The Alliance

What is the Alliance?

The Alliance is a volunteer group of faculty, staff, and administrators who support community, advocacy, education, dialogue, and mutual respect around sexual identity and gender expression within our mission as a Jesuit Catholic University.

Our Mission

As a community of unique individuals, we share a deep sense of belonging - where voices are heard, opinions are respected, and our differences are celebrated and valued. Espousing the Jesuit educational priorities of the service of faith, the promotion of justice, the care of the whole person across all aspects of identity, and compassion for all, as well as the Jesuit universal apostolic preferences of walking with the excluded and accompanying young people in the creation of a hope-filled future,  the Alliance affirms that all members of our community deserve to develop their full potential in a safe and inclusive climate. The Alliance works to affirm the dignity of all human beings, and to promote mutual understanding and respect, acceptance and inclusiveness.

See our Diversity Statement to learn more.

Our Events

  • Monthly meetings online, plus online and in-person opportunities to socialize with approximately 100 Alliance members
  • Unity Week: Each fall, the Alliance sponsors Unity Month with SJU Pride. The month includes a Unity Mass, social events, educational programming, and speak-outs to focus attention on the issue of sexual identity and gender expression.
  • Safe Zone: The Alliance promotes the offering of Safe Zone training which is open to all members of the SJU community. The Safe Zone program builds a network of supportive people who strive to create inclusive spaces for the LGBTQIA+ community at SJU. Safe Zone training provides resources and information that enable allies to be knowledgeable, helpful and supportive. 
  • Lectures and Forums: The Alliance sponsors a number of events during Day of Dialogue and throughout the academic year, including faculty panels, guest speakers, films, and performances.

The History of the Alliance

Initially called COSASM, the Alliance was created in 1989 by three members of the Saint Joseph’s community: administrator Richard O’Malley, theologian Vincent Genovese, S.J., and psychologist Lourene Nevels. The organization was formed as a direct response to the fear and isolation expressed by an anonymous gay student during a time when the AIDS crisis was misunderstood, federal and state laws prohibited nontraditional marriages, and the Catholic Church was less vocal in stating that gay people must be welcomed and respected, and should not be marginalized or discriminated against. This documentary video by SJU student Kevin Hoban ‘24 provides more examples of the Alliance’s work throughout the years.