By Alex Huntley
Queers and allies, please stop. Stop pretending that everything is okay at this university, that not being allowed to be an official club is okay, because it is not. It is homophobic and discriminatory. Have enough self-respect to stand up against this injustice and discrimination, because you should be treated equally and with respect. Eight times CUAllies has been denied recognition, do you still think what you are doing is working? Do you really think that compliance, compliance with discriminatory policies and blatant inequality, will get acceptance? Sitting back and waiting without action is a fruitless endeavor, not speaking out against this blatant discrimination and acting as if it’s okay how they treat us, tells the administration and Garvey that we are okay with this. That we are okay with not being a recognized club because we have a room. That we are okay with not having access to funding. That we are okay with being treated as lesser-than.
The Arlington Catholic Herald published an article this past summer titled “Oh, Canada,” written by our own president, John Garvey. In this article, Garvey discusses the decision of the Law Society of British Columbia to deny Trinity Western University’s Law school accreditation, due to discrimination against queer students. He questions why a gay student would want to attend a Catholic university, saying, “Why would a gay student want to attend Trinity Western anyway, and subject himself to an unwelcome constraint, except to play dog in the manger?”
This is how our president feels about our decisions to attend this university. I, for one, can say, I did not attend this university to “play dog in the manger.” I came here for the education. You need to take action to see change, make noise. If there is enough commotion and attention being brought to this issue, the administration will have to make a decision. They will have to decide between holding their stance, thus ensuring a torrent of criticism and bad press, or they will have to allow queer students to meet and be able to have school funded events, access to resources, and most importantly respect of our human dignity. And maybe, just maybe, once Allies is recognized we might finally see less harassment and discrimination from the student body.
As a queer, gender non-conforming student, I can attest first-hand that it is far from easy here at Catholic University. Harassment is simply a part of my day, much like morning coffee but, unfortunately, far less enjoyable. It ranges from disgusted looks and people crossing the street to avoid me, to under the breath slurs and individuals yelling at me. But I didn’t come here for the social life; I came here to get an education. Thus, I’ve kept my head down the past three years. But if I, and all of us, continue to stay silent, then it is never going to get better for future classes. Sure we can lay low, suck it up and get out in four years, but why let this cycle continue? I am not saying start a war, I am merely saying make your voices heard and do not stop until they listen.