Campus Calling

The Best Medicine for Hatred

Some people reject the pejorative labels the haters give them. Others choose to wear them with pride, to call themselves queer or n*****, to defy the negativity the haters are trying to attach to the words.

Following the latter train of thought, Halifax announced a competition for “provocative” LGBTQ posters. The aim is to rid us of the pity that has replaced the hatred. To expunge the absurd expectations of shame from LGBTQ individuals.
Using humour, the JCR is trying to reveal exactly how ridiculous hatred towards the LGBTQ community is. Those against the campaign have said it will increase the self-pity some queers deal with. But humour and
laughter, and showing the extremes, will dissolve that.

Campaigns which use sarcasm, such as the “Rape: It’s My Fault” video, have the singular ability to hold a mirror to the haters’ face. They force them to look at themselves and leave no room for blind spots. More importantly, they create the sort of light-heartedness that people feel society defines as “resolved” issues. The issues we laugh about are those that we talk more openly about, thus unveiling individuality and having a better chance to accept it. Therefore, stigma is removed and the stigmatized are integrated.

Will this campaign eliminate all homophobia on campus? No. Will it help both internal and external problems LGBTQ students face? Yes.

Public University. Public Library.

There have been complaints flaring up recently directed at the perceived ‘other’, those clearly separate from the student body, in the Library. These might be the elderly retirees coming in to research their family history or local sixth formers coming in to do their A-level coursework.

It must be remembered that the University of York is a Public University, funded by the state and therefore everybody should have access to its facilities. Obviously you can’t have just anybody walking into lectures or laboratories. But the more open facilities of the University, such as the library and public lectures, are an effort at democratising higher education. Even the lakes and greenery around campus are regularly enjoyed by locals. People often forget that, up until relatively recently, higher education was intentionally shut off from most sections of society. York as a ‘plate-glass’ university was a product of the 1963 Robbins Report and is a symbol of the democratisation of higher education.

Naturally, during the exam and dissertation period, space is limited, and all students, regardless of their year, should take priority. Secondary school students are welcome to the library but they also need to be reminded that nothing other than individual study should take place in the ‘silent’ and ‘quiet’ parts the building, but students themselves also fall foul of this.

It can be quite cathartic to vent one’s pent up stress in online message boards towards those who stand out in the library or momentarily make a scene, for some reason or other. Especially when one had spent a seemingly unending number of hours in a hellish, book-filled prison and there is nothing you would rather do than stop working.

Some of these posts are funny and well written, but others descend into base rants, resorting to “GET OUT”. –
Just remember what a privilege it is to be a university student and not use it as a reason to denigrate others.