HRC Blog

Perseverance Pays Off for Berry College’s LGBT Students and Allies

This post comes from HRC Youth & Campus Outreach Intern Matt Aycock:

A Christian-affiliated liberal arts college in Rome, Georgia is recognizing its first-ever LGBT-affiliated student group.  Berry College’s president made the announcement late last week that the group, LISTEN, would finally be acknowledged as an official student organization—nine years after it first formed.  LISTEN first applied for approval back in 2003, but Berry’s board of trustees denied its request at that time.  Berry also is home to the WinShape Foundation, headed up by Chick-fil-A President and COO Dan Cathy.

In March, reports of an anti-gay hate crime in an on-campus dormitory renewed calls for the college to provide a safe space for LGBT students and faculty.  The college president convened a committee of students, faculty, and staff to evaluate campus environment regarding LGBT issues and, upon their recommendation, he approved LISTEN’s status as an official campus club just in time for the fall semester.  LISTEN’s first meeting as an official student organization will convene on Thursday, September 20—coincidentally, also the first anniversary of the end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”  We applaud the Berry College community for their efforts to create an inclusive and welcoming campus for all of its students.

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