hate speech editorial cartoon

Whether it is three letters or six, the infamous f-slur does not lose its meaning.

For centuries, queer people have been victims of hateful words and actions.

On Sept. 28, they once again fell victim to being the butt of some cruel and heartless joke when members of the Kappa Sigma fraternity at Illinois State University spray-painted the f-slur on one sorority and one fraternity on campus.

While the members involved with the acts were kicked out of the fraternity and Kappa Sigma discusses with the university about what to do moving forward, students are furious.

The Vidette stands with the LGBTQIA+ community and we stand with the students who say that more needs to be done.

We cannot allow this situation to get glossed over and to just brush it off as, “Well that’s just fraternities for you.”

ISU prides itself on being a constantly growing and diversifying campus. Just last month, President Terri Goss Kinzy announced the establishment of the Office of Equity and Inclusion.

That is exactly what we and the rest of campus are calling for: equity and inclusion.

Homophobia should have no place at ISU. The individuals most impacted by the use of those slurs should feel safe on campus.

Moving forward, queer students, faculty members and staff deserve to be included in the conversations surrounding the punishments for the fraternity and its members along with how to deal with possible similar situations in the future.

However, the responsibility of teaching the rest of the student body how to act toward people of different sexual orientations should not fall on the shoulders of marginalized communities.

All organizations on campus, not just PRIDE or the Queer Coalition, should be fostering discussions of diversity, equity and inclusion on their own time.

In a video message posted by ISU and Kinzy Monday, Kinzy said, “Every member of Illinois State University carries the responsibility of fostering an environment of respect and care that is integral to learning and growing.”

Let us highlight that key part one more time: “every member.”

Especially with the highly specific setting that Greek life operates in, leaders in sororities and fraternities should be much more responsible for the teachings, language and actions that occur from their members.

The university has the chance to take this tragedy and turn it into a major turning point to shift the dialogue around acts and speech like this on campus.

We need to back the LGBTQIA+ community as members take on this heavy task of explaining why and how these acts were harmful and reeducating the community.

ISU needs to listen to and not just hear queer voices.

We need to listen to queer voices.

ELIZABETH URBAN is News Editor for The Vidette. Urban can be contacted at emurba1@ilstu.edu. Follow Urban on Twitter at @eliizabethurban.  

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