BY MIA GOMEZ // OCT. 18 2017 //

The very first time I went to Curry for Open House, I knew it was the college I wanted to attend. It felt like home. I prayed I would get accepted.

The day I received my letter of admission, I dance with joy. These days, and for the past couple of years, really, that joy has been killed.

As a Latina woman participating in the PAL program, I have been the target of several incidents of discrimination. I have also seen how friends of mine have been personally targeted for being members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Mia 2
Mia Gomez, a junior sociology major, wants leaders at Curry to step up to end the bias on campus. //image credit: Mia Gomez

So many incidents of racial and gender discrimination have occurred on campus during the last couple of years. Curry no longer feels like the safe haven I first believed it to be.

What is most troublesome is the lack of corrective action from administration.

And while there are many faculty members that stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the students in trying to change the current culture, there are still some that do not offer a safe space in their classes or take the time to get to meet their students and their different needs to provide the appropriate support.

Could anyone explain why a transgender student is subjected to being called a derogatory term in a class, by a professor nonetheless, and have no recourse because Curry says it is too hard to discipline or remove that professor?

Why is it that a bi-racial student finds a note on her car’s windshield that says “Half-Breeds not welcome” and all Public Safety can do is to write an incident report?

Why do PAL students, such as myself, get little to no support from some professors who say it is not their job to offer extra help or accommodations?

Where is the accountability? Who looks after the students? Some professors do, but the administration certainly does not!

In the past couple of years I have been actively involved with other students and some faculty members in trying to bring about change to make campus feel safe again for EVERYONE. It has been a frustrating journey, but one that we are not willing to back away from.

All we are asking is that President Kenneth Quigley executes his job. For him to step up and be a leader.

Walking away and literally wishing us “good luck” while we were trying to present him our concerns during the “Hate Has No Home Here” forum certainly sent a message that he is leaving what should be his responsibilities to us.

We all pay good money for tuition here. Students and parents are scared due to the lack of safety. Why hasn’t some of that money been put to good use by installing more cameras around campus? Why is there not a system in place that helps follow through on incident reports to find the culprits? Why isn’t there more training — for staff, faculty, Public Safety, and students alike — so that racial and gender discrimination can become a thing of the past on our campus?

We are an institution of higher learning. Why isn’t higher teaching occurring in our midst?

If we are to be the future leaders of this country, then the leadership of this college must step up to the plate and educate all to be all-inclusive, accepting, and supporting. After all, that’s what we will eventually carry out into the “real” world.

President Quigley, please DO YOUR JOB! Us Colonels are counting on it.

Mia Gomez is a junior Sociology major.

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