GALA ND/SMC Response to Indiana “Religious Freedom” Bill

GALA ND/SMC is deeply saddened by the recent “religious freedom” bill passed by the Indiana legislature and signed into law by Governor Pence.  This bill, in effect, allows individual business owners to “refuse service” to LGBT individuals based upon their religious beliefs.

GALA has an event scheduled in South Bend on April 10th, the Thomas Dooley Award Dinner.  This event has been in the planning for many months.  Similar to other organizations conducting activities in Indiana, we have carefully evaluated the options available to us, including potentially moving the event.

We are pleased to tell you that the Dooley Award Dinner will take place as scheduled.  Unlike others, who have a presence in many locations, GALA has it’s roots in the Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s community.  These two campuses are our “home”.  Not only did we go to school here, we started our journey into adulthood here, we grew as individuals with the help of classmates, teachers, coaches and staff.  We developed bonds to this special place that have existed for many years and will continue for many more.

In the end, we may strongly disagree with this new law, but we are equally committed and resolved to support the ND/SMC and South Bend LGBT community by continuing to host our event as planned.  While others may show their disagreement by choosing to leave the state, our “home” is firmly planted at Notre Dame and St Mary’s, and we choose to stay in solidarity and demonstrate our support in light of the decision.  In the spirit of Fr. Hesburgh, we honor his memory by standing up for what is right!

We are also especially pleased by the immediate support shown by local business and civic leaders in South Bend, including Mayor Buttigieg.  They have been very vocal in their message that “all are welcome”.

We encourage anyone who shares our resolve to join us at the event.  It will be a celebration of the great work performed helping LGBT individuals feel more included and accepted both on the playing field and in all walks of life.

GALA ND/SMC Officers and Board

2015 Thomas Dooley Award Event

GALA-ND/SMC, the Gay and Lesbian Alumni/ae of the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College, is proud to announce the winner of the 2015 Thomas A. Dooley Award.  This year’s award recipient is Patrick Burke ND ’06, co-founder and previous executive director of The You Can Play Project, and the current Director of Player Safety for the National Hockey League.

The Dooley awards ceremony will be held adjacent to the Campus of St Mary’s College, Notre Dame IN, on Friday April 10, 2015.

For more information go to 2015 Dooley Event

GALA Football Tailgater – Stanford Game October 4th

Stanford Game October 4th- Once again GALA will be sponsoring a fabulous tailgater for a home football game. This year’s tailgater will take place for the Stanford Game October 4th. Mark your calendars and apply for tickets in the football lottery. Last year was unusually warm and the perfect opportunity to show off our colorful rainbow balloons and ND attire. Come and join us this year. There is always plenty of food and liquid refreshments!

Alumni Reunion Events

Notre Dame Alumni Reunion- Call for Panel Speakers and Attendees

Are you thinking about coming to the ND Alumni Reunion this year, or do you need a reason to attend? GALA ND/SMC will once again be sponsoring an open house entitled “The Gay & Lesbian Experience at Notre Dame: Past & Present.” Come join us and hear about recent advances being made on campus with the new student group PrismND.

The reunion weekend is May 29th to June 1st.  GALA’s event will take place on Saturday May 31st at 1:30 in DeBartolo Hall, Room 116.  This time and location is now confirmed.

We are currently seeking panelists who are interested in sharing their experiences of how life at Notre Dame was for them. Join a group of current students, alums and faculty to hear what LGBT life is like at Notre Dame now and how this may be different from years past.

For more information contact Jack Bergen, GALA Chair at:  chair@galandsmc.org
He will be hosting the event on campus and would love to meet as many of you as possible. See you there!!

Saint Mary’s Alumni Reunion

For the second year GALA will also be sponsoring a panel at Saint Mary’s Alumni Reunion weekend held the same weekend as ND’s. Please join fellow alumnae for a panel discussion called “The LGBT Experience at Saint Mary’s College: Past and Present”. It will be held on Saturday May 31st from 3:30 – 4:30 pm in Spes Unica Hall, Room 145.  This time and location is now confirmed.

Refreshed

So, you probably noticed that we finally redesigned our Website. The old one was getting a little long in the tooth and it seemed like it was past time for a visual refresh. In addition to being more modern, this layout is much more news oriented than what we have done before. This is part of our commitment to keeping our members updated on important news and information.

I am going to try to anticipate a few of the more common questions:

Where did the membership directory go?

It’s still there and it still works the same way that is always has.  You can find a link to it under the Membership menu at the top of the page.

How do I renew my membership?

Login to your membership profile (again, a link can be found under the Membership menu at the top of the page) and click on the “Renew” button under the Membership Details section at the top of your profile.

How do I make a donation?

You can make a gift online by visiting the online giving page.  For those who have given in the past, the mechanism is unchanged.  If you haven’t given before, take it for a test drive!  All donations are tax deductible.

♥ Lance (Vice-Chair for Membership)

Official Recognition Of GALA-ND/SMC

The officers and board of GALA-ND/SMC believe it is time to evaluate the group’s relationship with Notre Dame and the NDAA (ND Alumni Association).

Rationale For Seeking Official Recognition

The GALA ND/SMC Official Recognition document contains the background and rationale for pursuing official recognition including a Q & A section. All members are encouraged to be make themselves fully informed on this topic.

Membership Feedback Session

On November 17, 2013 a virtual meeting was conducted via WebEx to communicate GALA’s evaluation of official recognition with the Notre Dame Alumni Association (NDAA).  During this session the proposal was discussed and members provided their input.  Based upon member feedback there was overwhelming support in favor of pursuing this action.  The officers and board met in early December to determine next steps. Given the input from members, approval was given to move forward with the application. The target to draft the application and submit to the Alumni Association is the end of March, 2014. Once submitted, the timeframe is unknown for review and feedback. Prior to any final action on this matter a vote by the members will take place.

Membership Feedback Session Notes

If you were unable to participate in the webinar or have questions send your comments to: jack.bergen(at)yahoo.com.

Jack (Vice-Chair for Programs)