Letter to the Editor

(Brent Schwert)

I want those students with the Viking Conservatives who posted anti-gay slurs on the GLOW house to know that their actions were more than an attack on the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer students at Lawrence. Their anti-gay slurs were also an attack on their education and the spirit of learning on which Lawrence prides itself. Their anti-gay slurs were an attack on conservatism as well. Because from now on, if anyone asks, “Are conservatives really homophobic?” the answer will be, “Yeah, remember those posters they put on the GLOW house in November?”
Is that the kind of image they want for the Viking Conservatives? During my senior year at Lawrence, now 10 years ago, a similar attack was launched in scrawled handwriting in my dorm at Ormsby, against a student who had the guts to be openly gay. People cried “homophobia!” and “free speech!” But what really happened was that some students were allowed anonymously to dehumanize another student and it was swept under the rug. That cannot be allowed to happen in this instance.
To those who did this: Know that your words are also heard by alumni who are reading The Lawrentian throughout the country and world. I have heard your words and actions against LGBTQ students, and believe your lack of regard for the community hurts the whole university. You have spit in the face of your education, have defamed my alma mater, and better do more than say, “My bad.” You could start by saying, “Here I am. This is what I believe.”
To the LU administration: How will you ensure that none of your students have to keep suffocating in the closet because such attacks are carried out, blithely waved off, and then laughed about afterwards, as was the case 10 years ago and probably today? You will be letting down all your students by letting this one get by so easily. If there is disagreement on homosexuality, talk about it in community. Make some friends who are LGBTQ. The integrity and veracity of the “Lawrence community” demands action.Chris Wogaman,
Lawrence class of ’97

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