Our View: Make it stop

DKS Editors

A tragic and unfortunate trend surfaced last year: gay students around the nation committing suicide as a result of being bullied or victimized.

We were appalled with each new story. But we were thankful when we heard about a Kent State student who is putting all his efforts into making sure it doesn’t happen here.

Jason Goupil, a graduate student in the College of Communication and Information, has begun a research project on LGBTQ discrimination. His goal is to find the areas on campus where discrimination is overt and subsequently help the university find ways to eliminate it.

He’s interviewed 65 members of the Kent State LGBTQ community to help him pinpoint these areas, and his plan is to create a report and present his findings.

Goupil’s efforts are honorable and extremely timely — the National Education Policy Center and the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law reported that LGBT students are around three to four times more likely than straight students to commit suicide. We’re not OK with this statistic.

No matter your faith or personal views — we have a varied set on our editorial board — and putting aside how you feel about gay marriage, you shouldn’t be comfortable with others feeling uncomfortable. No student should ever feel unsafe or unwelcome on this campus because of his or her sexuality.

But unfortunately, some do.

Christina McVay, a Provost Faculty Associate for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, said in an article last week that she has spoken with several LGBTQ students here who have experienced bullying.

“It’s a sad fact that there’s still not just prejudice and discrimination against the LGBT community, but there’s some pretty ugly harassment going on,” she said.

That’s unacceptable, and we’re glad to see a student looking for ways to make sure that it stops.