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The Observer

The Student Newspaper of Case Western Reserve University

Letters to the Editor: Greek funding and LGBT community

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Thomas Paine

posted 3/19/10 @ 4:22 PM EST

First, let me say that I am not an egotistical bigot, but I was delighted to see Mr. Rucker's Letter to the Editor in the 3/19/2010 CWRU Observer expressing his disgust over the construction of the LGBT Center in Thwing. As a homosexual student on campus, I have often felt that the advancement of the LGBT community necessarily implies the oppression of other minorities, such as Mr. Rucker's. Living in our idyllic ivory towers, we sometimes forget that the very nature of spreading awareness and education prevents fellow students who wish to practice close-minded self-righteousness. And while I myself am not a bigot, I too recognize that because of his lifestyle, he incurs added stress and criticism from his fellow students. I am also deeply saddened that he has only one intellectual peer in all of his classes, and I would ask everyone reading this to be more understanding of the intolerant. We should all make an effort to hide the distasteful parts of our identities so that other students feel more "comfortable" around us. After all, it is not his fault he was born or raised this way (Mother Nature vs. Mother Rucker), but it is still his cross to bear and he, in turn, is ours. And I, for one, refuse to let him down.
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Rebecca Gans

posted 3/20/10 @ 12:27 AM EST

Although I believe the Office of Multicultural Affairs does have a lounge, if there is not a satisfactory meeting spot or safe area for any group, I think one ought to be created. However, it is hard to see how the creation of a new, separate area for LGBT students, who otherwise would have a hard time finding and identifying each other on campus, is at all offensive to other subordinate groups in this case. If it were the case that the university consistently passed up funding for meeting places for other subordinate groups (subordinate is the proper word because not all oppressed groups are minorities, such as women) in favor of LGBT people, then I could see an argument where the university was privileging some groups over others. As it stands, however, I believe that the university received funding specifically for this center and that is why it was created.

Although I realize it may be a bit ad hominem to add this, I do think that the author was more speaking from his belief that homosexuality is a "moral degradation" rather than any firm, factual argument.
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White Student

posted 3/20/10 @ 8:51 PM EST

As a white student, I feel like I am not being included. There is no office in multiculutral affair for students like me, or in Thwing. Why are minorities the only people that receive special treatment from the administration and outside donors? Why does a lifestyle choice or race make you more special than other students? And why should the school fund "special" offices for "special" students? Does a person being black mean they are more important because they are more different than a white student? All these offices and diversity forums are just tearing people apart. I only get frustrated with diversity when it's being slammed down my throat. I have no problem with minorities until they think they are entitled or deserving of special treatment because they're different. The school needs to do the right thing and stop catering to a bunch of wining minorities who claim they have experienced more bad things because they are a minority. Plenty of people have gone through hardships- poverty, abuse, crime victims, death, disease, mental disorders- being black or hispanic alone doesn't mean you have dealt with worse things than a white person. The school and society at large caters to people when they complain they are victims because of their race or sexuality. Why should your race or sexual preferance warrant special treatment? The school is also afraid to offend anybody by not catering to minorities. We all know there are people who got into Case solely because they bring diversity, not for their academic qualifications. They scare students into thinking it is wrong to think diversity isn't a priority or that minorities are deserving of special treatment. Their argument is that diversity is good, but they NEVER provide any evidence that race or sexual diversity leads to better academic performances or a more tolerant society. Admitting people based on race or diversity hurts tolerance because it is evident when a person did not get in on their own merits, and people than use that instance to make generalizations. The writer should stop thinking being of a certain race entitles you to any special treatment. Being a minority does not make you special, we're all people with diverse backgrounds, and have all had to deal with shit throughout our lives. The school should stop making it seem like it's acceptable that if you wine about being different you get special offices or departments. That's not inclusive, it's exclusive and showcases people's racial differences instead of showcases our similarities. People should stop viewing themselves as victims. Regardless of race, everybody has to deal with hardships and being judged and discrimnated against. Maybe they should open an office for white students where we can express our grievances about not being considered special.
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Rebecca Gans

posted 3/22/10 @ 12:50 PM EST

Originally posted by

White Student

Does a person being black mean they are more important because they are more different than a white student?... Plenty of people have gone through hardships- poverty, abuse, crime victims, death, disease, mental disorders- being black or hispanic alone doesn't mean you have dealt with worse things than a white person... We all know there are people who got into Case solely because they bring diversity, not for their academic qualifications... Maybe they should open an office for white students where we can express our grievances about not being considered special.


I would like to address the claims made by this author.

1. You say that black people and other subordinate groups are "more different" than white students. Right there, you're saying that white is the default or norm and that black or anything else is "other". That's just not true.

2. Black people and Latinos or Hispanics are at a greater risk for "poverty, abuse, crime victims, death, disease, mental disorders" I don't know as many statistics about Latinos because there is less research on them, but the same general principles apply. However, about 25% of black people live in poverty, 7% of white people do, with only 13% of the population being black and the majority (by a small margin) being white. Most victims of violent crimes are black, again, with only 13% of the population being black. Black people are at a higher risk for AIDS, diabetes and host of other diseases because of their marginalized status. In fact, even when social mobility occurs and members of the black community become middle class or rich, this does not necessarily improve their health outcomes because they face the stress of racism and discrimination by medical institutions. In case you were thinking any of this had to do with genetics, biologists and geneticists proved awhile ago that genetic diversity is spread evenly throughout the entire human population and there are no general genetic differences (other than those for skin color) between any of the races.

3. Not a single person here at Case got in because of diversity only and not because they are qualified. Affirmative action simply doesn't work that way. Affirmative action works by selecting a group of applicants who are all EQUALLY qualified on paper, and if there is no other way to make a decision, race, gender or ableism can sway the decision. It's also important to remember that affirmative actions doesn't just make up for past wrongs, it makes up for current wrongs. In the application process, many groups can have their qualifications actually UNDERrated, never overrated. For example, sociological and psychological studies show that, in an interview, women have to cite twice as many specific facts about their area of expertise to be rated as competent as their male peers. So, affirmative action can make up for the incorrect assessment of someone's qualifications in some cases.

4. People of color (that is anyone who is not white) in this country will always have one experience that not only shapes how they feel about themselves but also unfortunately influences their outcomes in life: Racism. White people, although there are stereotypes relating to white people, will never experience being told, in both subtle and explicit ways, that their group is generally inferior to or of lesser value or more different than whites. Whites will never have to worry about our social and government institutions discriminating unfairly against them, subordinate racial groups do have to worry about that.

By the way, I am a white woman, and as a white woman, I know that I will never experience the kind of discrimination and hate based on my race that other people do. Thus, as a white woman, I am in favor of all of the efforts this campus can make to empower students of color, and I am offended by many of the previous author's comments.
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White Student

posted 3/22/10 @ 5:03 PM EST

Originally posted by

White Student

As a white student, I feel like I am not being included. There is no office in multiculutral affair for students like me, or in Thwing. Why are minorities the only people that receive special treatment from the administration and outside donors? Why does a lifestyle choice or race make you more special than other students? And why should the school fund "special" offices for "special" students? Does a person being black mean they are more important because they are more different than a white student? All these offices and diversity forums are just tearing people apart. I only get frustrated with diversity when it's being slammed down my throat. I have no problem with minorities until they think they are entitled or deserving of special treatment because they're different. The school needs to do the right thing and stop catering to a bunch of wining minorities who claim they have experienced more bad things because they are a minority. Plenty of people have gone through hardships- poverty, abuse, crime victims, death, disease, mental disorders- being black or hispanic alone doesn't mean you have dealt with worse things than a white person. The school and society at large caters to people when they complain they are victims because of their race or sexuality. Why should your race or sexual preferance warrant special treatment? The school is also afraid to offend anybody by not catering to minorities. We all know there are people who got into Case solely because they bring diversity, not for their academic qualifications. They scare students into thinking it is wrong to think diversity isn't a priority or that minorities are deserving of special treatment. Their argument is that diversity is good, but they NEVER provide any evidence that race or sexual diversity leads to better academic performances or a more tolerant society. Admitting people based on race or diversity hurts tolerance because it is evident when a person did not get in on their own merits, and people than use that instance to make generalizations. The writer should stop thinking being of a certain race entitles you to any special treatment. Being a minority does not make you special, we're all people with diverse backgrounds, and have all had to deal with shit throughout our lives. The school should stop making it seem like it's acceptable that if you wine about being different you get special offices or departments. That's not inclusive, it's exclusive and showcases people's racial differences instead of showcases our similarities. People should stop viewing themselves as victims. Regardless of race, everybody has to deal with hardships and being judged and discrimnated against. Maybe they should open an office for white students where we can express our grievances about not being considered special.

Differences are evident because policies like AA group people. Maybe you should read the AA initiatives, they clearly state that the purpose it to identify minorities for promotions. Nowhere does it mention they need to be qualified. Maybe you aren't familiar with the Ricci v Destafano case, but it shows everything that is wrong with our diversity obsessed culture. How do you explain students who got in with 1000 or 1100 SAT scores and sub 4.0's who happen to be minorities? or why less qualified minorities got merit based scholarships over more qualified whites? I know for a fact that my roommate freshman year had lower scores, less EC's, lower GPA and got a merit based scholarship. she is a minority. Check out the Bakke case where UC med school reserved spots for minorities, although the policy was overturned it shows that schools use race as an overriding factor. policies stand until students take legal action. look at Gratz and Grutter and how UM approached race. less qualified students get in because of race. and there are countless examples of how minorities meet LOWER standards than non minorities. Policies stand until those who are oppressed are informed of an unconstitutional policy, and they must find a means to pay for legal fees. Therefore a bunch of these policies stand because people can't afford to challenge them. there are minorities here who are not academically qualified, and those who are not qualified fail out. that's a big reason drop out rates are higher for minorities- because they get into schools they don't deserve to get into. all of these issues have to do with poverty, not race. minorities here are much better off than if they were living in china or india. it's not my fault they were born in a ghetto or are poor, and innocent white's shouldn't be persecuted because some people are born with less resources.
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In This Issue

News

  • 2010 USG executive board candidates speak
  • Can you name this place?
  • Minh for the win? Current vice president of student life Minh-Tri Nguyen seeks USG presidency
  • New performing arts center announced
  • Representative Barbara Lee addresses concerns over new health care bill
  • SEC proposes cutting 20 percent of Greek life funds
  • Undergraduate Student Government polls open through tonight
  • Weberian politics: Current vice president of finance Max Weber campaigns for the USG presidency

Sports

  • CWRU head coaches conference's lowest paid
  • Distance does well at Wake Forest
  • Future is promising for new boathouse
  • Mather Park close to completion
  • Men's tennis squeaks by Walsh, pound John Carroll
  • Spartan Spotlight: Steve Bills
  • Spartans get swept
  • Spartans knock off No. 2-ranked Heidelberg
  • Z's return

Fun Page

  • Crossword solution
  • Sudoku Easy Solution
  • Sudoku Evil Solution

Opinion

  • Editorial: Maltz Center a great gift, with some questions remaining
  • Foreign sentiments: an American's reception abroad
  • Formality: dead and gone
  • Letters to the Editor: firearms and Greek funding
  • State of health care not worthy of "crisis" label
  • What is your favorite Greek Week event?

Focus

  • An in-depth look: Will You Marry Us?
  • Argument against complaints
  • Case Animal Rights and Ethics Society sees green at vegan dinner
  • CIA Student Exhibition displays student works with minimalist atmosphere
  • Lifehouse to open for Daughtry at Wolstein Center; bassist speaks
  • Notes from the flowers: florals for spring
  • Over 300 films from over 60 countries in one city: The 34th annual Cleveland International Film Festival
  • Ryan Keytack wins Dancing with the CWRU Stars
  • Sex and dating: A capacity for change
  • The Buzz

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