Sophomore’s Critique: Learning to respect and accept your peers with an open-mind

Whether we like it or not, everyone knows that homophobia exists. But should it really exist on a college campus? We are in college to become better educated and learn to accept things we fear and do not know much about. If you are in college and are homophobic then, in my opinion, what are you doing with your life?
Recently, room selection occurred for all students. This is a time when people are excited to room with someone they believe will be a good match for them for the next school year. But what happens when your roommate does not want share an environment with you because you are gay?
This exact scenario happened to me this semester. A male student at Rider University decided to ditch me at the last minute during room selection because he said he “would not feel comfortable” rooming with me. I do not understand why guys think that just because someone is gay, it automatically means that hewill be hitting on them or checking them out. If girls are not hitting on you, what makes you think that I will?
The point of the matter is that if we are in college, I strongly believe that closed-minded people should make every effort to step out of their comfort zone and experience something new. You are not paying thousands of dollars to be shortsighted and homophobic. If you are spending all this money, you should try to make your college experience the best it can be. I am not saying you should be pro-gay marriages, I am just stating that people should stop being homophobic and judgmental.
I have never felt so rejected in my life as I did the night that this male student decided not to room with me just because I am attracted to other males. This is 2012, not 1912. It is time that people change their perspective on life. It is time for people to stop the hate towards gays. It is because of incidents like this that cause gay students to have low self-esteem and, in some cases, push someone to commit suicide.
The fact that a person cannot be accepted for who they are in an educational setting can cause someone in the gay community, or anyone, to lose hope. Hope is the point that I want to stress, and I hope that one day Rider students can be rid of homophobic mindsets and everyone can be accepted, especially when it comes to dorming situations.
-Walter Savaria
Sophomore English and gender and sexuality studies major

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