USD Response to Alumni Letters


Dear Timothy,

Thanks for your note and for marking me "do not solicit".

However, I am really surprised and quite disappointed that this is the ONLY reply I've received from anyone at USD in response to my recent email.  No one has taken the time or had the decency to respond to the heart of the matter - USD's failing Catholic identity.  Is USD just sweeping that issue under the proverbial carpet?

God Bless,

USD School of Law '79

On Wed, May 9, 2012 at 9:13 AM, Timothy O'Malley <tomalley@sandiego.edu> wrote:

Dear Susan: In response to your recent email expressing concern about the university’s Catholic identity, we will code your alumni record “Do Not Solicit.”   We will make every attempt to ensure that you are no longer contacted by the university for financial support.


   Timothy L. O’Malley, Ph.D.

   Vice President for University Relations



We spoke last week. Below is a message I received this morning from O'Malley.

Sounds to me as though they as readily dismissing alumni who have strong opposition to the liberal and secular direction USD is forging. A bit shocking and extremely disappointing!!!

Class of '83


Dear Peter: In response to your recent email expressing concern about the university’s Catholic identity, we will code your alumni record “Do Not Solicit.”  We will make every attempt to ensure that you are no longer contacted by the university for financial support.


Timothy L. O’Malley, Ph.D. 
Vice President for University Relations




I agree that your last paragraph of social challenges and USD's response typifies Catholic character.  However I think you minimize these efforts when you compare "gender expression" to merit the same attention as world hunger and women's rights.  Me not being in San Diego has nothing to do with this issue.  From what I read about the events, they seemed to go beyond "fostering understanding and empathy" in my opinion.  It is sad to see Catholic morals being attacked and in decline, especially at Catholic institutions.

USD 2000

On May 14, 2012, at 3:43 PM, Charles Bass <charlesb@sandiego.edu> wrote:

Dear Mr.      ,

Thank you for your message. While I am not trying to change your opinion, I do want to share some additional information about the student activities. Following is a statement from the University: 

A series of events, including a workshop, a lecture, a day of silence, and a show, designed to bring awareness and understanding about sensitive, contemporary issues surrounding gender identity and gender expression, was held by students at the University of San Diego during the month of April.  Together the events were intended to “foster students’ understanding of, and empathy for, the complexities of gender non-conformity.”  Among the events, a modified “drag show” on April 11 has been singled out by some who are concerned that the university is advocating or promoting a lifestyle and behaviors inconsistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church and the Catholic identity of the University of San Diego.  This is not the case. 

Each of the events was designed to bring attention to sensitive, contemporary issues surrounding “gender identity” and “gender expression,” two recent additions to the university’s non-discrimination policy. Distinct from “sexual orientation” already included in the policy, these new protected categories are unfamiliar to many.

While university administrators acknowledge the inevitable controversy surrounding a series of campus events exploring topics of this nature, they support the students’ right to plan and execute campus programs that are consistent with university policies, protocols and procedures governing student activities.  These students were held to the same standards of deportment and accountability to which every other student organization or event is held, including consistency with our character as a Catholic university.

California state law AB887 (October 2011) and the subsequent inclusion of “gender identity” and “gender expression” in the university’s Policy Prohibiting Discrimination and Harassment gave rise to student leaders finding ways to heighten their fellow students’ sensitivity and to reinforce respect for the individual.  As always, our goal at USD is to provide a safe, inclusive learning environment that emphasizes the dignity of the person and respect for the individual.  From our perspective, this goal was met by the program on April 11.  

Perhaps more importantly, since you are not in San Diego, I wanted to point out that while this issue generated a lot of email and discussion, there are many other activities taking place that merit such attention. The Social Innovation Challenge brought 52 student groups together to generate ideas and solutions for some of society's biggest challenges. The winning student group is refurbishing and stocking a food truck to deliver hot, healthy meals to homeless families. Another student group is raising money to send farm equipment to a village in Kenya. Yet another group is advocating on behalf of female lawyers who are currently not allowed to practice law in Saudi Arabia. These and other activities by our students, faculty, and staff -- in San Diego and around the world -- are the things that typify USD's Catholic character.

Best wishes,

Charles Bass

Director of Alumni Relations

University of San Diego