Hello all! I hope you are all having excellent weekends.
Today, I had a bit of a conundrum. I had a really good conversation with my excellent roommate (referred to as Habib [Arabic for beautiful] because we are both part Lebanese) about a recent development with our university hiring rules. Since we are a private Christian university, hiring procedure claims that there will be no discrimination for gender, ethnicity, etc.- but up until now, there was no clause promising no discrimination on basis of sexual preference, meaning that technically, a job applicant could be turned away on basis of sexual orientation. This sort of makes sense for a Christian school, but I’m proud of our student government for trying to level the playing field for LGBT professors.
This is revolutionary for a small private Christian college to even consider putting this clause into hiring procedure. Although I have had reassurance from sound sources that our school already implements this clause (kind of like an unspoken rule to not discriminate against LGBT employees), it would be a step forward for my school.
We have a hard time accepting LGBT students here anyways, simply because the majority of students at my school are conservative Christians. There is unfortunately a lot of tension surrounding those who are open about their sexuality, which is why I chose to come out to only a few friends. I don’t tell anyone I’m not familiar with, because it actually isn’t safe for me to be open about my bisexuality. A lot of the students here assume that I’m straight automatically because I have a boyfriend, and I let them because it’s easier to do that than explain how my sexuality fits in with my Christianity, but this is a topic for another time. Point is, LGBT students and faculty are not exactly welcomed on campus.
The only problems I can think of are those that have to do with politics and the Christian community. Since we are a private, conservative Christian college, we have a lot of people who donate money. Most of our donors are alumni, and are conservative Christians, which means that we potentially lose funding money due to a simple change of clause. Not to mention, this resolution has to get passed by our Board of Directors, who probably won’t pass it due to money concerns, as well as concerns about how this will affect my university’s reputation in Christian circles (potentially losing future applicants).
But I think they should pass it because I believe that it’s time to make a stand. This shows our Christian love for every person, including LGBT people, and sets an example for other Christian universities. Yes, we may lose money, we may lose applicants, but we will gain respect in our community overall, as well as teach our students to treat each person with respect and without discrimination, even if they have different preferences (not to mention make the school more appealing for LGBT students and professors, increasing diversity). We either take a stand now and prompt good conversation in the Christian communities about this issue, or follow suit and do it later to avoid catching flack for not resolving this earlier. We are considered leaders in our community, and we should lead on this issue as well.
Questions? Comments? Don’t hesitate to throw in your two cents below.
Thanks for reading! Rachel
Update: My school’s student government has passed the amendment! See a little more information here.