Professor Forces Students to Declare their  Personal Pronouns: A Petition to President Snyder

Professor Forces Students to Declare their Personal Pronouns: A Petition to President Snyder

Dear President Snyder,

Recent news stories reported that a professor in LMU’s Department of Theological Studies forces his students, on penalty of reduction of their grade, to include their personal pronouns next to their name in their classwork. This practice must stop immediately because it is a direct violation of LMU’s mission.

Forcing students to declare their pronouns violates the promotion of justice because it violates the right of free speech. The right of free speech, which LMU says it protects, includes the right to remain silent, the right not to say something that you do not want to say. Compelled speech is not free speech.

Forcing students to declare their preferred pronouns also violates the education of the whole person because it violates privacy. Some students may want to remain private about their gender identity. It is invasive and inappropriate for a professor to force his students to publicly declare their sexual orientation or their gender identity.

Forcing students to declare their preferred pronouns also violates the service of faith because it signals endorsement of what Pope Francis has called “gender ideology.” Gender ideology is a dualism that the ‘real me’ (male) could be trapped inside a (female) body, that biological males can become women, that an individual might be any one of 58 genders, and that sex and gender are mere social constructions. These views have been repeatedly and strongly criticized by Pope Francis. The Pope teaches that the human body, as male or female, is part of the good gift of God’s creation. Any university whose mission statement includes the service of faith should protect students of faith from being forced to act against their faith.

As the screenshots below indicate, not just one Theological Studies professor but your administration itself reflects and reinforces gender ideology. For example, Dean Robbin Crabtree of the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts, whose service to Planned Parenthood has been decried by alumni and under whose leadership “commitment to Roman Catholicism” was deleted, promotes the practice of declaring preferred pronouns. Moreover, your administration’s “Chosen Name Project” presupposes and reinforces the claims of gender ideology decried as “ideological colonization” by Pope Francis. That the “Chosen Name Project” includes a video shot inside Sacred Heart Chapel in front of the crucified Christ is particularly inappropriate.

To be crystal clear, we believe, as the Catholic Church believes, that all human beings deserve to be respected by everyone and protected against unjust discrimination. Indeed, we should love all human beings, including every person with gender dysphoria.

But respecting people does not mean adopting their ideology or their practices. Protecting people does not mean forcing other people to act contrary to their faith or their consciences. And loving all people does not mean speaking or acting contrary to the truth. As St. Edith Stein taught, “Do not accept anything as the truth if it lacks love. And do not accept anything as love which lacks truth.”

We respectfully ask you, therefore, to issue a public declaration and establish as official LMU policy that no professor is permitted to force his or her students to disclose their personal pronouns. We ask you to stop your administration’s institutional commitment to gender ideology, and to renew LMU’s institutional commitment to Roman Catholicism.


Anne (Rezzo) Rosen, LMU Alum 1985

To support this effort, please sign below and circulate the link to this petition by emailing friends and posting on your social media.  LMU’s President can be reached at 310.338.2775

Update on Statue of St. Junípero Serra:  Catholic When Convenient

We are grateful to the hundreds of people who signed our petition to restore the statue of St. Junípero Serra to a place of honor on campus. We are also impressed by the thoughtful comments and messages that we have conveyed to President Snyder, Archbishop Gomez, and other important members of the LMU community. 

An article in the Catholic News Agency and in the National Catholic Register recently wrote:

“The statue dates back to the 1990s, when it was placed outside the campus library as a gift of William H. Hannon, a Catholic philanthropist and passionate admirer of Serra. Hannon was a major benefactor of the campus, an honorary trustee, and regent emeritus. Many campus buildings are named for him at the university, which claims affiliation with both the Society of Jesus and the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary.” 

Claims is exactly the right word, but only when convenient.

LMU was built with the money of Catholic donors and parents. President Snyder wants to keep what is convenient (the buildings, the donor base, the cash) and reject what is inconvenient (the statue, the BCLA mission statement, anything Catholic which is contrary to woke ideology). 

The article continues:

“In a Nov. 24 statement to CNA, the university said: ‘In summer of 2020, the statue of Rev. Serra on LMU’s Westchester campus was removed to conduct repairs. When the campus reopened from the pandemic in fall of 2021, the university convened a task force to invite feedback from the community and to develop recommendations on future plans. No final decisions have been made, and the university remains committed to a thoughtful process of open dialogue.’”

Those on campus who want to ban the statue consider it a symbol of tyranny, oppression, and racism whose presence is “triggering trauma” for students rather than providing “a safe and welcoming place” for everyone on campus. 

This argument for removing the statue of St. Junípero Serra applies even more forcefully to Sacred Heart Chapel. The beautiful chapel is built in the Spanish Mission style.  But according to woke ideology, the Spanish Missions were expressions of European colonial oppression, racism, and white supremacy. The Chapel is even painted white, a blatant attempt to glorify white supremacy and to marginalize Black and Indigenous people of color. 

Since Sacred Heart Chapel is so much larger and more prominent than the Serra statue, the Chapel must be an even greater threat of “triggering trauma” for those who chose to come to LMU. If they go into the chapel, things go from bad to worse because right in the center of the chapel is a large crucifix. Think of the oppressive symbolism that the crucifix entails for Jewish students whose ancestors suffered pogroms, Muslim students who ancestors suffered under Christian crusaders, and Protestant students whose ancestors suffered under the Spanish inquisition. And what about the atheists on campus? Non-believers showed us what they thought of Catholic places of worship when during the Reign of Terror they took down the crucifix and turned the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris into a storage warehouse. They also knew exactly what to do with priests and other Catholics who stood in the way of their pursuit of utopia. These Catholics got to experience a new invention named after Joseph-Ignace Guillotin. Now that’s moving beyond words to taking action for Liberty, Equity, and Inclusivity!  So, if we are to be consistent advocates for inclusive, non-triggering “safe spaces,” we should remove the crucifix immediately and then before Easter, at the latest, demolish Sacred Heart Chapel or at least rededicate it to Michel Foucault.

Apparently, some people who chose to come to a Catholic university hate Catholic symbols. They won’t feel “safe and included” until everything they dislike about Catholicism is removed from their sight.  Should we make our “campus a safe and welcoming place” by means of removing every last vestige of Catholic identity? Should a Jewish university scrub itself clean of every Jewish symbol to avoid traumatically triggering those who choose to come to a Jewish university? 

On the other hand, maybe those who are triggered by Jewish symbols at a Jewish university should check themselves for latent anti-Semitism.  And maybe those who come to a Catholic university and are triggered by Catholic symbols should check themselves for implicit bias or the virus of woke ideology.

LMU’s administration under President Snyder is institutionally committed to Roman Catholicism when fundraising with donors, recruiting students with parents willing to pay, and appealing to alumni. 

LMU’s administration under President Snyder is institutionally committed to woke ideology when hiring administrators, recruiting professors, and fundraising for Planned Parenthood. 

LMU is Catholic when convenient. 

President Synder Removes St. Junípero Serra Statue at LMU:  A Petition to UnCancel A Saint

Dear President Snyder,

In the summer of 2020, after statues were taken down across the United States, your administration approved the removal of the statue of St. Junípero Serra that stood in the front of the Charles Von der Ahe Building, the former library.  We object to your action.

It is hard to believe that the statue was taken down in order to be repaired. An identical statue, also donated in 1992 by one of our greatest donors William Hannon, can be found in very good condition at St. Anastasia School, just one mile away from LMU. In any case, any repairs should be complete by now, a year and a half later. Nor was LMU’s statue taken down in order to prevent likely vandalism. Due to Covid, almost no one was allowed on campus until Fall 2021.

These symbols matter, and they are dearly treasured by the Catholic faithful. Moreover, as the essay, “Is Loyola Marymount University Losing its Catholic Identity?,” predicted,  “The final argument about religious identity will be about whether distinctively religious art should remain. A compromise will be struck whereby the pieces considered offensive—such as the central crucifix and the statue of Mary—are removed, but the stained glass windows remain intact, a silent reminder of a long lost tradition.” Your choice to remove this statue was one more step you have made towards LMU losing its distinctive identity and becoming just like any secular school.

With all due respect to some on campus who see things differently, the statue of St. Junípero Serra should be returned to a place of honor. The saint’s statue should be accompanied by exactly the same contextualization, historical perspective, and critical evaluation that accompanies all the other statues, plaques, memorials, and quotations in stone on campus from figures including Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King, Jr, Mahatma Gandhi, Bill Gates, St. Ignatius of Loyola, and the Virgin Mary. That is to say, none. For these figures, we do not publicly document their real or alleged sins, or the sins of those associated with them, near their sites of commemoration.

This consistent policy in how we treat statues on campus is particularly appropriate for St. Junípero Serra who recently completed the lengthy and rigorous examination process involved in becoming a canonized saint. In the words of Pope Francis, St. Junípero, “sought to defend the dignity of the native community, to protect it from those who had mistreated and abused it.” As Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco point out, St. Junípero “defended indigenous people’s humanity, decried the abuse of indigenous women, and argued against imposing the death penalty on natives who had burned down a mission and murdered one of his friends. At age 60, ill and with a chronically sore leg, Serra traveled 2,000 miles to Mexico City to demand that authorities adopt a native bill of rights he had written.”

Regardless of what any committee may recommend to you, we hope your decision about this statue does not further erode our Catholic identity. If a Planned Parenthood fundraiser can be held at LMU in Roski, certainly a statue of this country’s first Hispanic saint canonized by the first Hispanic Pope can be in a place of honor and respect at LMU. If you wish to have the statue placed inside, so as to lessen the likelihood of vandalism, it should be in a place of high visibility as it was before. We suggest putting it in Roski.

Yours truly,

Marcos Chavira, LMU Alum 1995

To support this effort, please sign below and circulate the link to this petition by emailing friends and posting on your social media.  LMU’s President can be reached at 310.338.2775

Update on Petition to Restore Canceled “Commitment to Roman Catholicism” in the BCLA Mission Statement

We have forwarded our petition, signatures, and messages to President Synder and other important community leaders, including the Archbishop of Los Angeles José H. Gomez. The following messages came in to us too late to be included, but we post them now so that their voices of concern may be heard.

One message read:

I can no longer support LMU financially nor recommend it as a “Catholic” university. The current administration’s recent actions make it impossible. There no longer seems to be the “commitment to Roman Catholicism and the Judeo-Christian tradition” that you tout. St. Ignatius must be turning over in his grave to see a Jesuit university turning away from basic Catholic doctrine. Shame on President Snyder and the Board!

Another reads:

A fundraiser for Planned Parenthood, and now this! How can you continue to call LMU a Catholic university?

And another:

I donate to LMU as a Catholic University. Though I applaud free exchange of ideas and discussions in an academic setting, it appears that the university is abandoning it’s commitment to being a Catholic university first and foremost. This will certainly affect my willingness to donate in the future. I pray that LMU will reconsider the direction that it is headed.

And another:

Dear President Snyder,
Apart from what’s already stated, I urge you in the strongest terms possible to restore the Catholic mission statement language that used to exist at LMU. A blunt — if not crass — question places it all into proper perspective. What is LMU’s raison d’etre? For that matter, what is any so-called “Catholic” institution’s reason for existing, if not to proclaim loudly and live unapologetically its Catholic Identity and Mission. Surely, LMU does not exist merely to be yet another credible secular school!!! The nation and world are full of high quality secular state schools where one can obtain a top-notch education at a fraction of the cost. Indeed, the “something extra” reflected in the tuition cost differential is traceable to the moral Catholic component. Conversely, if you abandon the Catholic nature and mission focus of the school, there is no real reason for students to pay elevated tuition at LMU; one could pay far less tuition at a quality State school, receive a comparable education (or better, depending on the school), and pay a fraction of the cost.

Another letter reads:

This is unconscionable. The very faith which built your school is now to be deleted and denied? Before the cock crows… we are very disappointed in your lack of moral courage for our faith and the values that built your University. Until you stand up for those values we will make sure to tell our Catholic friends and family to look elsewhere when it comes to educating our youth.

Thank you for the overwhelming number of messages and letters of support. The more you circulate the information you find at, the better.

We are determined to hold President Synder publicly accountable for what he does and what he fails to do.

Media Coverage of Fundraiser Continues, Harassment of LMU Pro-Life Students Continues

President Snyder’s decision to approve the Planned Parenthood Fundraiser continues to draw attention from the media. For example, an article in the Washington Post (paywall free version here) quotes:

“[One student], who was raised Catholic but is not religious, said Loyola Marymount feels like an ‘unsafe campus to be on as a woman.’”

The idea seems to be that if LMU does not hold fundraisers for Planned Parenthood, then LMU is somehow threatening the physical well-being of women. This is hard to  believe. But maybe ‘safety’ means mental well-being, understood as feeling comfortable. But then all the pro-life students on campus were made ‘unsafe’ by the Planned Parenthood Fundraiser, since they were extremely upset by President Snyder’s approval of this event. 

Another article in the campus newspaper, the Loyolan says the following, “One held a sign, “If abortion is murder, masturbation is mass genocide.” Maybe a biology class next year will clear up this confusion for the student. It’s odd how the “We believe in Science” crowd forgets inconvenient scientific facts. The Loyolan article continues:

“It’s not just about abortion services, it’s [sexually transmitted disease] testing and treatment, contraception and most importantly cancer screenings and prevention,” said [another student].

Planned Parenthood doesn’t only do abortions. So what? A hitman doesn’t only do killings-for-hire. He may call his grandma every Sunday, play video games, and most importantly make a great pumpkin pie for his family every Thanksgiving. Do these other actions mitigate his killing-for-hire?

The Loyolan essay continues, “Promotional posters asked, ‘Confused on why students were allowed to call other students murderers?’ referencing the nature of the Nov. 5 protest.”  Confused is right. LMU’s Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) comes down like a ton of bricks on anyone who shows any kind of bias against a member of the LMU community because of “someone’s actual or perceived sex, gender, gender identity and expression, race, color, religion….”

We wonder if these students, and LMU itself, show equal concern for religious pro-life students at LMU on campus who have been bullied, harassed, and even sent messages like, “we hope you die.” For example, consider the following post “Everyone bully the LMU republicans instgram page pls [please]” from one LMU student against another group of LMU students:

Will LMU administrators hold this student and others who are harassing and bullying Catholic students accountable?  Will LMU’s Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) swing into action and public condemnation? Will President Snyder send an email to the entire LMU community decrying attacks on Catholic students on campus? I wouldn’t bet on it.

LMU  Cancels ‘commitment to Roman Catholicism’ from BCLA Mission Statement: A Petition to President Snyder

Dear President Snyder,

Several years ago, an essay entitled, “Is Loyola Marymount University Losing its Catholic Identity?” made this prediction, “In order to reflect what is really happening in the university, mission statements will have to be altered by deleting words such as ‘the service of faith’ and ‘commitment to Roman Catholicism’ from university and college mission statements. Deletion of these few lines will have no effect on the day-to-day running of the university, as they had no effect for years previously.” 

Unfortunately, this has already happened. Please compare the following mission statements.

“The Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts (BCLA) embodies the wider University goals of liberal education and commitment to Roman Catholicism and the Judaeo-Christian tradition. The curriculum in the College liberates the mind, nourishes the spirit, and cultivates creativity for the challenges of today and tomorrow. Its courses, therefore, are at the heart of the University’s core curriculum for all undergraduates.” (LMU Bulletin 2014-15, p.49)

Under the leadership of Dean Robbin Crabtree, who served on the advisory board and media-relations committee for Planned Parenthood, the Mission Statement of the LMU Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts changed to this:

“BCLA is the oldest and largest school at LMU and the liberal arts is at the heart of the LMU undergraduate education for all our students. We have 25 degree programs and 31 minors that will help you sharpen your intellectual capacity, gain deep content knowledge, and practice the marketable skills–such as critical thinking, writing, diversity awareness, and teamwork–that are highly valued by employers. In fact, the overwhelming majority of employers prefer to hire people who demonstrate the outcomes from a liberal arts education. Liberal arts graduates have similar peak earnings as business and pre-professional majors, and are more likely to pursue graduate degrees” (LMU Bulletin 2015-2016, p.57)

We write because we want you to restore the missing language of a “commitment to Roman Catholicism and the Judaeo-Christian tradition.” 

More importantly, we want BCLA, and LMU more generally, to actually live out this stated mission and Catholic identity in its decisions. We need both words and deeds.


George Cassar, LMU Alum 1987

To support this effort, please sign below and circulate the link to this petition on your social media.  LMU’s President can be reached at 310.338.2775 and on twitter @LMUSnyder

Before Dean Crabtree

After Dean Crabtree

LMU Women in Politics Raised $4,100 for Planned Parenthood

The Loyolan is reporting:

“LMU Women in Politics (WiP), a left-wing feminist registered student organization (RSO) on campus, wrapped up their fundraiser for Planned Parenthood held Friday, Nov. 5, which raised over $4,100 for the non-profit.”

“And it’s not even a major percentage of what Planned Parenthood does,” said [a] freshman civil engineering major [], a member of WiP [Women in Politics] who attended the fundraiser. “It’s a small percentage of what Planned Parenthood does, is abortions.”

This makes about as much sense as saying:

“And it’s not even a major percentage of what the Corleone Family does,” said a freshman Italian Studies major who attended the fundraiser. “It’s a small percentage of what the Corleone Family does, is killing-for-hire. Aren’t you forgetting they make great olive oil and run legitimate casinos? Michael is a war hero, for crying out loud! All people are loved and equal, so long as they are chosen and convenient for us. If not, well, we make them a deal they cannot refuse, to sleep with the fishes.”

Did President Snyder Violate the Right of Free Speech of LMU Community Members? 

If an LMU administrator, even an angry president says,  “You work for me!” and therefore you cannot speak in the way that you want to speak, or protest what you want to protest, this is contrary to LMU policy. If this happens to you, may we suggest that you point out to this administrator that both you and he work for Loyola Marymount University, and LMU claims to value free speech and the exchange of ideas.  He is an administrator at this university, not a dictator who can order members of the community not to speak.

Responses to President Snyder’s Approval of the Planned Parenthood Fundraiser

Responses to President Snyder’s decision to approve the continuation of the Planned Parenthood Fundraiser continue to be published nationally and internationally. The Catholic Business Journal headline reads, “Courage students want the True Faith at Loyola Marymount: Students Restart Pro-life Group after Planned Parenthood fundraiser.” 

The Catholic News Agency reports:

When Loyola Marymount University student Megan Glaudini heard that her university was not stopping an on-campus fundraiser for Planned Parenthood, she felt “convicted” that she needed to do something. “Upon hearing about the Planned Parenthood fundraiser on campus, originally, I was just completely disgusted and embarrassed, and disappointed that the university would allow this to happen,” she told CNA in a phone call Nov. 6. “I took a while to kind of discern what I really wanted to do, what kind of action would even make a difference, and I really felt convicted and like I needed to do something,” she said. That “something” turned out to be resurrecting the long time, inactive pro life group, and planning a rosary rally before the Planned Parenthood fundraiser.

Vita, a student run pro-life organization, rose from the dead after years of inactivity. We wish them well. 

An essay about LMU entitled, “Catholic Colleges That are Not Catholic” gets a lot right, but gets something very wrong. LMU does want to be Catholic when it comes to talking to Catholic donors and parents. In fundraising and recruiting students, LMU embraces its Catholic identity. As a recent Covid inspired advertisement put it, “This past year, the LMU community has demonstrated how creativity and compassion—values central to our Catholic, Jesuit, and Marymount identity—have been our North Star.”  On the other hand, in terms of student life, hiring faculty and administrators, and campus climate, LMU operates as any other secular school. So, a more accurate title of this essay about LMU would be “Catholic Colleges That Are Catholic When Convenient.”

COURAGEOUS STUDENTS WANT the True Faith at Loyola Marymount: Students Restart Pro-life Group after Planned Parenthood fundraiser