Friday, February 03, 2006

UNC GLBT-SA gives endorsement in UNC Student Body President campaigns

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According to an article published by The Daily Tar Heel (Chapel Hill, NC), the UNC-Chapel Hill Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender-Straight Alliance (GLBTSA) has given its endorsement to one of the candidates running in the race for UNC Student Body President. Last night, the GLBTSA voted 21-3 to endorse Bernard Holloway, citing his ability to serve as a straight ally on campus. Ironically, the endorsement of a "straight ally" came in the middle of the GLBTSA's "Ally Week". According to the article:
At the forum GLBTSA members voted 21 to 3, with eight abstaining, to endorse Bernard Holloway for student body president - his second endorsement of the evening and fourth overall. Holloway and his opponent, James Allred, discussed their platforms in a three-minute introduction and a lengthy question-and-answer session, emphasizing how their views would affect the lesbian, gay, transgendered and queer community. Both candidates spoke extensively about their credentials as allies. "It's programmed into me," Allred said. "It's who I am." Holloway recounted his experience as an ally when his best friend from high school came out. "I'm a big believer that being an ally or anything political is that it starts at home," he said. Members of the audience were interested especially in hearing the candidates' opinions on the University's nondiscrimination policy, which the group is working to amend. Holloway favored expanding it to include gender identity. He stressed that he was against adding political ideology to the nondiscrimination pact - which UNC's conservative community has been advocating and many in the GLBTSA stringently oppose. "A nondiscrimination pact is something special," Holloway said. "The nondiscrimination pact would be ripped to shreds if we added political affiliation to it." Holloway also expressed support for including a diversity exposure workshop as part of summer orientation for first-year and transfer students. He said he wants cultural and queer classes at UNC to be counted toward graduation requirements.
Despite the candidates' willingness to meet with the GLBTSA and have an open dialogue, some members couldn't help but notice some hitches in the candidates' speech:
Still Scruggs said both candidates used words and phrases - such as lifestyle - that have negative connotations within the community.
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