Monday, February 8, 2010

In Support of the GLBT Protest at John Carroll University

I am so proud of these men and women, students of John Carroll, who took a courageous stand, in the face of all possible consequences, in solidarity with those who are vulnerable to discrimination. As a faculty member of this institution, I stand with them. I believe that we as an institution can (and must) do more to ensure equal protection under the law for all employees and students. I'm a little sorry that it came to this--that students had to rouse us from our collective moral catatonia--but I'm pleased to see that they have a little fight in them.

Here is the statement that accompanied the above video.
In light of the recent decision by the John Carroll University administration to not specifically include the protection of Lesbians, Gays, Bi-Sexuals, Transgendered, and Questioning students in its Anti-Discrimination Statement, we, the students, faculty, and alumni of John Carroll University choose to voice our support for those the university leaves without protection.

John Carroll's mission is to create people for others. That means support, protection, love, and understanding for all people without regard to color, creed, sexual preference, gender, age, or other personal factors. That's the goal of a Jesuit institution.

By not explicitly voicing its support of LGBTQ students, faculty, and alumni, John Carroll's administration is breaking those unspoken bonds of trust that make JCU a community.

It's time for those who have called Carroll home in some capacity to speak up and demand of the President, Board of Directors, and Administration the words that promise safety and security to those whose rights are so tenuous and often unprotected.

In short, we expect better of John Carroll University. We demand better. We are a gentle, angry people and we are singing, singing for our lives!!!


Rob Pitingolo said...

I'm only at JCU twice per week this year, so I'd consider myself fairly disconnected from the campus. But from my perspective, the executive-level administrators have committed a number of public relations gaffes that makes me wonder why there isn’t a stronger movement for a change at the top. Obviously there are many people deeply concerned about important issues on campus, but does the opinion of the general population lean more towards apathy? Thanks for helping to fill me in on this.

Philip Metres said...

You've asked some good questions, Rob. Various blocs of the faculty have registered their disapproval not just with this statement on diversity (which, to be fair, is still in draft stage), but also with other decisions, and indeed, with the president himself.

As an institution, JCU is managing a number of challenges and crises, and it makes any small thing reverberate into the larger things (as your comment does).

As for apathy--I don't believe that anyone whose livelihood is directly at stake (the faculty and staff) is apathetic. Apathy tends to a biproduct of privileged distance, no?