SPOKANE, Wash. -- Leaders at Gonzaga University granted sponsorship Tuesday to the Knights of Columbus.
University leaders had been reviewing their previous decision not to recognize the Knights of Columbus as a student group. School leaders would not explain why the group was not initially recognized. National media reports say the group's focus on Catholic and male only membership might be the reason.
A statement released by Gonzaga on Tuesday said that University President Thayne McCulloh has completed his review about the previous decision. The statement added that Knights of Columbus St. Aloysius Gonzaga Council #12583 has been approved as a sponsored organization at Gonzaga.
The statement reads:
“ This sponsorship is granted under the University's ‘Standards for On-Campus Religious Activities Policy.’ The Council has been granted permission to: utilize the University's name in its title; fundraise on campus for the purpose of advancing the Council's mission and activities; meet in and utilize campus facilities, including for the purposes of hosting events; and to recruit members and participants in membership activities such as the semi-annual Club Fair. As with other student organizations, it is obligated to follow University policies and procedures.”
Student Chandler Jensen-Cody told KREM 2 News in March that he see a point to holding student groups to a more inclusive policy, but thinks the University might have overlooked the mission of the men's organization.
"The Knights of Columbus are a service based organization not a religious based organization so it should be available to those dedicated in the community," said Jensen-Cody.
McCulloh’s statement also directed the Student Activities department to review and update the “Clubs and Organizations Recognition Policy.” He asked that their goal of clarify and explicitly identify benefits of recognition and criteria for club eligibility.
Gonzaga leaders expect the changes to be in place by next fall.