EDITORIAL: LGBTQ community deserves more

Illustration by Mattheau Faught

It’s time for administrative leaders on campus to address the targeted attacks against the LGBTQ community.

In October, Dean of Student Success and Wellness Katy Launius expressed concerns about the treatment of LGBTQ community members on campus at President Eddie Tealer’s forum.

From the ripping of LGBTQ safe zone stickers off doors to derogatory comments, our school’s LGBTQ community feels unsafe.

This issue must be stopped without meaningless blanket statements about equity and diversity. Two words that get thrown around a lot these days but seem to have little meaning or effect on anyone’s life.

There was a panel on Feb. 21 of diversity experts from across the corporate world planned by administration, which is fine and dandy except this is an institution of higher learning.

Our needs in academia are different than the corporate world.

Administrators should be concerned with fostering an environment where everyone can grow intellectually without the fear of bigoted backlash.

Advice from employees of corporations that are only worried about making more money is not who we should be turning to for guidance.

The so-called “diversity expert” from Wells Fargo — a bank that got in trouble in 2018 for predatory loans targeted at minorities and low-income people — made comments that made an attendee from the LGBTQ community feel uncomfortable and leave.

Our leadership needs to do better.

To start, there needs to be an immediate statement to all students and employees of the school from our president that says this aggression against the LGBTQ community is unacceptable and there will be disciplinary action taken on any person found to be making these comments or defacing property.

Cancer is not fought by improving your overall health. You have to attack the tumor with precise treatment.

A similar strategy needs to be taken with this issue. While developing a learning environment equitable for everyone is important, this problem is being addressed because LGBTQ members were being assaulted.

Next, the Center of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity needs a director. It’s possible the one college initiative made campus leaders hold off on filling the position, but  we believe the school should fill the role.

The Dallas County Community College District has said that diversity and equity are important issues to them. If that’s the case, the chancellor should be endorsing the CEID and figuring out how to implement something similar at each campus.

It shouldn’t be hard.

Universities across the metroplex have similar centers, such as the University of North Texas’ Division of Equity & Diversity, which has a director and assistant director. This center also has a Pride Alliance, that focuses solely on the needs of the LGBTQ community.

We also said in our editorial from October that a diversity task force should be created with people from the president’s cabinet, student leaders, deans, faculty and staff.

We continue to stand by this and believe it should be formed immediately.

For students, someone needs to step up and fill the role of leader for the PRISM club.

It’s currently fading out of existence, but it shouldn’t. It’s incumbent on the students to keep the club alive so your voice continues to be heard.

Person-centeredness should mean everyone on campus has access to a college that is accepting of all people no matter how they identify.

Editorial: True culture change requires time, effort

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