Open letter to the Reporter

Open letter to the Reporter McGill University

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McGill Reporter
October 27, 2005 - Volume 38 Number 05
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Home > McGill Reporter > Volume 38: 2005-2006 > October 27, 2005 > Open letter to the Reporter

Open letter to the Reporter

We, as members of the McGill Equity Subcommittee on Queer People, applaud the strong and forceful statement by Professor Masi concerning the recent hazing incident and look forward to the implementation of all of the measures outlined.

We are in no doubt that deeply entrenched homophobic and sexist ideas about power and male bonding determined the type of hazing involved. Homophobia was used as the tool of choice to humiliate and degrade male athletes, and to further inculcate homophobic attitudes and behaviour. Being called gay is still, apparently, the worst insult that can be thrown at a man. For queer or questioning football players (and yes, there will be some), it sends a particularly appalling message.

It is our job as a university to educate ourselves and others and to create an atmosphere more conducive to and respectful of diversity. In particular, it is the mandate of the McGill Equity Subcommittee on Queer People to tackle homophobia, transphobia and sexism on campus. To this end, we make three specific suggestions:

  • First, that the proposed policy and mission statements and anti-hazing educational plans explicitly recognize and address the problem of homophobia.

  • Second, that representatives from the Joint Senate-Board Committee on Equity, especially from our subcommittee, be invited to serve on the Work Group that is to be convened by the Interim Director of Athletics and the Dean of Students.

  • Third, that the McGill administration recognizes the important of our subcommittee's recently launched "Safe Space" program which is intended to help the McGill community better understand, confront and challenge the issues of homophobia. We trust that this will receive the full endorsement and participation of Professor Masi and the McGill administration. We would be happy to offer our program to the Athletics Department to help them ensure that their spaces are "safe" for all athletes, regardless of their sexual orientation.


Sincerely,

Gregg Blachford, Chair
Prof. Shari Brotman
Prof. Brian Lewis
Michael Lubetsky
Elizabeth Meyer
Josh Pavan
Cy-Thea Sand

On behalf of the McGill Queer Equity Subcommittee

(Other members' names can be found on our website: www.mcgill.ca/queerequity)

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