ACU Democrats, an on-campus partisan group, is petitioning the senior leadership team to reconsider the policy for LGBT student workers.
The policy will prohibit all employees, including student employees, from having same-sex dating relationships. University president Dr. Phil Schubert said the policy will be updated to be more clear in the next edition of the Student Handbook. The policy has already been added to the mission statement on the university website.
The policy on the website reads: “We also ask employees – faculty, staff and students – to refrain from same-sex dating relationships that are inconsistent with this biblical model. In some instances, such as those involved in spiritual formation, student employees will be held to the same standard as full-time campus employees. Because they are asked to exemplify and support the university’s mission, they would be restricted from engaging in same-sex dating relationships. For a number of other student employment roles – especially those influenced by external regulatory and accrediting agencies, such as in academics and athletics – the employee standard will not be applicable.”
ACU Democrats released an online petition after the group members heard about the policy update.
“We made the petition so people could say what they wanted to say about the new policy,” said the group president, Trevor Wyatt. “We believe that anybody who is a student of the university, should be able to work in a place free of discrimination.”
The petition states: “Many students are unhappy with this new rule. We would like the SLT to understand that the student body does not agree with this position and would like them to reconsider a more accepting policy for LGBT students in order to ensure ACU is a place of acceptance and love.”
Wyatt, a senior journalism major from White Settlement, said their goal is to get about 500 signatures before they send the petition to Schubert. They had 306 signatures as of Tuesday morning. The petition can be signed online by any student or alumnus.
“We don’t want this to just become a ‘Hey, we’re upset about this for a week,” Wyatt said. “This could affect at least a dozen student employees on campus. Those people deserve to have their voice heard not just for a week but throughout the rest of the school year.”