The Student Activities Commission (SAC) adjourned its hearing regarding Love Saxa early Tuesday morning without deciding whether to defund the student organization due to the nightly closure of the HFSC. SAC did not announce plans to hold another meeting before its next weekly meeting Monday, Nov 6.
The hearing came after Jasmine Ouseph (SFS ’19) and Chad Gasman (COL ’20) submitted a complaint to SAC requesting that Love Saxa, a group which aims to promote healthy relationships, stop receiving funds from the university. The complaint is specifically in reference to the group’s stance on marriage, which they believe is exclusively between one man and one woman.
Representatives from Love Saxa and the complainants were each allotted a ten minute opening statement and a five minute statement afterward – each were followed by questions. SAC board members, who are students of the university, then debated the issue for an hour and a half before adjourning without a final vote.
Complainants raised issues around Love Saxa’s impact on Georgetown’s environment for LGBTQ students, threats received by the complainants from sources outside the university, and past interactions between Love Saxa members and the complainants. Love Saxa’s representatives framed their argument in terms of free speech and the continued existence of similar conservative groups.
Complainants held that Love Saxa’s constitution and a recent op-ed written by the organization’s president promote discrimination towards members of the LGBTQ community and that their actions violate university policy. According to the university’s organization standards, groups whose “purpose or activities foster hatred or intolerance of others because of their […] sexual preference” cannot receive university recognition or funding. Love Saxa receives $250 per year from the university’s student activities fund.
Representatives from Love Saxa maintained their group does not promote intolerance or hatred, but rather offers a space for people who share common views regarding marriage, sex, and pornography. Both representatives frequently stated that their organization has never advocated for the exclusion of any student group or sexual demographic from campus.
Love Saxa representatives did, however, confirm that they do not believe marriage to be a right, and they do not believe their standard of marriage includes same-sex unions.
In SAC’s deliberation various board members questioned whether or not the group actually created an environment of intolerance towards the LGBTQ community, and whether that environment would arise from the organization’s direct actions or its indirect motivation to other parties.
This post will be updated with more information.