– Alliance Defending Freedom sent a letter
Thursday to Georgetown University calling for a thorough investigation into the university’s apparent misappropriation of donations made to a pro-family student organization. The letter details how the nation’s oldest Catholic and Jesuit university systematically took private donations intended for Love Saxa and illegally deposited them into the accounts of other student organizations.
Last fall, Love Saxa outlined its views on marriage and the family, which align with official Catholic teaching. This sparked a campus firestorm with students demanding that Georgetown derecognize
the club. Georgetown investigated Love Saxa for weeks and quizzed its officers for almost four hours before finally rejecting those calls
and refusing to kick the group off campus for advocating views that mirror Catholic teaching on a Catholic campus.
“Universities should encourage students to participate in the free marketplace of ideas, not favor some while financially exploiting others,” said ADF Senior Counsel Tyson Langhofer, director of the ADF Center for Academic Freedom. “We call upon Georgetown to investigate this breach of Love Saxa’s checking account and its donors’ trust, restore all funds that are unaccounted for, and hold all individuals involved responsible. If Georgetown or anyone at Georgetown has retaliated against Love Saxa by hijacking its donations and giving them to groups that oppose its mission and identity, then no student, alumnus, or donor can trust the university’s integrity.”
A donor check to Love Saxa (above) and the receipt for the donation that Georgetown University issued to the donor below, which shows it was allocated to LGBTQ Resource Center Reserve. (Click on each image to enlarge.)
The ADF letter describes how several donations from private individuals to Love Saxa were misappropriated “either [by] funneling those funds to different organizations or just losing them completely.” For example, in November 2017, an individual sent Love Saxa a check for $50, which the club’s president, Amelia Irvine, promptly deposited with Georgetown officials. But Love Saxa never received the funds, and the donor received a receipt from Georgetown showing that his donation had been credited to the LGBTQ Resource Center Reserve.
The following month, another donor contributed $100 to Love Saxa through a university phonathon. The receipt he received, however, showed that Georgetown directed his donation to the Saxatones, a musical group that partners with another LGBT advocacy organization, the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League of Washington, D.C. That same month, Irvine deposited another donor’s $250 check into her club’s account, but the club has not received those funds either.
“In light of the sustained mistreatment of Love Saxa throughout this academic year, now is the time for transparency and accountability,” the ADF letter explains. “While we desire to resolve this matter amicably, Georgetown needs to demonstrate its commitment to integrity through its actions.”
The letter asks Georgetown’s president to investigate this matter, restore all donations, and hold those responsible for this misappropriation accountable: “In so doing, 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.”