By: Angelique Patton, East Associate Editor
Cuyahoga Community College embraces students from all walks of life. Diversity makes the college experience unique and easier to grasp by accepting people for who they are. This concept teaches students to be unbiased. Tri-C does their best to help students from all backgrounds and cultures; however, there seems to be a not so innocent statement being carelessly used around campus; “NO HOMO.”
A prime example of this is giving someone a compliment and the statement “NO HOMO” is used afterward. This implies that there is a flaw with people who live a homosexual lifestyle and indirectly insults LGBT persons. When questioning several students why they used this statement, all the responses were the same. David, a student here at Tri-C says “I don’t want anyone to believe that I am homosexual.” One must be comfortable with their own sexuality and not belittle another because of the misconceptions perceived by others.
Our world is full of discrimination and Tri-C takes every precaution to denounce these type of behaviors. Tri-C’s Student Handbook clearly has a clause that speaks directly of such actions. “Tri-C embraces diversity and is committed to affirmative action and equal opportunity” (46). Gary a student at Tri-C says “Yes, I am offended when such statements are used.” Imagine that people have withdrawn or felt unworthy because statements that appear to be innocent are really offensive. Here at Tri-C we work hard to make all people comfortable, which helps them be a successful student and move on to successful careers. Embracing a positive concept benefits society as a whole.
The Student Handbook also states “Tri-C is committed to eliminating discrimination and harassment in the workplace and academic environment” These commitments are moral imperatives consistent with an intellectual community that celebrates individual differences, diversity, and meaningful individual freedom to pursue professional and educational goals” (46). Tri-C never wants to make students uncomfortable or use insulting remarks. Louis of The Gay-Straight Alliance here at Tri-C remarks “The statement is so unnecessary.”
Magda Gomez, Director Diversity & Inclusion here at Cuyahoga Community College elaborates on our school’s policy and position towards this sensitive topic by telling us:
- Here at Tri-C we have a zero tolerance policy for this type of language.
- Such an expression is not only derogatory, but blatantly offensive.
- We are an institution of higher learning that is proud of its cultural diversity and provides warm welcome support to our students, staff and faculty regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, and sexual orientation.
Magda also considers this a teachable moment if she was to overhear this statement being used and says, “I would expect that any student, staff, or faculty member who comes in contact with a student would immediately correct said person and would raise awareness of what is acceptable and not acceptable in public settings.” Magda was surprises to hear such expressions being used on Campus and is eager to make every attempt at changing such behaviors.
Students can help by giving compliments without the us of negative connotations such as “No Homo.” LGBTQ persons are people too and here at Tri-C they are embraced and welcomed. Society must move away from hurtful gestures that offend others and unite as a people. Help by being that voice for change. Imagine what the world could accomplish by eliminating discrimination and racism alone. Empathizing and being mindful of others follow and excellent standard of integrity, morality, and ethics which allows for a better environment. Use of such qualities helps students overall throughout their adult lives. One never knows the issues a person endures on a daily basis and Tri-C never wants to add chaos to anyone’s life.