NC State’s daily student paper, The Technician, published two opinion pieces today, one in favor of the proposed LGBT Center and one against the LGBT Center.
Hinton was the ranking member of the NC State Senate’s delegation from the School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences in 2004-2005. in 2005-2006, he served as Student Senate President (thanks for the heads up, Lee). On his old Senate website, he lists “campus-wide respect” and “campus safety and freedom” as two of his key issues.
Hinton says that the “silent majority” at NC State is saying “No” to the LGBT Center. He also says that for some, the issue isn’t about whether homosexuality is right or wrong. That is true, but it is also true that the opposition to this proposed center by a great many (most likely a majority of his “silent majority”) is informed by these student’s life in a society which has continually proven to be hostile and unequal for LGBT people.
These students are trying to convince everyone that their opposition is just about money. They are trying to say that student fees shouldn’t be used if everyone won’t benefit from the Center. They go on and on about not wanting increases in students fees.
They can hide behind money all they want, but the fact that this issue has sparked such a public and widespread outrage on campus and that so many students are out there using their anti-gay, hateful and certainly not Christ-like religious ideologies to oppose the Center proves their true feelings. The fact that the majority of the discussion on the “Students Against NCSU LGBT Center” Facebook group includes horrible, almost unspeakable and sometimes violent anti-gay bigotry, hate and prejudice is proof enough to show what the true feelings are for these students and what is backing up their supposed devotion to “protecting” student fees.
The need for NC State’s LGBT student center has been proven over and over again and by the very students who are themselves opposing it. Extensive research has gone into drafting an official University report (PDF) detailing the exact reasons as to why this Center is needed. As Denton says in her opinion piece, if a group of students can prove their need for such a service from the University and the University also sees the need, then so be it.
People ask, “What about having a straight center?” Get over it. It won’t happen. Unless straight people, as an entire group, start to be systematically and institutionally discriminated against by local, state and national governments, it won’t happen. Until straight students, as an entire group, are forced to live in secrecy and fear of physical harm by their friends if their true self was known, it won’t happen. Until straight students, as an entire group, report feeling as though their physical safety is in danger at school simply because they’re straight, it won’t happen. Until the president of other NC State student organizations are hanged in effigy on campus, based solely on the fact that they are straight, it won’t happen.
The situation for LGBT students at NC State is a dangerous one. An acquaintance of mine had to leave NC State after being harassed and assaulted so much that the physical safety of her life began to come into question. Can you imagine what might happen if I were to become a student at NC State? I don’t think I’d last for long at all without having some sort of physical attack.
This debate is shameful. LGBT students at NC State deserve to have the University do something, do anything to help them. The life they live as students at NC State is a horrible one and since NC State is a public university, it has an obligation to ensure the safety and well-being of all its students, gay or straight.
For proof of exactly why this center is needed, check my past “NC State rears its ugly anti-gay head” post series.