Administration crosses with Crossroads

Posted on Nov 11 2013 - 12:11am by Reland Tuomi

Clubs at Pacific Lutheran University usually belong to a department or organization on campus. The Body Love club is affiliated with the Women’s Center, Philosophy Club is based in the philosophy department and a cappella groups HERmonic and PLUtonic are with the music department.

Then there’s Crossroads.

Crossroads is a club on campus not affiliated with any department or organization. It is a private discussion group focusing on students who identify as LGBTQ or who are questioning their sexuality.

Crossroads’ leaders don’t advertise the time, place or members of the club to protect the identities of the club attendees. It is a safe space for those not comfortable with their identity or not “out of the closet” yet.

Because Crossroads did not have a public face with the name, Crossroads co-representative and junior Dan Stell said the Pacific Lutheran University administration decided to end the club.

“The fact that Crossroads is such a private group has made it so that the administration didn’t know exactly what we were,” Stell said.

At the beginning of this year, Stell said the administration believed Crossroads should belong to a center with a public face on campus, specifically the Health Center and wanted to reestablish Crossroads into a new club called Open Door.

“There was a revamping of Crossroads without [the administration] understanding what was already in place,” Stell said.

The co-representatives asked many administrators which one of them had access to the Crossroads e-mail account, discovering Matt Freeman, director of the Health and Counseling Center, had the access.

When the co-representatives asked if the account could be turned over to the club, Stell said Freeman told them Crossroads had been shut down. This, Stell said, was the only notification Crossroads received about the club’s cancellation and the impending new club, Open Door.

In response to the administration’s decision to not renew the club’s e-mail address — the club’s primary source for students — Crossroads co-representatives met with members of the administration.

Angie Hambrick, director of the Diversity Center, Laura Majovski, vice president of Student Life, and Freeman represented the PLU administration at the meeting with the Crossroads co-representatives, Stell, sophomore Ella Andersen and Molly Ubben.

At the meeting, the Crossroads co-representatives prepared a statement for the administrators clarifying Crossroads’ purpose. Stell said the administrators understood the information and revived Crossroads.

“We clarified what Crossroads already was and what we, as co-representatives, were going to be establishing with it this year,” Stell said.

Open Door, a similar club to Crossroads, will be serving a separate group of students than Crossroads, but overlapping in some senses.

“There are differences and some similarities between the two,” Anderson said. “There is a need for both clubs.”

Open Door will be open to allies as well as LGBTQ members, whereas Crossroads provides a safe space strictly for people who are part of the LGBTQ community or questioning their sexual identities and accepting themselves.

“[Open Door] is about people opening themselves to you and how you deal with that information,” Anderson said.

For more information about Crossroads, e-mail xroads@plu.edu. Open Door’s e-mail is opendoor@plu.edu.