A group of Seattle Pacific University alumni are collecting e-mail addresses here for a coordinated mass campaign in support of the school's marginalized LGBT group, Haven.

And the letters keep coming:

Dear Dean Jordan,

I am a 2006 summa cum laude graduate of SPU with a degree in International Affairs and Latin American Studies. I was also a recipient of the Roy Swanstrom Award for Character, Scholarship, Service and Global Understanding, and I continue to be grateful for that award and the instruction I received at SPU promoting those same values. I was, therefore, distressed to learn of the school’s recent decision to deny official recognition to the student group Haven. I respectfully urge you to reconsider.

Faith communities such as SPU strive to be defined by their values. SPU’s values of “engaging the culture” and “changing the world” are not reflected in this decision - quite the opposite. This decision demonstrates an unwillingness to engage, and more importantly, is unloving. I understand that human sexuality is a much debated topic at SPU, but I urge you to err on the side of being too loving, of engaging too much, of trying too hard to understand another’s perspective. Your students will learn from your example. How you treat minorities, those who are marginalized, people who are different: this will define your engagement and equip your ability to change the world.

All students at SPU are ill-served by the administration’s decision not to engage with Haven. Students will graduate from SPU and live all over the country and, indeed, the world. Like me, they will have neighbors from different countries, with different values and perspectives, and be surrounded by diversity. This is the world we live in, and it is becoming ever more complex. Not engaging with this complexity is simply not a viable option for adults wanting to lead successful lives. They will have gay co-workers and Muslim care-givers. They will be surrounded by non-Christians. And they have an opportunity at SPU to learn to effectively navigate these complexities with love and grace. Unfortunately, in deciding to not recognize Haven, the university is teaching fear and isolation. Your students deserve better.

This is a justice issue, and I am deeply saddened that students at SPU continue to be taught that their value is based on sexuality, gender, or anything other than their humanity. I hope that the administration will reconsider this decision.


Kristina DeMain
SPU class of 2006
Washington, DC

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