Our View: Be an ally, not an enemy

DKS Editors

The first-ever Ally Training, held Wednesday, sought to educate students and prepare them to be exemplary allies to the LGBT community. Allies who were certified at the event have been given the task of standing up for LGBT students if they witness harassment. This mentality, however, is one anyone can embrace, whether or not he or she attended the meeting.

Most of us can think back to a time in grade school or high school when we were bullied or ostracized — and most can also recall how it felt. The idea that these petty actions still continue into adulthood is repulsive.

College is tough enough with classes, work and extracurricular activities. There’s no need to make it harder by spreading hate based on sexual discrimination. So follow the Golden Rule and remember childhood lessons: If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

Not too long ago, stories of LGBT students who took their lives because of bullying were in the headlines. Those shocking and saddening events sparked the national “It Gets Better” campaign aimed at helping those hurt by hateful actions and speech. But society needs to go beyond helping people cope. Harassment, specifically that based on sexuality, must end. This is where Kent State’s newly created allies can make a difference.

Those in attendance at these events are usually already in agreement with the meeting’s message, but it’s those not in attendance who usually need the message most. Whether or not you attended Wednesday’s training, we urge you to think about the impact of your actions and whom they would affect the next time you are on the verge of saying something hateful.

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