SMU student leader's quote on LGBT community draws criticism - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

SMU student leader's quote on LGBT community draws criticism

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An SMU student leader is getting a lot of criticism for making a statement to the campus newspaper, The Daily Campus, saying students are not accepting of the LGBT community.

"We're not accepting of the gay community...we're just not,” a junior student senator, Carole Finley, is quoted as saying.

Finley was reacting to results from a campus-wide vote that failed. It would have created a special campus senate seat for a representative of SMU’s LGBT community. The measure needed two-thirds of votes to pass, but failed, receiving almost 52 percent.

“Statements like that…it troubles me, really,” said SMU student Harvey Luna, who’s a member of Spectrum, the college’s undergraduate LGBT organization.

More than 100 members make up Spectrum, and they credit the voting results to homophobia.

“The administration has great policies towards LGBT students, faculty and staff, but we look at something different when we see the student body,” said Luna. “The support is nearly 50/50.”

The question remains as to why a student-elected leader would say what she’s quoted as saying.

“It kind of needs to be taken with a grain of salt,” said SMU student Suzy Hawkins. “I don't know if they actually said that.”

FOX 4 tried to get in touch with Finley, but we were told “No comment.”

Outgoing student body Vice President Jaywin Singh Malhi says assuming things would be unfair.

“I think we should focus on that well over 50 percent of our voters voted in favor of it time and time again,” said Malhi. “…Most of the people I bump into are very, very accepting, very, very welcoming of people of different backgrounds.”

Out of context or not, the consensus is that the comment is out of line.

“They don't want to see the reputation of SMU become one that is anti-LGBT or anti-inclusive,” said Luna.

Before the LGBT senate seat could be put to a campus vote, student leaders overwhelmingly supported the matter, passing it 34 to 3.

Spectrum members say they plan to bring the issue up again next semester.


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