LGBTQ+ Community overlooked at Western

Kalen Stanford, Courier Staff

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On our own campus at Western Illinois University, there are so many issues that no one is addressing.

As someone who is a part of the LGBTQ+ community, it enrages me that there are still issues with hate in 2018 and on my own college campus. A few other things that need to be brought to light is the rape culture on campus and the privilege that is so prominent.

The LGBTQ+ community is just as much a part of Western as any other student, which means their needs need to be met just as much as anyone else. I have a close friend who has had so many issues with hate since he came to Western. There have been incidents where he has had hate speech spat at him during class. He described to me how he went about getting this situation dealt with. He told me that the professor sat idly by, and when he went to higher authorities at the University, nothing was done to the students. This causes so many issues because not only are students spreading hate, the faculty is helping fuel the fire as well. This should not be the environment of a college campus where the soul purpose is to educate and open minds. Higher faculty should have done something about this situation, and they need to punish students and faculty for spreading hate in our college community.

Another issue that needs to be addressed is the rape culture and the privilege issue on campus. Since the beginning of this semester, there have been three reports of sexual assaults on campus. This has been a very widespread issue across the country as of late. Something that goes hand in hand with this is privilege. People who believe they have more rights than others are the issue here. While we have plenty of resources on campus to prevent these kinds of crimes, there needs to be more done about it.

We need to educate everyone on sexual assault. There needs to be self-defense classes at the rec center for anyone who feels they could use them. The emergency buttons on campus need to be increased so people who are in trouble have easier access. People who are a part of Greek organizations, athletics, etc. typically get looked over when it comes to punishments; this needs to stop. This is a privilege that needs to be taken very seriously and hopefully stopped.

After learning about these incidents, campus feels so corrupt and disgusting. I truly hope this is something the higher faculty will take into consideration when figuring out how to better the college and community. I also hope that in the future, our students will stand up for one another instead of standing idly by. If you see something, say something; it could literally save someone’s life. I hope the LGBTQ+ community can believe there are people who stand behind us, as well as sexual assault victims. We stand with you, and we are here for you.

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