A pro-family student organization at Georgetown University has received its donations back after an investigation of faculty and others who the group accused of misappropriating funds contributed to it.
The group, Love Saxa, said that Georgetown officials had taken private donations intended for it and deposited them into other student organizations’ accounts.
The organizations who received those funds hold views contrary to the Love Saxa mission. The money was reportedly deposited into LGBT-affiliated student groups’ accounts.
During the fall 2017 semester, some students at Georgetown were angered by Love Saxa’s pro-family messaging and called on the university to withdraw recognition of the group as an affiliate of the school.
After a thorough vetting of the club and its leaders by the university, Love Saxa remains an officially recognized student organization on campus.
Love Saxa’s views on marriage and family align with official Catholic teachings, and Georgetown has long been recognized as one of the most prestigious Catholic and Jesuit universities in the United States.
Proponents of the club agree that a student organization on a Catholic campus should be able to support Christian views on marriage without being threatened with having its organizational recognition revoked.
The group’s unusual name stems from Georgetown’s college chant “Hoya Saxa,” which translates as “what rocks.” Love Saxa means “love rocks.”
In a letter addressed to Georgetown’s president, John J. DeGioia, Love Saxa and its legal advocate, the Alliance Defending Freedom, called on the university to investigate the funding misappropriation matter, restore the donations, and hold the individuals responsible accountable.
There were three specific incidences of misappropriations of funds cited in the letter, written by Tyson Langhofer, director of the Alliance Defending Freedom’s Center for Academic Freedom. The Alliance Defending Freedom is a nonprofit focused on advocating, training, and funding on the issues of religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family.
One example, from November 2017, cited an individual who sent a check for $50 to Love Saxa. The president of the student organization, Amelia Irvine, deposited the check with Georgetown officials. Yet, Love Saxa never received the funds.
To the contrary, the donor received a receipt from Georgetown showing that the donation had been credited to the LGBTQ Resource Center reserve.
The other two examples of misappropriations of funds showed the money being appropriated to similar LGBTQ resources and organizations.
“In light of the sustained mistreatment of Love Saxa throughout this academic year, now is the time for transparency and accountability,” Langhofer wrote. “While we desire to resolve this matter amicably, Georgetown needs to demonstrate its commitment to integrity through its actions.”
Asked about the matter, a Georgetown university spokesperson sent the following statement to the Daily Signal:
All gifts to Love Saxa have been identified and deposited to Love Saxa’s account. When the university receives a gift designated by a donor for a student group with access to benefits, the gifts 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.
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.
Chrissy Clark is a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation.
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