a group whose purpose is grounded solely in the mission statement of Seattle Pacific University, club status is unacceptable. As Christians, how can you refuse to mentor and support your brothers and sisters in Christ, different as they may be? How can you engage the culture when you will not acknowledge a huge part of the population? If there is no dialogue, how can there be inclusion?

While I am deeply disappointed in SPU’s response to Haven, I must admit I am not surprised. In my tenure at the school, SPU’s policy on acceptance and inclusion of LGBT students is something that, outside of a few departments, was unwelcoming at best. I had hoped, however, in the time I have been absent from campus, that such issues would have been dealt with, responded to, addressed. Haven’s desire to do so, and the administration’s refusal to let them exist is evidence that the mission statement at Seattle Pacific University is a statement in name only.

While I appreciate my education from this institution, I unfortunately will be unable to contribute financially until this campus decides to come out from behind its mission statement and act upon it. I enjoyed much of my experience at Seattle Pacific University, yet I will be unable to recommend or expound upon said experiences until this college ends its informal policy of discrimination toward the LGBT community. Unless Haven is allowed to engage the culture and change the world as they have been called to, I will be unable to support Seattle Pacific University in any way, and encourage my fellow alumni to follow suit.

Please understand that engaging the culture and changing the world starts at home, on campus, in Emerson and Ashton, in Gwinn and the library; and most importantly, with allowing Haven to exist.


Chelsea McCollum