Letter to the Editor 2/16 : LGBT

By Letter to the Editor

To the Editor,

The Feb. 14, 2011, article titled, “Pitt a gay-friendly campus,” severely… To the Editor,

The Feb. 14, 2011, article titled, “Pitt a gay-friendly campus,” severely misrepresents how LGBTQ-friendly Pitt’s campus is. The campus is completely ignorant of many LGBTQ issues and remains neutral at best on others. Currently there is no University-sponsored training offered to students to help them understand LGBTQ issues, and the only LGBTQ-specific training available to faculty and staff is the Allies Network Training, which is designed and intended to be optional. Many students have also expressed that the administration does little to serve the needs of its LGBTQ students and continues to ignore or dismiss legitimate issues faced by these students.

Most major universities, such as Penn State and Syracuse, have dedicated LGBT resource centers with trained, full-time staff that can serve the needs of their campus. Though the Rainbow Alliance attempts to serve the needs of the LGBTQ community at Pitt, there are just some things a student organization cannot provide.

Harassment happens much more often than an occasional shout of, “Hey faggot,” on a Friday night. I have personally witnessed instances when students were harassed in the middle of the day, where they have felt neglected and oppressed on this campus. Sam Rynearson’s comment that “gay PDA is something that I don’t think those on campus can handle,” is a major indication of how “gay-friendly” Pitt’s campus is. If a same-sex couple cannot comfortably behave in the same fashion as a heterosexual couple, then the campus is not LGBTQ-friendly.

James Weaver

School of Arts & Sciences