The administration has told the student body that some discrimination and hate speech is acceptable, elucidating a double standard in how UR responds to bigotry.

Responding to racist messages, which were reported in the Feb. 22 CT, Provost Charles Phelps and Deans Paul Burgett, Thomas LeBlanc and William Green issued an official announcement, published in that same issue.

Next, the College Diversity Roundtable issued an official statement which was read in classrooms across campus condemning this racism and speaking of the distress it has caused.

While I applaud the strong response they have given to racism at UR, making it clear that such behavior is condemned, I want to know where these administrators and the Roundtable were when ?phag? was painted in the tunnels, or scribbled on desks across campus.

Walking around campus I have found ?AIDS kills fags? and ?kill the fags? in the library as well as iterations of ?faggot? everywhere from tunnel walls and desks to dorm hallways. I see Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Friends Association posters regularly torn down.

Where is the official statement about these incidents?

Last year, one of my roommates referred to me as ?that fucking fag? to my RA, I had ?fag? not-so-subtly coughed at me by a hall-mate and had it written on the wall across from my door. While these pale when compared to what has happened to others, such as Matthew Shepard, it still affects my life and the lives of many others.

I should have insisted something be done, but I didn?t. Perhaps if UR had created an atmosphere where it was clear that such language and actions are not acceptable, I would have.

This is made clear through statements and actions by the administration. It is their collective responsibility to make sure that students realize that this behavior is unacceptable and that it should be reported.

I?m sure that the N-word was once bandied about in as many contexts as ?fag? is today. Change happened because it was made clear that such language and beliefs were unacceptable.

The only affirmation I saw that ?fag? and similar terms are unacceptable is that ? though the tunnels had been repainted twice since GLBFA painted them ? one section had been left uncovered. The section that read ?Homophobia is fear of oneself? in pink on yellow still stood. An affirmation from these students that this is indeed true ? that hate speech against anyone is not acceptable.

It strikes me as sad that students have made stronger statements than the administration and Roundtable are able to bring themselves to make.

Until UR recognizes that terms like ?fag? are hateful and painfully unacceptable ? and makes this clear ? I will continue to deal with ?fag? being coughed under people?s voices, said to my face and written on walls, desks and tunnel walls.



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