Editor's note: This opinion piece does not represent the views of The Beacon staff, and may contain controversial content concerning the LGBTQ+ community.
The Lund Family Hall residents deserve Resident Assistants (RA) who are focused on serving the whole community. The RAs’ jobs include working late hours, presenting hall-wide programs, and often dealing with students who just need an upperclassman to listen to them, give advice, and offer sympathy. The Lund Family Hall RAs have decided that their job is to somehow judge the integrity and moral judgment of a Pastoral Resident on behalf of the LGBTQ+ students at the University.
I have had a variety of experiences relating to both students and faculty at UP. I was the commander of AFROTC Det 695 for three years followed by eight years as the Director of Residence Life, responsible for hiring and training Hall Directors and Residence Assistants as well as being the Campus Judicial Officer adjudicating student discipline issues.
During my 11 years as a UP Administrator dealing with a myriad of student concerns, including very serious unacceptable conduct resulting in expulsion from the University, I never had a single incident or complaint from our LGBTQ+ community. The recent letter from a Lund Family Hall Resident Assistant is actually demanding a Pastoral Resident move out of the residence hall. I would expect this level of demand to be followed by some major discrimination incident or series of incidents. But no — actually, it is based upon the ridiculous notion that Father Dan’s personal Twitter page posts somehow offended the entire LGBTQ+ community.
I have known Fr. Dan Parrish since he was an undergraduate at UP. We have stayed in touch over the years and I have invited him to preside at liturgies at my parish multiple times. Fr. Dan Parrish is a stellar example of Holy Cross presence in Lund Family Hall.
The bottom line from the Catholic church’s perspective is that ALL persons are to be treated with dignity and respect. Actual discriminatory acts toward anyone, including, of course, minorities is unacceptable. Hopefully Residence Life leadership takes the lead in educating their Resident Assistants in job performance, and maybe a public apology to Fr. Dan Parrish is in order.
John Roscoe is a UP alum and former UP administrator. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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