The letter called for the University to allow a gay/straight alliance on campus (something it has repeatedly refused to do) and to add sexual orientation to the nondiscrimination policy. According to demonstrators, of the top-20 universities in the country, Notre Dame is the only one that doesn't include sexual orientation in their non-discrimination policy. The students drew a direct connection to the gaps in LGBT protections on campus and the atmosphere at the school:
When the University refuses to acknowledge club status for [gay/straight alliances] and refuses to add sexual orientation to the non-discrimination clause, we are reminded of our other-ness.
Much more, including video & how you can help the students of Notre Dame, after the jump...
The student marchers were stopped at the entrance of the administration building and weren't allowed in, but continued the rally until an administrative assistant to the President came out and publicly accepted the letter.
Here's a local news report on the March (h/t to Towleroad for the video):
While students and Alumni groups have been working on making changes to the Notre Dame's attitude towards LGBT students for years, the impetus for the current revitalized push was the publication of a horrific cartoon in The Observer, which led to resignations, public apologies, and now hopefully reform:
Character 1: "What's the easiest way to turn a fruit into a vegetable?" Character 2: "No idea." Character 1: "A baseball bat."
Targeting: John Affleck-Graves (Executive Vice President, University of Notre Dame), Bill Brink (Managing Editor, The Observer ) and Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. (President, University of Notre Dame)
Earlier this month, the University of Notre Dame's student newspaper, The Observer, ran a cartoon that advocated beating gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people into vegetables. While the University, and the student newspaper, apologized for printing the comic strip, the very sentiments behind the comic are fostered by a university that has consistently fought to keep sexual orientation off of its non-discrimination policy, and has consistently refused to recognize LGBT student groups on campus.
...Tell Notre Dame to fight back against efforts to turn gay bashing into comedy, and institute policies that truly show respect for diversity.