WACO, Texas (KWTX) With changes in society continuing, especially in regards to how the LGBTQ+ community is viewed, some students are wondering if Baylor University will change some of its more controversial policies.
Although summer can be considered a quiet time on campus at Baylor University one group is making some noise, Gama Alpha Upsilon an LGBTQ+ organization is asking for more to be done.
Baylor University student and officer of Gamma Alpha Upsilon, Hayden Evans wrote a letter to the Board of Regents addressing the LGBTQ+ issues on campus and why the student organization should be chartered.
In the letter, the group asks the Board of Regents to adopt policies to ensure that LGBTQ+ students can assemble like student organizations.
They are also asking that the Board prohibit Baylor staff members from engaging in any “conversion therapy” methods.
Evans wants to ensure the Baylor administration that this organization is not meant to be an advocacy group but a support group.
“We are trying to be a community for the LGBTQ+ students here at Baylor so that we can talk to them, help them with life in general but especially the integration of faith and LGBTQ+ and just higher education,” Evans said.
In a letter previously sent to the Board of Regents more than 3,200 students, faculty, staff and alumni signed in support for Gamma Alpha
Upsilon to be recognized as an organization.
Evans says the process to become chartered has been nothing but difficult.
“I feel like we’ve been playing a game of pinball…Student Activities refers to us to Board of Regents and the Board of Regents refers to us to Student Activities,” Evans said.
When asked about LGBTQ+ issues on campus and if Gamma Alpha Upsilon would be able to address the board of regents, Baylor responded with this statement:
“There is robust discussion around this topic, which is what universities are about, and we acknowledge and appreciate the feedback. We are focused on how we love and care for all our students so they have a healthy, safe and nurturing learning environment in which to be successful at Baylor. We believe this can be done both inside and outside of officially recognized student organizations. We will continue to work with students as we make decisions consistent with our mission and existing policies.”
The LGBTQ+ organization hopes they can have the opportunity to speak with the Baylor administration directly and express their concerns.
"We just want our voices to be heard," Evans said.
In the letter addressed to the Board of Regents they ask if Baylor wants them to be a part of their campus.
“Does the University not want us to be a part of its community and family?”
Evan says many LGBTQ+ students feel as if they are not wanted on campus.
"It's disheartening, we no longer want to be here in a community we for the most part very much enjoy because of the microaggressions and unequal treatment," Evans said.
Despite the issues he has faced related to LGBTQ+ Evans says he loves Baylor University and his experience at the institution.
“I love the Christian community and the faith integration on campus,” Evans said.
“They also try to help those that are less fortunate than us in the Waco community. They require you to get out in the community at Baylor which you can’t find at other universities.”