Gonzaga University’s president has decided to allow the Knights of Columbus St. Aloysius Gonzaga Council #12583 to be approved as a sponsored organization, reversing a decision made in March.
“This sponsorship is granted under the University’s Standards for On-Campus Religious Activities Policy,” said spokeswoman Mary Joan Hahn.
The KOC can use the university’s name in its title; raise money on campus to advance its mission and activities; use campus facilities, including for the purposes of hosting events; and recruit members and participants in membership activities.
“As with other student organizations, it is obligated to follow university policies and procedures,” Hahn said.
Gonzaga President Thayne McCulloh began a review of the policy earlier this month after student activities officials decided the Knights of Columbus did not qualify for club status since it excluded women and non-Catholics.
News of the denial spread fast, mostly through religious periodicals. The Catholic community, including GU alumni and parents of current students, decried what many called a hypocritical decision.
In addition to overturning the ruling, McCullough also has told the student activities department to review and update the Clubs and Organizations Recognition Policy, ”with the goal of more clearly and explicitly identifying benefits of recognition and criteria for club eligibility,” Hahn said. ”The revisions are expected to be in place in time for the coming academic year.”
She added, ”Dr. McCulloh once again affirmed the university’s value, respect and support for the purpose and good works of the Knights of Columbus, with which the university has enjoyed a long and mutually collaborative relationship at the local level.”