A Charleston Southern University student who launched an online petition urging the college to ban students from being fired from campus jobs because of their sexual orientation took down the petition Thursday to focus on her academics.
April Singletary, a senior, filed the petition last month on behalf of her friend and former CSU student Stephen Lovegrove, who had been working as an openly gay resident adviser while studying to become a pastor.
This summer, after Lovegrove posted a series of personal stories on social media sites about being gay and Christian, he said he was fired from his campus job. The 20-year-old transferred to Winthrop University at the start of this school year.
School officials, however, countered that Lovegrove wasn’t fired but rather temporarily reassigned — and then left CSU without responding to their efforts to move him to another position. Their actions came because he was serving in a leadership role while publicly promoting sexuality that is contrary to the private Christian school’s beliefs, officials said.
Singletary then created the online petition with plans to take it to school leaders.
However, she decided to take it down because she needs to focus on her senior year academics.
“This was not an easy decision for me to make,” Singletary said. “One of the main reasons I decided it was best to take it down was to focus on school and graduating.”
She said she might revisit the petition after graduation.
“Once I graduate and am no longer under the rules of the school, I can decide what next steps I can take, if by that time if I want to continue,” she said.
Hundreds of people had signed the appeal, which stated: “We are petitioning CSU to add a new policy that protects students of all sexual orientations — a policy stating that as long as students follow the rules outlined in the student handbook and in their employment contracts, no student may be removed from any position due to their sexual orientation.”