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Breaking the silence around bullying on campus

The pertinence of a subject lies in the interactions between people, and the effects that resonate throughout their lives. How events affect people is the most important part of journalism. The issues still exist even when people don’t talk about them, and if something happened in the past, there’s no reason it can’t happen today.

This is why I wanted to report on an incident that occurred two years ago.

Among other reasons, the importance of the information we write about transcends the need for timeliness. A common misconception about journalism is that the story has to be timely. While it is our job to to report on issues as they occur, if they receive no recognition when they happen, they fall into obscurity.

That doesn’t mean it’s unimportant to write about. It only means that no one knows about it. It remains a hidden dispute meant to be locked away in a vault of memories.

Until someone comes forward and shares their story. It is in this issue of The Telescope.

The issue I’m referring to concerns a transgender man, and a dispute that occurred between him and a faculty member over his gender identity. What’s more is similar issues have been brought up to reporters of the Telescope by other members of the transgender community. Unfortunately, these individuals have asked to remained anonymous. Apparently, this is not an isolated incident, rather it’s a recurring pattern.

The secrecy of these issues exemplify the importance of reporting them. If this is happening today, but it takes time for someone to become comfortable to come forward and tell someone what happened, the issue is bigger than we may think. We are lucky someone was willing to share their story. If none of the people discriminated against are willing to go on the record, it’s as if it never happened to the rest of society. It’s as if those who discriminate get away with it.

Regardless of one’s opinion about another person’s identity, no one has the right to discriminate against others for who they are.

The hatred and discrimination needs to end.

The silence needs to be broken.

People need to know the truth.

It is because of this I feel these issues need to be reported despite happening “so long ago.” This is still a problem even if people don’t know about it. Issues of social justice take pertinence to timeliness, in my opinion.

The professor still teaches here, the student still studies here. The story still happened here. As the problem persists, so shall we.

This is not an issue of opinion, as if the way one think others should be would matter. Rather this is an issue of respect for others. Discrimination never seems wrong from those who are practicing it because they don’t see it for what it is: disrespect. The people subjected to this behavior are still human beings and deserve a modicum of respect and dignity.

Whether you fall into the predetermined stereotypes of your gender, sexuality, race and religion, or not, we all deserve to live our lives without negative judgment and persecution. After all, we’re only human right?

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