LGBT pride flags as part of a protest against the school's ban on allowing full-time staff to be in same-sex relationships.The video was posted Monday to TikTok by the account @EngaygeTheCulture, which is run by the Associated Students of Seattle Pacific (ASSP), the group leading the SPU protest.The clip—simply a montage of students handing over the flags and receiving their diplomas—is captioned "POV: the president of your university thinks being LGBTQ+ is a 'lifestyle choice' and a 'morality issue' so you decide to give him a gift at graduation," and has received nearly 2 million views.We’ve also been sleeping outside his office for 19 days in a gay sit-in but he usually doesn’t say hi to us. #pride #pridemonth #lgbtq #gay #graduation #fyp #seattle #changethepolicy #hiregayprofsHanding SPU President Pete Menjares LGBT pride flags isn't the extent of the protest.
ASSP has also been leading a sit-in at the school's administration building for the last 19 days. The organization is fighting against a policy—recently reaffirmed in May by the SPU board of trustees—which bans staff from having a same-sex relationship, according to The Seattle Times.The policy is unpopular not just with the students, but faculty.
Last year, the board of trustees upheld the policy in another vote, even after SPU had been sued by an adjunct professor who alleged he was denied a promotion because he was gay, the Times reports.
That decision led the SPU Faculty Senate to vote they had "no confidence" in the board. The lawsuit was settled out of court.However, it could be tricky to remove the policy.