Letters to the Editor

I am a person, not a political statement

Nowhere in Doris’ e-mail written about in yesterday’s letter “Tassels Inappropriate” does she state that a rainbow tassel must be worn on graduation. In fact, the e-mail in question is an invitation to an entirely different event, during which rainbow tassels are handed out to graduating seniors to recognize their time at Northwestern.

However, a few phrases in the letter printed yesterday on this topic suggest to me that the author is less concerned about the possible presence of rainbow tassels at graduation, and more about the growing presence of LGBT icons in his daily life. I believe Norris flies a rainbow flag during October, which is recognized as LGBT History Month. Norris does a similar thing when it flies the Pan-African flag in February during Black History Month.

He also pointed out that it was flown directly beside the U.S. flag. I believe this is no small act of symbolism. Being gay does not preclude one from being an American. I am both and I recognize both identities. I am glad the University recognizes both as well.

The letter yesterday asked, “How can a group expect to achieve equality by continuing to set itself apart?” I want to know how a group of people should expect to achieve equality if they do not detail the ways in which they are unequal – if they do not draw attention to the ways in which they have been marginalized.

The answer is not that they should conform to the mainstream, but that society should embrace the many different types of people that are a part of it. Lastly, rainbow tassels were referred to as “statement-making on a social issue.”

It’s not a “social issue.” It’s my identity. I’m not an issue, and I resent being called one.

– Jessica Kaiser

Weinberg senior

Outgoing Co-president, Rainbow Alliance

NU women will find their voices tonight

Thursday will be Northwestern University’s 23rd annual Take Back the Night. We gather in masses during national Sexual Assault Awareness month to support survivors of sexual violence and to create an open dialogue around this often-unreported crime.

One in four college women will be the victims of an attempted or completed sexual assault before they graduate. Northwestern is not immune to these numbers. All too frequently, victims remain silent.

We gather on Thursday to give them a voice.

College is supposed to be a safe space and it’s not that strangers are grabbing us off the streets. Whether it’s a committed relationship or a mutual friend, 80 percent of sexual assault is committed by an acquaintance of the victim.

We will march to destroy the myths that it happened because we were out at night, or during the day. It wasn’t because we were off campus, or our clothes were too tight. It wasn’t because we drank too much, or because we were asking for it. It wasn’t because we are queer, or the wrong race. It cannot be excused by saying ‘boys will be boys.’

Excuses perpetuate silence, which condones violence.

So please join us on tonight at 7:30 at the rock, to listen, respect, share and support survivors of these violent crimes. It could be your sister, your girlfriend, your mother, your brother or your friend. We are all connected to the violence. Let’s show our community that we will not tolerate it any longer. This is our campus and we deserve to feel safe.


Weinberg seniors

Take Back the Night co-chairs,Executive board of College Feminists