Pride Alliance Petitions for Integrated Learning Community

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Pride Alliance Petitions for Integrated Learning Community

Members of The Pride Alliance gather signatures for their petition. (Julia Corbett/The Fordham Ram)

Members of The Pride Alliance gather signatures for their petition. (Julia Corbett/The Fordham Ram)

Members of The Pride Alliance gather signatures for their petition. (Julia Corbett/The Fordham Ram)

Members of The Pride Alliance gather signatures for their petition. (Julia Corbett/The Fordham Ram)

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By Eliot Schiaparelli

A group of students at Fordham is asking for an LGBTQ+ focused integrated learning community (ILC) at Rose Hill. The space they are envisioning would provide members of the Fordham community with a space akin to Queen’s Court or West Wing.

The Pride Activism Committee, which is a group under the Rose Hill Pride Alliance, is spearheading the initiative.

It started the process of gathering signatures on Wednesday, April 3, but the group has been planning this initiative since the beginning of the semester.

It plans to gather signatures outside the cafeteria in McGinley Center on Wednesday afternoons. It’s goal is to gather support before approaching United Student Government, Residential Life and the Fordham administration.

Jack McClatchy, FCRH ’21, is the programmer on the Pride Alliance executive board. He said the petition’s goal is to show support for the initiative before bringing it to Fordham’s administration.

“This would be totally voluntary program that LGBT students could opt into so it would be a means of coming together as an opportunity,” said McClatchy. “Even if an LGBTQ+ student does not feel that they want to be in this community it’s still a way for Fordham to send a message to the LGBT community that they’re welcome here and that they’re valued members of the community.”

Isabelle Fabrizio is the secretary for The Pride Alliance. She added that the initiative caters to Fordham’s idea of Cura Personalis.

“This is a thing that students want and a thing that the LGBTQ+ community really needs and something Fordham is lacking in,” said Fabrizio “Their identity and who they are is not contrary to Fordham’s beliefs but is part of Fordham’s mission.”

Ariston Papeo, FCRH ’20, is also on the Pride Alliance. As a Resident Assistant (RA) he has been coming up with programming ideas for the ILC.

“As an RA, I know that programs have to fit into Residential Life’s programming model, which can change with each year,” said Papeo. “However, programs we envision include programs on education about LGBT+ spaces in NYC, and social and community building.”

As of publication, the petition has gathered 119 signatures. Rather than using an online petition site like change.org, every signature has been physically recorded.

“We didn’t want the students who are involved in this or the university to come under fire for something that isn’t completely created yet,” said McClatchy “We decided that physical signatures created a better space for us to control who knows about it and who sees it and we would be less likely to come under personal attack.”

The petition is also intended to provide an on-campus housing option for transgender students. Fabrizio and McClatchy want the ILC to be open to sophomores through seniors and provide a safe space.

“It came about mostly because we wanted a space for LGBT students who felt uncomfortable in normal housing situations,” said Fabrizio

“We know that there is language and a policy where transgender students can approach Res Life on their own and work with Res Life on a one on one basis to find their own housing but that isn’t always the most comfortable option for everyone,” she said. “We wanted a space where students could find roommates and a community that was much more open and accepting.”

Fabrizio said members of the Pride Alliance are researching this policy as well as the policies of other Jesuit institutions as well as other colleges in the New York area.

Another Jesuit University, Georgetown in Washington DC, made the move to offer LGBTQ+ only housing. Their proposal similarly to Fordham’s, seeks to provide a community space for inclusion.

“I think that Fordham is a place for everyone and a place for progress to flourish,” said Papeo “As such, one should always feel free to engage with and question new ideas. Personally, I know I would be happier to create this together rather than apart.”