Friday, April 18, 2014
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Is John Silber Sending the Right Message?

Acting President John Silber finally revealed his true reasons for forcing the BU Academy’s GSA to close when he spoke to UNI students on Friday. He did not remove the GSA, as he says, because high school is not the right time for people to be discussing sexuality in an open manner. Instead, he removed the group because of fear and an inability to accept what he does not agree with.

Silber cited the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) as part of his reasoning for ending BUA’s GSA, saying that the BSA does not allow homosexuals in their organization “to protect the boys in the scouting movement from sexual abuse.” The implication is that gay men are more likely to abuse children than heterosexual mon, which is simply not true (http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_molestation.html).

He continued to reason that homosexuals use things like the GSA to try to recruit new homosexuals, calling such a thing “evangelical.” He failed to see the true purpose behind the GSA, which was to provide support and education for those students that decided that they needed help with changes going on in their lives. The point is that these students chose to participate in the GSA. There was no “head homosexual” trying to recruit new members for a cu< it was simply a place for open discussion of thoughts that might not have been accepted elsewhere.

Despite Silber’s belief otherwise, high school is the best place for discussions about sexuality to take place. The teenage years of a person’s life are the most difficult to cope with, with physical and emotional changes happening more often than any other time in life. If you add to that confusion about one’s sexuality, things become even more difficult – a support group like a GSA is a great resource for students of any sexuality.

The bottom line though, is that Silber is using Boston University (and the BUA) as a giant op-ed piece. He has no trouble imposing his moral views on us, the students. While his actions may be legal, they are not moral; in his speech on Friday he ultimately supported tolerance, but imposing one’s beliefs on others goes against any idea of tolerance.

We need to think about the kind of image Mr. Silber is presenting of BU as a whole. When someone outside of the community sees something about BU, they don’t see the great efforts being made to increase recycling, or the advances that our research facilities are making. They see Silber and his denouncement of homosexuals, his accusation that we are just a bunch of fornication-crazed, trysting sexaholics and his seeming desire to say anything he can that will spark a controversy. Is this what we as a student body want? I sure don’t.

-Jason Terk CAS 2005

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