I was impressed to read about President Jon Westling’s commitment to student activism (“Clinton urges youth activism at conference” Dec. 6), especially his statement that “our essential tradition here [at BU] is the tradition of disciplined self-improvement. We stir this discontent among our students, and we keep it alive … in every aspect of the University. “
Unfortunately, I must agree with Shayna Harris’s assessment that “blaring examples of injustice are alive and well within our own institution” (“The campus is a microcosm” Dec. 7). Students are working to improve justice at BU, and we need President Westling to act with integrity to his words. We are working to include sexual orientation in the nondiscrimination policy at the University. A school that markets itself on its diversity must provide a safe environment for all of its students. As students have risen their voices, the University has remained silent, at least on the pages of The Daily Free Press.
In Bay Windows, BU resists the change because “trying to approach this as a symbolic movement can create a climate that says a problem exists,” according to University spokesman Kevin Carleton (“BU students try to get school to adopt gay bias clause” Dec. 7). BU won’t protect its students’ safety because it might make them feel unsafe? This sounds like the argument against safety belts because drivers will feel that the cars are unsafe.
Equally confusing is the resistance to changing the clause. The safety of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people is “upheld at the University regardless of the nondiscrimination policy,” says Carleton; if the University already protects all of its students and staff, why not simply put in writing that which BU is already doing?
President Westling, if you will live up to your words and improve the lives of the students of your University, then change the nondiscrimination policy so that we are all protected.
Patrick Donovan V.P. of Safety Services, Student Union SED ’01
Rhiannon Roberts President, Women’s Center CAS ’01