Upon returning to Brookhaven for the Fall 2021 semester, I was thankful to be once again back on campus. However, I noticed our newsstands and other surfaces across campus were littered with unauthorized stickers, flyers and magazines, condemning non-Christians and promoting misinformation. Our campus is meant to be an inclusive space for all, promoting misinformation and condemning other religions is harmful.
Yes, we have the right to form our own personal religious and political beliefs. However, we do not have the right to force those beliefs onto others. There are better ways to spread your message. Damaging property and spreading hateful rhetoric is not the way to get your message across.
RESPECTFULLY SHARE YOUR FAITH
Christianity is the most practiced religion in the U.S., but we have a diverse campus. Brookhaven is populated with students, staff and faculty who practice many faiths. Condemning non-Christians is disrespectful.
In the past Christian clubs such as Wesley and Campus Ministry met regularly. In addition to clubs, our campus received regular visits from Christian organizations, colleges and street preachers. These are examples of efficient ways to demonstrate your faith, as they don’t involve being hateful or damaging campus property.
Several workers on campus have spent extra time removing the stickers from statues, paintings and windows. “I found some of them covering up fire alarm signs,” said campus facilities employee Jamie Smith.
LEAVE THE HATE AT HOME
One of the biggest issues with the stickers and pamphlets are the hateful messages condemning the LGBTQ+ community. At Brookhaven we celebrate equality regardless of sexuality and identity.
One sticker found on campus reads, “Leviticus 18:22: Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin.” A pamphlet found on our newsstands attacks the transgender community, calling those who choose to undergo sex-reassignment surgery “disturbed.” Not only are these statements hateful, but they also violate Dallas College’s non-discrimination statement, which prohibits discrimination related to sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression or any other basis prohibited by law.
Our LGBTQ+ students, staff and faculty deserve to be loved and feel safe on campus, so knock it off.
RESPECT OUR RACK AND CAMPUS
Last I checked, our newsstands have the name of our student newspaper displayed on them, meaning content not produced by The Courier should not be placed on our newsstands. Several of our stands were filled with crumpled up conservative magazines and paper printouts. These magazines and printouts promoted COVID-19 misinformation and attacked minorities and the LGBTQ+ community. The Courier has featured contributors from diverse political backgrounds.
We aim to give a voice to everyone when the reporting is based on facts and integrity.
Our staff spends weeks curating content for The Courier, everything from the stories to photos and artwork. Seeing DIY printouts with no original or engaging content on our racks next to our work is a slap in the face. Leave the reporting to us. There is a reason our journalism program is still standing after more than 40 years. Are you a student, staff or faculty member wanting your voice heard? Swing by The Brookhaven Courier newsroom and pitch a story idea to an editor. Or submit a letter to the editor. Contribute the right way. Support reporting based on facts.
Be aware of how your actions can affect others. Respect starts with compassion and understanding. It starts with respecting campus property and making sure we do not belittle or attack each other’s beliefs or identities, even if we disagree with them.