When I first started to think about the idea of going to college back in the high school years, I thought that it would be this great experience where everyone goes wild and lets loose, where they make mistakes and discover who they really are. I developed a picture of college, a school with a breathtaking campus, the students friendlier than ever, almost overly joyous, where everyone and anybody was accepted for who they were, gay, straight, Muslim, atheist, black or green. I never thought that I would find out that there would be a moment where I would be reading about a school creating AND approving a bill that would be taking away funding and support for any student body organization.
This past week, throughout the LGBT community, there has been drama going on with A&M, one of the biggest public universities in Texas, dealing with a bill that I would only imagine to see at a state or national level: GLBT Funding Opt Out Bill. What the bill does is “allow students to choose not to pay portions of their student fees to specific university services that conflict with their religious beliefs.” The bill was originally created to deprive the LGBT community at A&M by cutting off the average $100,000 of funding for the GLBT Resource Center that come from the student fees everyone at the school pays in their tuition. This fee that every student pays is about $2 a semester, an amount that is so minuscule that it just mind boggles me as to why the student government would want to polarize the student body on campus and even people that are keeping up with the proceedings.
This GLBT Resource Center provides a number of resources that are to help and aid the LGBT A&M community, like with issues about sexual orientation and gender identity/expression, advocacy, leadership, and visibility. The center is a vital place for the communities, especially for those that are dealing with serious, life threatening situations, like bullying, identity issues, etc. Centers like these have created a safe haven for many individuals all around the US.