A spokesman for the university says Students for Child Oriented Policy mirrors other clubs on campus, but a prominent law professor contends that the university is ignorant of the organization’s stated mission.
A group of students at the University of Notre Dame has generated a campus-wide controversy by advocating that marriage between one woman and one man is better suited for children than same-sex “marriage.”
The group — known as Students for Child Oriented Policy (SCOP) — elicited negative letters to the campus newspaper and prompted hundreds of students to sign a petition calling upon the university not to recognize it as an official campus club.
An official in the university’s Student Affairs Office also expressed disapproval of a SCOP petition that called upon Notre Dame President Father John Jenkins and the administration to “make a clear stand” in support of traditional marriage, SCOP members said.
Against that backdrop, the University of Notre Dame’s Club Coordination Council (CCC) — a branch of the undergraduate student government — voted this spring not to approve SCOP for official club status, on the grounds that it mirrors other existing clubs on campus.
“If [Student Affairs Office] officials and voting members of the CCC read our application documents, as I assume they did, how they could have identified our distinct and timely mission with that of any active university club is beyond me,” said Tiernan Kane, a Notre Dame student and the prospective president of SCOP.
Kane and other individuals affiliated with SCOP told the Register that they were concerned that controversy and political correctness influenced CCC’s decision to reject its application for official status as an approved student club.
Notre Dame law professor Gerard Bradley, who was prepared to serve as SCOP’s faculty adviser, said “utter ignorance” of SCOP’s stated mission — to advocate for child-friendly policies from a basis of reason — could explain the CCC decision.
The other possible motive, Bradley said, could be “sheer hostility against what SCOP stands for,” an explanation he called “more disturbing.”
“SCOP is trying to do in public policy about the family exactly what the Church has asked all Catholics to do: namely, to do what it can to make sure that children are raised by their mother and their father and to make this case in the public square on reasonable grounds accessible to anyone who cares to think about the issues,” Bradley said.
SOURCE: BRIAN FRAGA
National Catholic Register