Open Letter to the Community

NOTE: This letter was co-drafted by 3rd Way Collective and was originally printed in Penn State’s Daily Collegian Student Newspaper. It can be read from their website at this link.


To the Our Community regarding Violence Against the LGBTQA Community


On Sunday, October 4th, our community was host to violence suspected to have been directed at an individual because of their sexual identity. As religious and spiritual leaders at Penn State, we agree that physical violence against people who identify as LGBTQA is intolerable.

We lament that we still live in a world in which some people verbally or physically lash out against those who are different from themselves. We lament that sexual and gender bias sometimes leads to violent acts that unfortunately are not limited to this recent incident.

While we acknowledge that within our community there are a variety of perspectives on sexuality and religious sexual ethics, targeted violence toward any sexual, religious, or racial diversity must be condemned by people of all faiths.

We commit to work on campus and in this community to spread a message of love and respect for all human beings, for an ethic of respect and love that never results in violent physical assault of another human being. We ask all members of the Penn State University community, no matter their faith, to continue to work at creating safer spaces for our brothers and sisters from Penn State’s LGBTQA community, and all who feel marginalized in our community.

May events like these never happen again.


Ben Wideman, 3rd Way Collective Campus Minister (co-draftee)

Alicia Anderson, Lutheran Campus Ministry Campus Minister (co-draftee)

Aaron Kaufman, Executive Director of Penn State Hillel

Jen Gruendler, Director of Campus Ministry at Wesley PSU

Diana Malcom, Associate for Ministry at Westminster Presbyterian Fellowship

Hope Schmid, President of Buddhism for Peace Penn State

David Falk, Co-Founder Receiving with Thanksgiving: A Penn State LGBTQ Christian Network

Eli Roe, Co-Founder Receiving with Thanksgiving: A Penn State LGBTQ Christian Network

Kerry Wiessmann, Centre LGBTQA Support Network

Caroline Head, VP of Unitarian Universalist Students at Penn State