In historic move, Baylor University charters first-ever LGBTQ student organization
Prism at Baylor was officially chartered Tuesday. The organization leaders are hoping to provide a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community, building supportive relationships between each other and the university.
“We are providing not only a space for LGBTQ+ students to have a community and have respectful discussions about sexuality, gender identity, and how those things can intersect with faith and spirituality, but we also want to provide resources; educational, physical, mental, spiritual, emotional,” Co-President Lor Duncan said.
Duncan says it’s been a long time coming as they worked with student activities and the board of regents to be recognized.
“We are so incredibly thankful for all of the work that has been done before us so past students, past organizations, faculty, staff, and alumni that have set us for to be able to do this,” Duncan said. “We wouldn’t have been able to get chartered without them.”
They have a large focus on education for the Baylor community as a whole and give a voice to LGBTQ+ students to the administration.
“It’s so exciting,” Duncan said. “As soon as I got the news that we were officially approved for charter, I started crying. My friends that were with me were like, ‘Are you OK?’ and I said I’m just so excited.”
Baylor officials said the charter is consistent with the parameters outlined by the Baylor Board of Regents in 2021.
On May 14, 2021, the message below was released from Baylor University:
Board approves guiding principles caring for all students, including LGBTQ students
Baylor continues to place a priority on care for all students while rooted in its Baptist beliefs and traditional biblical understanding of human sexuality. The Board passed a resolution that acknowledges the University’s responsibility for serving the needs of all students based on three guiding principles:
- The dignity and worth of all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, as we strive to fulfill our Christian commitment of a caring community.
- The biblical understanding that sexual relations of any kind outside of marriage between a man and a woman are not in keeping with the teaching of Scripture, as summarized in the University’s Statement on Human Sexuality.
- Our commitment to providing a welcoming, supportive educational environment based on civility and respect for all.
“As a Board of Regents, we recognize that Baylor’s LGBTQ students continue to seek care, connections, and community on our campus and a sense of belonging within the Baylor Family,” the resolution stated. “As an important and faithful expression of our Christian mission, we desire to establish trust with our LGBTQ students so that, among other things, they might seek out the resources provided by Baylor.
“The University remains committed to extending biblical grace in caring for all our students and meeting them where they are, just as Jesus did, and adhering to traditional biblical teaching of Scripture regarding human sexuality.”
The Board charged the President and University administration to determine the appropriate pathways to provide additional care, connections and community for Baylor’s LGBTQ students, including the possibility of establishing a new, chartered student group that is consistent with Baylor’s core commitments and the University’s policies and statements.
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