Daily Kent Stater

Senate must specify harassment policy or professor won’t vote yes

Dear Editor:

I am writing in response to the press release titled “Faculty Senate’s Misguided Action on the Proposed Racial and Disability Harassment Policy.” First of all, I commend the students who put together the press release for their activism and dedication to their cause. These qualities are reminiscent of my days as a student activist in the Civil Rights movement of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Back then, we were definitely out of step with a society where staunch believers could still stand up in public and make the claim that their religious teaching tells us that God meant the races to be separated. As is pointed out in the press release, we’ve come a long way since then. But not far enough, I’m afraid.

If you take a good look at the document the senate discussed during its December meeting, you will note that Sections A.1 and C.1 define the policy under discussion not as aimed specifically at “Racial and Disability Harassment,” but rather as designed to provide protection from harassment with respect to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability or veteran status.

Articles C. 2-4 of this document clearly outline specific criteria for racial/ethnic harassment, sexual harassment and disability harassment, but significantly missing, however, are detailed criteria defining the parameters for harassment in the context of differences in religion, national origin, age, veteran status and, most significantly in my view, sexual orientation. This is my major quibble with the document we were presented and my primary reason for voting against it. I also would like to see a more specific procedure defined for dealing with complaints and for educating the Kent community about all aspects of harassment.

Let me tell you about my own students in the Institute for Applied Linguistics: They come in all sizes and shapes and in every color of the human rainbow. They are Protestant, Catholic, Mormon, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Animist, Shinto and proudly secular humanist. They are male and female, straight and gay. They are American, both North and South; European; Asian and African. Every one of them is multilingual and multicultural; they all walk proudly and confidently in multiple worlds, joyously embracing their diversity and championing the cause of global citizenship, not just in their career choice, but also in their fundamental humanity. Some are disabled in one way or the other, and some are veterans. Many are young, but some are senior citizens. I do not want any one of them to ever have to stand up in the senate to ask, “Where were you for us, for the Baha’i, or the veteran, or the gay student, when you approved the university policy on human rights and harassment policy?”

Unfortunately, there are still many Americans who claim God is on the side of prejudice. I don’t agree, and I have no intention of getting in step with any majority that fails to acknowledge the many faces of discrimination and bigotry. Give me a document that adequately protects all members of the Kent community, no matter what the scope of their diversity, and I will gladly support it.

Sue Ellen Wright

professor, Modern and Classical Language Studies


Former student says others should attend games, watch Cribbs

Dear Editor:

Although I moved to Youngstown some 25 years ago, being a “faculty brat” and a former Kent State student, I joined Blue and Gold and attend Flash football and basketball games.

It goes without saying that watching Josh Cribbs, quarterback of the Flashes for four years, has been something I’ll never forget. Sitting in Dix Stadium at the Ohio University game with a mere 1,000 others saddened me.

Kent State may never have a player like Josh Cribbs again, and so few came to see him play. Yes, the team has been bad year after year after year, but watching Josh has always been worth the price of admission.

I hope that he will get a chance to play in the NFL or maybe Canada. Either way, those of us who saw him play will truly miss him. Good luck to you, Josh Cribbs.


Keith Hipple

Youngstown, Ohio