Vote ‘yes’ for LGBT, women’s programming

By Carlos Daniel Rosa

On March 3rd and March 4th students at the University of Illinois will receive the opportunity to vote “yes” to change on this campus. Through voting “yes” on the LGBT and Women’s programming referendum we can ensure that two historically marginalized communities receive guaranteed funding; funding that will provide this campus with programs that will not only empower these communities but educate all students on the issues effecting women, and the LGBT community. Currently the Student Cultural Programming Fee provides funding for four of the six communities served by centers under the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations – Native American programming, Latina/o programming, African American programming, and Asian American programming. Two of these communities – women and LGBT remain out in the cold when it comes to receiving guaranteed funding.

By voting “yes” on Referendum D we cannot only resolve this discrepancy, but we can create years worth of programming that will enrich this campus. Some will argue that given the current economic climate now is not the time to make this investment towards equality and justice.

To them I say – justice and equality cannot wait. With $1, and additional change, I can purchase something off the dollar menu at a local fast food restaurant.

With just $1, collectively, we can create a more just, tolerant, and equitable campus. With LGBT students three times more likely than their peers to attempt suicide, and with 1 out of 4 women sexually assaulted or harassed on this campus, now is the time to make that investment.