In a Sept. 9 meeting discussing the then non-affiliated student organization Youth for Western Civilization, the common phrase passed around among the leaders of the Center for Diversity was “our hands are tied.”
CSD directors Santiago Solis, Joan Maze, Marie Lilly, Director of Student Activities Dirron Allen, and Interim Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs for Diversity and Director of the Counseling Center Jim Spivack convened with student leaders of diversity organizations to hear their concerns.
But some students, like junior Zach Kosinski, expressed that he would not feel safe on campus if SGA affiliated YWC.
“I wouldn’t leave my apartment. I would be so scared,” he said.
Kosinksi said events YWC will potentially hold, including Straight Pride and Confederate Heritage Weeks, would further the fear and paranoia of those who might identify with the LGBTQIA community, but are not “out.”
Black Student Union President Kenan Herbert mentioned that the YWC’s potential affiliation would affect academic performance as well.
“It puts emotional stress on us,” he said. “Which in turn affects our academic performance.”
Lilly, the associate director of Women’s Resources, said that staff couldn’t take a stance, despite these concerns.
“But we can help,” she said. “I was a professional activist for years. And if you come to me, I can advise you as to what works and to what doesn’t.”
But when a member of the Queer Student Union addressed SGA Attorney General Brandy Hall was asked whether a known hate group Ku Klux Klan would be allowed on campus if they included a non-discriminatory clause, Allen reacted.
“[The KKK] would not be allowed on campus,” he said. “And this group is basically the same thing.”