Our View: Show your support for a fellow student

DKS Editors

Members of the LGBTQ community are too often victims of discriminatory bullying and rejection. One such victim was tormented by other residents in his dorm so much that he left the university fearing his safety. He has since returned to Kent State but without financial support from his family. The student was able to tap into the LGBTQ Emergency Scholarship Fund to help him cover some of his expenses.

The emergency fund is “for an LGBTQ student facing financial emergency caused by parental abandonment because of the student’s gender identity and/or sexual orientation.”

This student, Anthony Imes, will speak at the Kent State University LGBTQ Emergency Scholarship Fund Benefit Saturday. There will be a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Cleveland Ballroom of the Ritz-Carlton, followed by a screening of “A Marine Story,” which is part of the Cleveland International Film Festival. The movie tells the story of a servicewoman affected by the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

Tickets for the benefit are $75, which provides admission to the reception and the film. People can pay an extra $25 to enable a PRIDE! Kent member or LGBT Studies student to attend the event.

Proceeds from the event will support the LGBTQ Emergency Scholarship Fund, which started in fall 2010 with an anonymous $500 donation. Molly Merryman, co-coordinator of the LGBT studies minor program, said the fund is running low, and she has had to deny a student help until after the fundraiser.

Helping students in situations such as Imes’ is incredibly important. There is no reason a student should feel unsafe on this campus because of his or her sexuality. It’s sad that this scholarship is even necessary, but we are thankful to have it. It’s a wonderful testimony to the student body that we have this kind of help available.

While $75 is a lot of money, please consider going to this benefit. If you can’t, encourage others. It’s an important cause.

Even if you can’t attend, you can make a donation online at http://www.kent.edu/lgbt/benefit.cfm (where you can also purchase tickets). Merryman said they need at least $10,000 to make the fund sustainable. Every small donation will help a student in need. Support the LGBTQ community here on campus and contribute to the Emergency Fund.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.