One of GALA ND/SMC’s mission is to provide support to the LGBT student communities at Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s. Support can be in many forms. One way is via our group providing monetary assistance to help defray the cost of student events. Another is by leveraging our alumni network allowing members to contribute their time and experience to help students succeed on campus and/or through networking for career advice. All members are encouraged to think about how they might be able to help LGBT students.
GALA ND/SMC Reaction to Mike Pence Named 2017 Commencement Speaker
The following letter was sent to Fr. John Jenkins on March 2, 2017 following the University’s announcement of Mike Pence as the 2017 commencement speaker.
On behalf of the LGBT alumni of the University of Notre Dame, we wish to express our deepest sadness with your choice of speaker for the 2017 commencement ceremonies.
For many years, Vice President Pence as Governor of the state of Indiana, has demonstrated his intense opposition to the LGBT community. He has advocated and voted repeatedly to restrict and/or to remove rights of LGBT individuals. He has express views that are totally without merit such as “being gay is a choice”, that allowing gays in the military is a “social experiment”, that gays can be “converted” into being straight and most recently approved legislation to allow discrimination based on religious beliefs.
While Vice President Pence might be the “lesser of two evils”, and Notre Dame was “caught between a rock and a hard place” by inviting President Trump, we do not support this selection for commencement speaker.
In the end, he does not stand for the values that Our Lady has taught us of respect, diversity and inclusion for all humans.
Jack Bergen ‘77
Chair – GALA ND/SMC (LGBT Alumni Group of Notre Dame & Saint Mary’s)
Winter Career and Internship Fair and Diversity & Inclusion Reception – February 2017
The Notre Dame Career Center is sponsoring a Winter Career and Internship Fair on February 1, 2017. This fair offers a wide variety of opportunities and industries for students to explore. Undergraduate and graduate students from all colleges and majors are encouraged to attend. The event also provides employers who understand the value of seeking out and recruiting “diversity-affiliated” students.
GALA ND/SMC, for the first time, is partnering with the ND Career Center to help students prepare for this event. Along with resources from on-campus diversity support groups, students will be coached prior to the career fair on ways to approach potential employers and suggestions to look for companies that offer a friendly, receptive or inclusive workplace. The student “prep” session is taking place Tuesday evening January 24th on the ND campus.
We are looking for several alumni to participate in this “prep” event. Your role would be to speak to students describing what it is like to be “out in the workplace”, share your experiences in looking for a place to work, and the ways to see if a potential company may be “LGBT friendly”. The audience would be a small group of students with the ability to talk one-on-one after the formal portion. Wouldn’t you have appreciated someone coaching you through this process? Now is your chance to give back and help a student find an inviting environment to start their career in.
If interesting in this unique opportunity, contact Jack Bergen at firstname.lastname@example.org.