ONTD Political

The Lavender House has been approved, dudebros are crying

1:54 pm - 03/23/2012
I normally wouldn't post something from a student newspaper on our esteemed community, but this is a direct follow-up to an article posted a few weeks ago. From ODU's newspaper's website:

The Lavender House Has Been Approved

The Safe Space Committee’s proposal to secure designated housing for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning students has been approved.

Students of the LBGTQ community will now have the option to live in a separate space within an ODU residence hall known as Lavender House that is exclusively for LGBTQ members and allies.

“LGBTQ students and their supporters wanted more visible resources on campus,” said assistant director of new student and parents programs and Safe Space Committee member Kate Griffin.

“We think it will offer them a wonderful opportunity to gain leadership skills, to live with students in an environment where they may feel more accepted, safe, and free to be themselves.”

The Lavender House has been established as a safe haven for LGBTQ students who may feel their on-campus safety may be in jeopardy because of their sexual orientation.

According to the Virginian-Pilot, students signed up for the Lavender House “did not find an intolerant culture at Old Dominion, but each feared it before arriving.”

Charles Lowman, assistant director of residence education and Safe Space Committee member, said, “The Lavender House will function with the goals of increasing retention, providing a supportive network of students, faculty, staff, and community members, creating opportunities for self-exploration and intellectual discourse, promoting holistic health and wellness, facilitating mentorship opportunities, creating a sense of belonging, and engaging students in the community.”
According to the Virginian-Pilot, “Jennifer Mullen Collins said the school based the concept on studies that showed students with support networks of people with similar interests had higher rates of retention, higher graduation rates and, in some case, higher grade-point averages.”

In addition to the Lavender House, ODU offers themed housing for women in science majors, international students and members of the Army ROTC.

The idea of themed housing has sparked some confusion and controversy among other students on campus.
“It’s unfair, plain and simple. If the school wants to stress equality then there should be equality; giving a specific group a specific floor is discrimination, or rather, reverse discrimination.” said senior Max Hrank.

Hrank argued ODU is engaging in something that is, by its very definition, reverse discrimination by favoring members of a minority or historically disadvantaged group.

He said if LGBTQ members can have their own separate living space, then any other group should be allowed to make a proposal for their own living space. He noted that he was not taking a stance against the gay community, or for them
“While I think its commendable that Old Dominion realizes and appreciates the issue that the LGBTQ community often faces, I think the entire Lavender Hall idea is unfortunate,” said senior David Hall.

“I realize the school is pushing more towards something like the Gay-Straight alliance rather than just simple orientation. But, are there going to be halls for tea party members or active democrats? Evangelical -Christian groups or practicing Muslims? I want to work towards a society where I can introduce a boy as my husband without anyone doing a double take.

Some students aren’t so critical. Another senior, Devon Mizelle, said, “Provide people with a space to be comfortable in, and their time here will be more enjoyable. While homophobia isn’t rampant on this campus, this will provide a space for LGBTQ students to come here expecting a community to be a part of. I’m proud that my college has this.”

ODU Out President Connor Norton told the Virginian-Pilot that Lavender House “doesn’t encourage discrimination. It encourages respect and community. It makes us allies for each other.”

18 students have signed up to live in Lavender House next fall.


Comments: This is a big step for ODU! The place is crawling with neckbeards and dudebros, so for the board to approve something like this is awesome.

xerox78 23rd-Mar-2012 11:11 pm (UTC)
One thing I noticed is that the majority of the same people who are complaining about "reverse discrimination" are the same people who would be "uncomfortable" having a gay or trans student as their roommate or living on their dorm floor.
astridmyrna 24th-Mar-2012 01:13 am (UTC)
And how they'd be fine with them being gay or trans if that person just "kept it to themselves"?
This page was loaded Oct 21st 2014, 1:34 pm GMT.