Funds Sent to Georgetown Group that Promotes Traditional Marriage Ends Up Allocated to LGBTQ Group

Georgetown claims absence of proper funding mechanism responsible

Ciew shows the spires of Healy Hall on the Georgetown University campus in Washington, DC
View shows the spires of Healy Hall on the Georgetown University campus in Washington, DC / Getty Images
February 2, 2018

Georgetown University claimed Friday that the absence of a proper funding mechanism was responsible for the mysterious misappropriation of at least $400 in donations to a family values student club that has been censured on campus as "homophobic" for its religious stance.

Love Saxa, which promotes traditional views of dating and marriage, alerted the university Thursday to the alleged misdirection of the funds in a letter sent by the Alliance Defending Freedom, a religious freedom legal advocate, to Georgetown President John DeGioia.

From November to December 2017, at least $400 in donations were deposited with the Center for Student Engagement, but never appeared in Love Saxa's account, according to the letter.

One donor received a receipt from Georgetown showing that his $50 gift had been allocated to the "LGBTQ Resource Center Reserve." Another donor receipt for $100 was tagged for the Saxatones a cappella group, who, ADF noted, "partnered with the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League."

Love Saxa has also yet to receive any funds it courted during the Georgetown Phonathon, according to the letter.

A Georgetown spokesperson told the Washington Free Beacon in an emailed statement Friday, "All gifts to Love Saxa have been identified and are being deposited to Love Saxa's account. When the university receives a gift designated by 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."

The representative did not respond to questions about how often such errors occur.

Travis Barham, Love Saxa's ADF legal counsel, said he had direct communication from Georgetown as of Friday afternoon and could not confirm if the club had received the money.

He said that even should the funds be returned, questions remained about how the gifts were ever misplaced, given that Love Saxa students followed Georgetown's established fundraising protocols.

"Our clients took donations received in the mail to the appropriate officials, and deposited them as they were supposed to—and those funds ended up in the coffers of LGBTQ center," said Barham. "[Georgetown's] statement doesn't clear up how that happened. It was the university's obligation to ensure a pathway existed for these logistical arrangements."

Barham added that the statement did nothing to clarify how it was that the club's "ideological opponent" was the recipient of these gifts.

"Their explanation seems unlikely," said Barham.

Sivagami Subbaraman, director of the LGBTQ Resource Center, declined to comment.

The funds' strange movement occurred against the backdrop of a Georgetown investigation into the club, said Barham, and an effort by the Student Activities Commission to defund the group for being "hateful," "archaic," and "dehumanizing."

Georgetown, a Catholic institution, has been heavily criticized for its treatment of the Christian club.

Published under: College Campuses