Daily Kent Stater

Faculty Senate should treat race issues as if they are gender ones

Dear Editor:

The Faculty Senate has become an irrelevant body when it comes to issues affecting African Americans on this campus. It had an opportunity to express its support for African Americans but instead used a plethora of tactics to oppose the racial harassment policy put before it at its last meeting, reminiscent of those used by the Dixiecrats out of the segregationist South who filibustered the Civil Rights Bills during the 1960s.

Kent State is not breaking new ground, nor is it pioneering a new effort by instituting a racial harassment policy. It is in the back of the pack on this issue, not at the forefront. Over the last decade and down to the present academic year, there has been a continuous drip of racial incidents on this campus.

The opposition, being led by Cheryl Casper and Frank Smith, turned its backs to a passionate plea by Damareo Cooper, president of the Black United Students, who asked that body to step up and support a measure that would allow it to pursue its education in a hate-free climate with some degree of security. Instead, individuals in this body launched into the old tactics of tampering with the language, confusing the point, making jokes and attaching their own issues to this measure — a strategy that was certain to either reduce the effectiveness of the policy to a state of uselessness.

The Faculty Senate demonstrated its inability to be objective and fair. When the sexual harassment policy was discussed on this campus, it did not suffer the same fate. The concerns of gender are not more important than concerns of race. Those in authority and those that hold the public trust at this university must demonstrate the same degree of intolerance toward racial harassment as they do sexual harassment. Members of Black United Students and the Kent State student chapter of NAACP who were present at the Faculty Senate meeting received a clear and cold message that that body was not onboard with the effort to ensure civility on this campus. The decision it made actually contributes to the hostility on this campus.

The administration now has the opportunity to demonstrate leadership on this issue and in this area in general by carrying this policy forward to the Board of Trustees “with all deliberate speed.” Many of the faculty, staff, administrators and students in Kent State’s black community will consider this a violation of our rights and an insult to our intelligence if the actions of the Faculty Senate end up controlling this process. What the Faculty Senate has done is ugly, at best.

George R. Garrison, Ph.D.

professor, Pan-African Studies

Seeking witnesses of minor car collision

Dear Editor:

Sometimes apparently minor incidents can have major ramifications that are not foreseen at the time at which they occur. I was involved in such an incident on Saturday morning Oct. 30, 2004, at the intersection of South Water Street and Haymaker Parkway. At that time a blue Cavalier and a red Taurus collided. I was in one of those cars and duly filed a police report across the street. I did not, however, get the names or license plate numbers of the numerous people who witnessed this accident.

Please, if you were at that intersection on the morning before Halloween, I would greatly appreciate it if you contacted one of the phone numbers below. I truly need a good samaritan to come forward right now.

If you are a witness, please call (330) 673-4906 and (330) 562-5060. The first number is an answering machine that plays only music, and the second is answered by a female voice.

Jim DeLuzia

Kent resident