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Spirit of inclusion appreciated

Letter to the Editor | Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Sometime recently, I was walking through my dorm and came across a rather large rainbow flag inscribed with the words “Spirit of Inclusion” hanging in my dorm lobby. My first reaction was shock. Never in a million years did I expect to see a rainbow flag decorating a dorm on this campus (excluding students’ private rooms). My second was deep gratitude.

I am a senior and have been out on this campus for a little over three years now, and have been involved with the Standing Committee for Gay and Lesbian Student Needs since the beginning of my sophomore year. Needless to say, I have seen a lot over the past four years revolving around GLBT issues.

Some of what I have seen has been good, and some of it has made me feel incredibly unwelcome here. What I felt most of all, however, was invisible. So many students see GLBT issues as something that is debated over lunch or in a class, but for me, it involves an important part of who I am. I struggle daily with the assumption of heterosexuality that the majority of people on this campus hold regarding the people around them.

To see a rainbow flag up in my residence hall told me, in the most simple manner I can think of, that GLBT students are embraced and recognized as part of the Notre Dame community and that discrimination and intolerance are not welcome in our halls. For that, I am incredibly grateful.

I recently found out that these flags were offered to all the hall rectors but that only a handful agreed to display them. For those who did, I would like to say thank you. For those who have not, I would like to ask you to reconsider. It could make all the difference in the world to a GLBT student living in your hall to see this symbol of acceptance. I can only imagine, if the flag had such a strong impact on someone like myself who has come to terms with my sexuality, what kind of impact it may have on the students here who are still struggling.

Tiffany ThompsonseniorWelsh Family HallMarch 28