Student Government should know better than to get involved

Jordan Drake

On National Coming Out Day Oct. 11, controversy was stirred by the Young Conservatives of Texas at Texas State. A day normally dedicated to members of the LGBTQ+ community was used for a political demonstration.

YCT members set up a makeshift door on The Quad and “came out as conservative,” implying identifying as conservative on campus is just as dangerous as being a member of the queer community. The usage of the door led to backlash, including an official condemnation from Student Government for “affecting other students in an offensive manner.”

The actions by YCT members on that day are not great for a persuasive argument. The political measure was better at creating shock than changing hearts and minds. That being said, there are grievous concerns being raised through the response to the “coming out as conservative” door.

First and foremost, holding this charade has been labeled homophobic, a buzzword used whenever someone does anything even remotely offensive toward the LGBTQ+ community. However, homophobia does not apply here. Offensive and mocking are all better ways to say YCT actions were not right. By using the term homophobic, it shifts the narrative to form an anti-gay cloud over the entire argument. Using “homophobia” for the makeshift door weakens the word and cheapens the meaning for real homophobic moments.

To say conservatives have no reason to feel attacked is laughable. It was not so long ago Student Government tried to remove a conservative group from campus and protests occurred, leading to four arrests after a student’s “Make America Great Again” hat was snatched from his head.

Across the U.S., mainstream conservative commentators like Ben Shapiro have been run off college campuses by protestors, activists and have been assaulted. Professors and students preaching conservative ideals have been targeted for harassment. These issues are not just in conservatives’ heads; attacks are documented in newspapers and over the internet.

Student Government members have proven they cannot be independent arbiters in anything related to conservatives on campus. While hosting a “coming out as conservative” door is done in poor taste, there are free speech concerns to consider.

Throw a stick in any direction on campus and it will likely hit someone who is perpetually outraged over everything. If cancel culture has taught society anything, it is that everything can be viewed as offensive to someone.

It is illogical to engage with events like the door since such occurrences have been happening for years. The 2019 “coming out as conservative” door is no worse than last year or the year before. Student Government members are apparently too ignorant to realize this is exactly the response and press Young Conservatives wanted.

Congratulations student senators and house members, another example was made of an on-campus group attacking a mainstream conservative organization, proving their point and adding another lens to the optics war. Ignoring and giving no attention to YCT members would have caused the event to end, but every year an outraged crowd guarantees its return. If people could actually learn to ignore something instead of acting sensitive toward it, offensive acts might cease to exist.

There are valid concerns for conservative students. Anyone who says otherwise is either part of the problem or has their head buried in the sand. While the YCT door may piss people off and hurt feelings, it is within the political organization’s free speech rights to do as they please in accordance with the law.

Student Government should know better than to get dragged into another battle over ideology. Neither political side is free from mocking, immaturity and downright nastiness. Student Government members are above decisions they have made and should allow for more diversity of thought, even if it results in a demonstration people may disagree with.

– Jordan Drake is a former opinions editor

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