SAINT PAUL, Minnesota (LifeSiteNews) — The University of St. Thomas in Minnesota has in the past allowed gender-confused men to live in women’s residence halls, according to comments made by the school’s residence life director.
Director of Residence Zoe Chang can be seen on a video released by James O’Keefe’s new media group discussing a hypothetical situation with undercover journalists who asked about a “trans sister” living on campus.
Chang told the journalists the gender-confused male would get a discount on a double room as an “accommodation.”
“So you’ve had transgender students come here before,” a journalist asks in another part of the video. It is not clear if this comment came chronologically before or after Chang’s comments show at the beginning of the clip.
1st OMG Citizen Journalist-Led Story:
A Citizen Journalist was rewarded $1000 for this recording obtained about a Catholic University allowing “trans girl” to room in the girl’s dorm without their knowledge. pic.twitter.com/eFmsTZnm1W
— O’Keefe Media Group (@OKeefeMedia) May 10, 2023
Chang said she does not tell the students about transgender students living in the dorms. She said there would be a problem from “parents” who are Catholic and conservative. “Why are you letting that happen?” Chang hypothesized parents would say.
A separate university staffer said in a different phone call that a male student’s transgenderism would be kept secret from others.
Chang said in another part of the video that a gender-confused male could live with a female without that girl knowing that her roommate was “transgender.”
The journalist tells Chang it is good the university is being “inclusive.” The residence life director, while smiling, said the university is trying to move in “that direction” without being too outward about it.
LifeSiteNews contacted the residence life office and Associate Vice President of Public Relations Andy Ybarra on Monday morning and asked for comment on the video, how the university ensures all its policies and programming conforms to the Catholic Church’s teachings on gender and sexuality and if there was anything specifically that was misleading or false in the clip. Neither responded to the request for comment.
LifeSiteNews also contacted the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis to ask if it could comment on the situation and if it planned to discuss the problems of “transgender” individuals living in dorm rooms incongruent with their sex at the university. Director of Communications Tom Halden did not respond to the Monday morning email.
The university largely confirmed the substance of the video.
“If a student were to voluntarily disclose their transgender identity and ask to have a roommate, our Residence Life team would take steps to make sure both students are comfortable with the living arrangements, while abiding by privacy laws that prevent us from sharing a student’s transgender identity without their consent,” the university told Tommie Media.
The school continued:
In our experience, a single room is often the best option for a transgender student. Single rooms are first assigned to students who are granted single-room housing accommodations through Disability Resources. Once those assignments are made, Residence Life then assigns the remaining available rooms based on student requests, considering their personal needs.
Students at the university appeared to confirm the generally pro-LGBT stance of the the school in comments given to the campus media outlet.
The campus Queer-Straight Alliance told Tommie Media that the video was an “affront to the UST LGBTQIA+ community. Over the last 3-4 years, UST has made large strides in ensuring all students feel welcome at St. Thomas.”
“The comments in the video act as if all policies considering the LGBTQIA+ community is a dirty secret that only a few in the know truly understand what’s going on,” the LGBT club stated. “In reality, there are multiple departments on campus who strongly stand by and support the Trans Community, and the LGBTQIA+ community as a whole.”
Last year the College of Arts and Sciences also hosted a “teach-in” on the importance of “affirming” the disordered desires of “queer youth.” The university also published a series called “Pride Month Meditations” during June 2022.
The Catholic Church teaches that no person can change his or her sex.
“Everyone, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity. Physical, moral, and spiritual difference and complementarity are oriented toward the goods of marriage and the flourishing of family life,” the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) states.
“Except when performed for strictly therapeutic medical reasons, directly intended amputations, mutilations, and sterilizations performed on innocent persons are against the moral law,” CCC 2297 states.