Is discrimination a real threat?

by The Simpsonian

The incident at Central College last week, in which a student was asked to resign from his leadership position within a religious group because of his sexual orientation, was tragic and ridiculous.

This situation is in direct conflict with the college’s non-discriminatory policy, which reads: Central admits students…without regard to sex, race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, or disability.

So, can a college stop students from discriminating against other students?

Yes. While a college cannot force a student to change their beliefs, when it comes to students receiving an equal opportunity to participate in a college experience, non-discriminatory policies must apply.

So how does this affect us? First, The Simpson Code listed in the handbook states that it expects all students: To respect the rights of other persons regardless of their race, creed, sex, age, sexual orientation, or national origin. Physical or psychological abuse of any person, or conduct which threatens the health or safety of any person is not allowed.

While this may seem reassuring, it is not clear whether this applies to student groups or to religious life activities. While we all may feel confident that this would not be a problem at Simpson, there is nothing wrong with adding a statement to policy for precaution. Also, if diversity is as great a priority as we say it is, we should be willing to put it in print.

Any group that is funded with fees from the college or student activity fees should operate under the same policies as the college. Students should support the addition of such a policy to protect the rights of future students, as well as their peers.