The Notre Dame Community
The History of the Core Council for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Questioning Students
In the spring of 1995 an Ad Hoc Committee, composed of administrators, faculty, staff and students, was established to recommend how the University should respond to the needs of gay and lesbian students within the context of Catholic teaching. Discussions continued throughout the academic year 1995-1996 and culminated in a series of recommendations by the committee. Among them was the recommendation that:
"A standing committee on the needs of gay and lesbian students be created to advise the Vice President for Student Affairs. It should be the task of this committee to act as a resource to the Vice President in identifying the ongoing needs of gay and lesbian students, to continue the dialogue begun the Ad Hoc committee, and to assist in the implementation of campus-wide ducational programming on gay and lesbian issues. The committee's membership should consist of appropriate members of the faculty, administration, and student body. At least half of the committee's members should be gay or lesbian persons."
The Standing Committee on Gay and Lesbian Student Needs was constituted in 1996-97 and undertook its mission. Speaking events that year included Bishop Gumbleton and a panel whose members discussed homosexuality and the family. Work also began on creating The Network Initiative, an educational program to promote understanding and respectful dialogue in the Notre Dame community around issues of sexual identity. The first Network sessions were offered spring 1998 and have continued since that time. The Standing Committee also sponsors noted speakers on various topics dealing with homosexuality.
For ten years, the committee's membership was composed of appropriate members of the faculty, administration, and student body. At least half of the members were gay or lesbian persons. In the spring of 2006, the group was restructured and renamed the Core Council for Gay and Lesbian Students. The Core Council continues the work, mission, and vision begun by the Standing Committee. The new structure allows this group to work more effectively with appropriate contacts in Student Government and throughout the Notre Dame community.