About two years ago when I was deciding on colleges one of the most important aspects that drew me to Antioch was the size of our queer community. When I came to Antioch I was assured by a friend that there is a large ratio of queers on campus. It was frustrating to find out upon arrival that there are only a handful of queer men on this campus.
Why is the amount of queer people important when deciding where to go to college? Well fi rst off, there are several important reasons why one should pick a certain campus. But when it comes to being a part of a minority it’s important to have support in numbers when needed. For instance, every elementary school has a bully and everyone at one time or another has been singled out for being different. What’s different is that instead of one bully, queer people have society as a bully and instead of beating you up on the playground they communicate a message to America (through legislation and other means) that it is acceptable to ostracize queer people.
I do believe that Antioch is much safer for queers than most other institutions but being accepted is entirely different than being understood. When you have society riding your back it’s hard to do everyday things without feeling the heat. The feeling of isolation permeates our halls and when the times get tough we need support from people facing similar situations.
Antioch of course isn’t without queers. We are one of the few campuses that exist in our country that has a strong queer presence in our student numbers as well as our faculty. But nothing’s perfect. We need improvement. Power equals results and we do have power on this campus.
So what does this mean for Antioch? Well, nothing yet. There have been few attempts by college administrations around the country to document the amount of queer people at their institutions, however no attempts were made to recruit such people. Should we actively try to increase the size of our queer community?
Yes we should. Our campus lags behind when it comes to its minority student ratio. Antioch students have something different than all other college students. We can actively begin supporting our admission staff and push our college to a place where more people feel comfortable coming to our campus. If we are in fact radical and want real change we must start here and work to make this campus more accessible to all minorities.