Funds have been returned to a Catholic pro-marriage student group at Georgetown University after they had apparently been funneled instead to an LGBT organization.
Last fall Love Saxa, whose views on marriage align with Catholic teaching, faced intense scrutiny and possible de-recognition by Georgetown, the nation’s oldest Catholic and Jesuit university, after a minority of students accused the group of anti-LGBT sentiment. While the officials ultimately absolved the group and rejected calls for discipline, the university subsequently misappropriated donations designated for Love Saxa, depositing them instead into the accounts of various LGBT campus groups.
A letter to university officials sent by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the public policy legal group representing Love Saxa, recounted how several private donations to the group were misappropriated either by “funneling those funds to different organizations or just losing them completely.”
In November 2017, for example, one donor sent Love Saxa a check for $50, which the club’s president promptly deposited with Georgetown officials. However, Love Saxa did not receive the funds, and the donor was sent a receipt from Georgetown saying that the donation had instead been credited to Georgetown's LGBTQ Resource Center Reserve.
Similarly, the ADF letter recounted that in December 2017, “Another donor contributed $100 to Love Saxa.... But his receipt from Georgetown showed that his donation had been allocated to the Saxatones,” a campus musical group. Continued the letter: “Curiously, this group has partnered with the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League” — a Washington, D.C. area LGBT group targeting sexually confused youth.
Also that month, Love Saxa's president “deposited a $250 check from another donor with the Center for Student Engagement,” noted the ADF letter. Those funds never showed up in the group's account.
Noting the intense scrutiny and mistreatment Love Saxa has suffered for supporting traditional marriage and Catholic teaching, the ADF letter admonished university officials that “Georgetown needs to demonstrate its commitment to integrity through its actions.” The missive went on to ask Georgetown's president to investigate the matter, restore the missing donations, and deal with those responsible for mishandling the funds. “In so doing,” concluded the letter, “you would be upholding the finest elements of Georgetown's heritage and sending the unmistakable message to the campus community that Georgetown is serious about tolerating differing opinions and debating even controversial ideas on their merits.”
Following media exposure of the situation, Georgetown University released a statement, as quoted by the Christian Post, confirming that all donations earmarked for Love Saxa had been returned to the group's account. In an effort to cover its error, the university explained that when it receives a donation specified for a group such as Love Saxa, the funds “are allocated with a designated worktag that ensures they reach the intended recipient. Because a fall 2017 gift was the first donation of its kind to Love Saxa, no established path existed.”
Continued the university's mea culpa: “As always in these cases, we corrected the mistakes, have developed a path to ensure that funds are routed properly in the future, and have communicated to the student group and the donors that the gifts have been properly allocated.”
Image: Screenshot of Georgetown website