Queer bashing unabated on campus

To the Editor:

April 20, 1998:

As Queer Pride days come to a close, we would like to emphasize our support for the BGLTU, but also to all queer community members, whether they be students, staff, faculty or townspeople.

We think that the BGLTU and the Dively Committee have done a tremendous job in programming speakers and events that are thought-provoking and enlightening. The forum on religion and queerness, as well as the Aids Quilt were particularly well recieved.

We think that during these days, the campus and administration should take time to reflect on the necessity of these events, but more importantly on what Queer Pride days brought to the school last year.

Last year, queer students were subjected to a number of hate crimes perpetrated by their peers during Pride Week. The Queer Pride banners were vandalized on two seperate nights, even though they were displayed high off the ground on Chapin Hall, an open and heavily trafficked area of campus.

The Dean’s Office promise of a swift and thorough investigation quickly dissolved. No perpetrator was caught, nobody was punished, and not even a cursory report was ever made as to the status of the investigation.

There were other worrisome incidents, as well. They included separate cases of harrassment, verbal assault, and threats. Unless we remind ouselves of these instances and the negative messages they send about tolerance and awareness on this campus, such problems will continue to be silenced.

As a college, we must act more responsibly when students and entire groups are singled out with such poor intentions, and passiveness only fuels narrow-minded ways of thinking.

Jorge Just ’98

Alma Lagarda ’98

Co-Coordinators, VISTA