NOM BLOG

Pro-Marriage Notre Dame Students Remain Resolute

 

Students for Child-Oriented Policy, a group of pro-marriage Notre Dame students, remains resolute in their endeavor to be recognized as an official university club.  The University of Notre Dame denied them official status as a club on the grounds that other groups at Notre Dame have similar missions.

Fox News reported:

Notre Dame DomeThe group, Students for Child-Oriented Policy (SCOP), was rejected in an April 30 letter from the university’s Student Activities Office to Tiernan Kane, the club’s proposed president. The decision was based on a recommendation by the university’s Club Coordination Council, a division of student government, that found the club’s mission “closely mirrored” that of other undergraduate student clubs at the 12,000-student university.

“In evaluating a proposal, approval is based on several things,” read the letter to Kane. “We consider the general purpose of a club, uniqueness to campus, proposed activities, a clear constitution, a strong understanding of budget planning, projected membership, opportunity for membership, among other things.”

Due to the perceived duplicative mission of the group, SCOP’s proposal was rejected, according to the letter, which did not reference other university-recognized groups.

“As such, the Club Coordination Council felt there was not a need for another similar-type club,” the letter continued. “You are encouraged to contact the Club Coordination Council’s Social Service Division to learn about collaborating with the existing clubs working toward your mutual goals.”

SCOP, which was founded in January, is comprised of Notre Dame undergraduate and graduate students focused on the debate about marriage in Indiana, where the school is based, according to its Facebook profile, which had 69 members as of Tuesday.

“SCOP's overarching concern is that policymakers are failing to approach their task with a view to how those policies will affect children,” the group’s Facebook page reads. “They seem to conceive of policy only as it will affect the stable, independent adult with resources. We see this approach affecting a number of important political issues, not just the current question about the definition of marriage. Still, marriage is both foundational and at a critical point in this state and country, and therefore, SCOP has decided to focus on the issue in its initial conference.”

The group seeks to unite a network of students across The Hoosier State in favor of “child-oriented policies,” according to its organizers.

“We reject the view that the young have agreed to redefine marriage,” the group’s Facebook page continues. “Rather, we think that they have not explored the meaning and importance of marriage.”

Messages seeking comment from Kane and other SCOP students were not returned early Tuesday.

Kane told The Cardinal Newman Society he believes Notre Dame should take the lead on marriage, much like it did in publicly voicing its support for the Dream Act and other controversial topics.

“The Catholic Church's teaching on marriage, which is universally intelligible to human reason, is informed by a tradition of philosophical reflection that reaches back at least as far as Plato,” he said. “As the nation's premier Catholic university, Notre Dame has the ability, and thus the responsibility, to contribute to -- indeed, to lead -- public discourse about marriage.”

Notre Dame Marriage PetitionA petition created by the group calling on Notre Dame to “take up the defense of marriage at this pivotal moment in the national discussion” had 948 signatures as of Tuesday.

“We understand marriage to be that natural institution that unites one man and one woman in a comprehensive sharing of life ‘ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring,’” the petition reads.

Timothy Bradley, another SCOP member, indicated that the group is undergoing an appeal process in hopes of reversing the decision.

The full Fox News article can be found here.  The students told the National Catholic Register that they do not use religious arguments to advocate for marriage:

...Kane, the prospective SCOP president, said CCC mistakenly conflated his group with being a “Catholic” organization.

“SCOP is not a religious group,” Kane said. “Our application clearly conveyed our group’s nonpartisan, nonsectarian focus on public policy as it relates to issues that specially affect children.”

McEntee declined to discuss CCC’s discussion and vote — a two-thirds majority is needed to approve a club application — in greater detail because the process is meant to be confidential. CCC’s student membership is also private.

In its proposed constitution, SCOP describes itself as a group whose purpose is to “educate and energize the public, especially young people,” about a child-oriented approach to public policy. Although its public-policy prescriptions, which Kane said are derived from reason, align with Catholic teaching, he said SCOP is not meant to be “an explicitly Catholic organization.”

...After SCOP was established in January, its first step was to circulate a petition that called upon the university to take a clear public stand in support of the true definition of marriage and to take “serious and sustained action” to improve the public understanding of the natural institution.

When SCOP drafted its petition, the Indiana Legislature was debating a constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Both chambers of the legislature approved the amendment, which required approval in another legislative session before it could be presented to Indiana’s voters.

Tim Bradley, a Notre Dame student and the prospective treasurer of the group, said SCOP pushed the petition because the group believed Notre Dame’s administration had been “totally silent” on the issue.

“The way we see it, Notre Dame has a responsibility to witness to the truth of marriage as the union of one man and one woman,” Tim Bradley said.

It's clear that SCOP will not back down when it comes to defending marriage on campus.  They are boldly defying the liberal myth that young people think marriage should be redefined.  Hats off to these courageous students who continue to stand up for marriage!