Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

GU Must Finally Embrace LGBTQ Students

TO THE EDITOR:

As Georgetown alumni, we were appalled to learn of the September beating of a gay student near the Georgetown campus. We were saddened to discover that this alleged hate crime may have occurred at the hands of another student. But we were most disappointed when we realized that the university has refused to speak on this matter as a hate crime and to truly address the underlying homophobia that it reveals. This hatred must be named and confronted, or the fear that it sows will become the day-to-day reality of Georgetown.

One of the most persistent and insidious strategies in perpetuating discrimination is simply refusing to acknowledge, over and over again, that a problem exists. If there is no discrimination, if there is no hate, then we never need to address homophobia or the university culture that tolerates intimidation and fear. The only problem the university sees is queer students, always yelling and demanding pesky things like safety and basic levels of respect from their peer community.

Six years ago, we fought to get a queer resource center on Georgetown’s campus. Again and again we heard that Georgetown provided for its LGBTQ students and that such resources were unnecessary. This argument was a slap in the face to our own experiences on the campus, up to and including the virulent opposition our campaign faced from students, faculty and administrators.

We hoped that the administration at our alma mater had grown and learned from that experience, but we are saddened and disappointed to see that this is not the case. The administration is once again telling queer students and their allies that their voices and their experiences are not welcome and valued. Six years ago, we tried to send a message in the face of this apathy: We told students as loudly as we could, ‘There are queer Hoyas, too.’Now, we say to the student body: ‘There are alumni who can see and name hate. We stand with you and support you.’/p>

We demand a swift and unequivocal response to the perpetrators of this act and to the university community as a whole. Georgetown is a leader in higher education and a gold standard for Catholic schools worldwide. The message being sent from our campus is clearly heard at others, and we will not let our school be represented by hate and ignorance.

We believe that through all of our efforts we can bring a day when perhaps the university itself will embrace all of its students and its only intolerance will be directed toward hateful speech and action.

Kate McDonald (COL ’04)

Maria Moser (COL ’04)

Avery Pardee (COL ’04)

Liam Stack (SFS ’06)

Emil Totonchi (SFS ’06)

Mike Wilson (COL ’05)

Oct. 3, 2007

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