Communicating campus concerns

More than a year after the homophobic event that prompted a sit-in at Hardy House and the consequent formation of the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center (GSRC), intolerance unfortunately still exists on campus. As evidenced by last Thursday’s all-campus e-mail from the outgoing College Council (CC) stressing the unacceptability of homophobia and homophobic language at the College, this is an issue that many on campus feel is critical to discuss.

We commend CC for taking the initial step towards opening the dialogue on an issue that is clearly deserving of campus-wide recognition. Yet we also acknowledge that an e-mail is temporary, and more long-lasting community efforts are necessary to combat intolerance and hostility on campus. While CC’s turnover is exciting, we must ensure that the work begun by the past council is continued under new leadership. We now look to our newly-elected CC co-presidents to lead the campus in an ongoing discussion that underscores our community’s stance against homophobic language.

Incoming presidents, you said at last week’s CC debates that you intend to lead the campus in confronting the important issues that affect our community, homophobia being one of them. This is a task that must be considered as you formulate your agenda both for tonight’s inaugural meeting of the new council and as you move forward this semester. Your community-based platform is laudable, and we want to remind you that this community needs to be supported through both its ups and its downs. Now is the time to engage a topic that may prove tough to talk about, but one that nonetheless many in our community feel the need to address immediately.

The College isn’t perfect. However, in the real world there is no all-campus e-mail to call an important issue into question. We are lucky to have access to resources such as CC, the Queer Student Union (QSU) and the GSRC. We encourage the QSU and the GSRC especially to continue in their efforts of supporting campus community members and to use this conversation to highlight their important roles at the College. Furthermore, we urge our incoming CC co-presidents to reach out to these organizations as partners in this conversation as they forge on in their work towards eradicating homophobia here, following through with their campaign slogan of “working towards a better Williams.”

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