Letters to the editor

By Kate McDonough Senior, Film/Political Communication

As someone who was president of EAGLE for two years and has been highly active within the Emerson GLBT community, I stand strongly behind EAGLE’s efforts to create mandatory diversity training.

While I am very proud of our college’s reputation for being an open and accepting community, I find it unrealistic to think that our reputation alone will stop anti-homophobic actions from increasingly occuring on our campus.,Dear Editor,

As someone who was president of EAGLE for two years and has been highly active within the Emerson GLBT community, I stand strongly behind EAGLE’s efforts to create mandatory diversity training.

While I am very proud of our college’s reputation for being an open and accepting community, I find it unrealistic to think that our reputation alone will stop anti-homophobic actions from increasingly occuring on our campus. It is one thing to have a policy against harassment; it is another to take action that will actually enforce that policy.

Diversity training may not cause those who have hate in their hearts to change over night, but it will provide a venue where the student body can engage in open dialogue about diversity and tolerance, while at the same time making it very clear where Emerson stands on the issue collectively.

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Furthermore, we have to face the fact that our student body is changing. The administration has been very clear with its motives to attract students from a much broader spectrum.

Therefore, Emerson will begin to have students who have never been in contact with an out member of the GLBT community.

This is not to say that they will be automatically homophobic, but there will be a sense of discomfort when dealing with an aspect of diversity that they have never been in contact with before.

This is where the reality of our school will clash with our reputation: GLBT students will come to Emerson with our reputation in mind, come out within the first week, and sadly, face a student body that is not as tolerant as our reputation may lead one to think. In other words, reliance on our reputation alone will only hurt us in the long run.

Diversity training is not an insult to our intelligence, but an affirmation to the values held near and dear to our college.

It takes a proactive stance in preserving our history of tolerance and serves as a means to help prevent future acts of harassment.

I love Emerson and the ability it has given me to be an out lesbian. I would not be as out or as comfortable with who I am if it were not for this school.

When I graduate this spring, I would like to leave knowing that the GLBT community of next freshman class will have the ability to be just as out and as comfortable with the their sexual orientation as I did. That is why I am for mandatory diversity training.