Saying no to discrimination

Students suggest WSC needs to come together as a community to protect all its members

Emmalee Scheibe, Staff Writer

There have been issues lately on the WSC campus dealing with discrimination involving different gender, class, race and sexual identities.

Often, no one acknowledges when administration tries to help eliminate discrimination at WSC.

But many students believe that the administration should intervene when harassment and discrimination occur and offer a sense of belonging for students on campus.

“I have definitely witnessed more negative than positive with the administration acting on discrimination,” Ethan Hanson, a junior at WSC, said.

On Oct. 26, three men showed up on campus and recited Biblical passages on the corner outside of the student center, handing out pamphlets that said hateful things toward people of the LGBT community.

The actions of these men violated the unlawful harassment policy in the student handbook.

“Harassment based on a protected class (i.e., race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age or any other protected class) may take many forms, including unwelcome verbal acts, name-calling, derogatory comments, slurs, coercion, intimidation and/or negative stereotyping; graphics and written statements, which may include use of cell phones or the Internet; or other physically threatening, harmful, or humiliating conduct,” the student handbook reads.

When this situation occurred, WSC senior Morgan Bentley approached the dean of students, Jeff Carstens, and others to see what could be done.

“I was told by campus security that it’s freedom of speech, and they can’t do much about it because it wasn’t hurting anyone, even though they passed out anti-LGBT pamphlets,” Bentley said.

WSC as a whole needs to work together to combat discrimination.

“I have never been to a place where we all partake in the same activities each day. However, there is no sense of belonging or community [here],” Hanson said.