Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 40, Ed. 1 Friday, February 17, 2012 Page: 9 of 56
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SEEKING REPRESENTATION | Spectrum members, from left, Jessica Barner, Eric Douglas, Danielle
Palomo, Breanna Diaz, Jakob Schwarz and Kristen Baker-Fletcher outside an SMU Student Senate meet-
ing this week. (David Taffet/Dallas Voice)
Spectrum again seeks
LGBT senator at SMU
Members of gay student group
speak out after registrar cuts off
talks over diversity seat proposal
DAVID TAFFET I Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK — Progress toward an
LGBT Student Senate seat at Southern Methodist
University came to a halt last week when the
school registrar cut off talks with Karen Click, di-
rector of the Women's: Center for Gender and
Pride Initia tires.
"1 need to put this project on hold for a while,
as I don't have the resources now," Joe Papari,
SMU's director of enrollment services for student
systems and technology, wrote in an email to
Papari couldn't be reached for comment.
On Tuesday, Feb. 14, members of the LGBTQA
student group Spectrum addressed the Student
Senate to ask for help in restarting the talks about
a Senate seat.
"Show how progressive our campus can be,"
Spectrum President Harvey Luna urged the Sen-
Tom Elliott, who now works for the Travis
County Democratic Party in Austin, first
brought the idea of an LGBT seat to the Senate in
2009 when he was a senior.
Elliot said when he served on the Senate's. Di-
versity Committee, it dealt with finding more re-
sources for minorities and better ways to recruit
new students from those communities.
He thought that with the negative publicity
SMU gets from the Princeton Review rating of
the school as one of the 20 most homophobic
Campuses in the U.S., an LGBT senator would
send a positive signal to potential incoming stu-
dents that while the student body remains con-
servative and seems lacking in diversity,
everyone is actually welcome at SMU.
The Princeton ranking is based ori student sur-
veys. In many ways, SMU doesn't fit the profile
of other schools on the list. SMU is the only
school on the list with inclusive nondiscrimina-
tion policies, domestic partner benefits for em-
ployees, sanctioned LGBT student groups and
openly gay faculty and staff who are embraced
by the administration.
In December 2009, the Student Senate voted
against adding the LGBT diversity seat. The vote
was 19-19, but a three-fourths majority was
needed to pass the resolution that would have
then gone to the entire student body for a vote.
But the perception of the school remains one
where gays and lesbians are not welcome, ac-
cording to members of Spectrum who believe
that a diversity seat would help change that.
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Wright, John. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 40, Ed. 1 Friday, February 17, 2012, newspaper, February 17, 2012; Dallas, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth239207/m1/9/: accessed March 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.