The student body president at Calvin University has come out as gay, saying it is "beyond time" the private Christian school had LGBT representation.
"In the 102 years that Student Senate has existed, we've never had an openly gay student body president," wrote Student Body President Claire Murashima in the student newspaper. "It's beyond time that the LGBTQ community is represented in the highest student leadership position at Calvin. I'm proud to be the first."
Murashima also pushed for more LGBT representation at the school, saying that the school's culture — which she called "heteronormative and relationship-focused" — made LGBT people feel excluded.
Calvin University and its denomination, the Christian Reformed Church, do not officially condone same-sex relations. The school also prohibits sex outside of marriage in its code of conduct.
"The [CRC] and the university hold that human sexuality is a gift from God reserved for expression in the context of marriage between a man and a woman," said Calvin Assistant Director of Media Relations Matt Kucinski, adding that the CRC teaches that "orientation is not a sin" and LGBT people "are created in God's image and . . . should be treated with respect, grace, understanding, and love."
Murashima also said in her article that a survey conducted in the fall by the school's student senate found that 7% of Calvin students identify as LGBT.
Read her full piece here.