Six New York Democrats Write Letter to President Berman Calling for Recognition of Campus LGBTQ Club

Six House Democrats representing New York sent a letter Friday to Yeshiva University President Ari Berman in support of LGBTQ students at YU and calling on the university to recognize the YU Pride Alliance.

The six Democrats, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY-12), Rep. Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Rep. Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Rep. Mondaire Jones (NY-17) and Rep. Paul D. Tonko (NY-20), represent New York, the Hudson Valley and Upstate New York. The Maloney and Espaillat neighborhoods include the Wilf and Beren campuses of YU.

“We are writing to express our support for these students and for the rights of all LGBTQ+ students to equal treatment in New York State’s educational institutions,” the letter reads. “We urge the University to do everything possible to care for its LGBTQ+ students as full human beings in the campus community, including recognizing their student body.

“As members of Congress representing New York, we believe that treating LGBTQ+ students equally and providing safe spaces for their well-being is consistent with established federal public policy. We know that our concerns for the welfare of LGBTQ+ students at Yeshiva University are shared by many who care deeply about the institution – Jewish clergy,

University professors, alumni, current students and local elected officials.

The letter claimed that the existence of a college LGBTQ club was essential for student mental health and pointed out that other religious universities in New York already had such clubs.

“Gay alliances and student-run clubs that provide safe spaces for LGBTQ+ students to support each other and discuss issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity are essential to the health and success of students,” the letter reads. “Other proudly religious New York universities have navigated this terrain, recognizing LGBTQ+ student groups as an essential resource for their students; it is time for Yeshiva University to do the same.

Over the past few weeks, several open letters from students, alumni, and faculty at YU’s undergraduate and graduate schools have condemned the university’s policies and called on YU to recognize the club.

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