STAFF EDITORIAL: RLH’s neutrality improper for addressing discrimination

As one of the most diverse institutes in the nation, UH is a place where students of any background and ethnicity can feel comfortable in an environment that is typically free of prejudice.

However, there are areas on campus where students might still encounter discrimination.

The latest incident of such discrimination arises from a story of a gay male student, who was grouped with a straight roommate in the residence halls (‘Freshman struggles with housing, gay roommate,’ Monday). The two freshmen, who spoke to The Daily Cougar on condition of anonymity, had established a friendly relationship through phone conversations before the move-in date. This changed after the straight student found out that his roommate was gay by reading his Facebook page.

After a ‘long family discussion,’ the straight student decided that he wanted out of the rooming arrangement. He said that he did so to prevent ‘a situation ‘hellip; like rape.’

The straight student’s fear overcame logic. Perhaps a discussion with a counselor from UH’s Counseling and Psychological Services would have helped him to realize that his fears were unfounded.

Although it is not clear if Residential Life and Housing officials came forward with such a proposition, it appears that the University took a mostly neutral stance on this.

RLH manager Lupe Trevino told The Daily Cougar that she would look out for ‘any gay-friendly students moving into the dorms’ to help lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender freshmen secure adequate arrangements.

This hardly qualifies as a full-proof plan to address the issue.

Similar situations will likely arise again, and the University needs to develop a sound plan for resolving them. After all, it’s somewhat hypocritical for the University to thrive off its reputation as a highly diverse institution when it does little to prevent students from facing open discrimination.

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