It's Time For Boise State To Part Ways With Scott Yenor

It's Time For Boise State To Part Ways With Scott Yenor

Boise State Is Better Than Transphobia & Homophobia
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The events unfolding in Virginia as I sat down to write this are a clear indicator of one fact: The status quo is not politically neutral. There is no such thing as political neutrality.

As the gap widens between Americans political opinions (that is, the Alt-right/ White supremacy vs. Leftism/Antifa), these issues are only likely to become more divisive. Donald Trump campaigned partially on the notion of reuniting the country.

This was easy for him to do because many folks scapegoated Obama for a growing divide when in reality ever-increasing polarity is the underlying cause. The moderate solution to this question is now—and has been—to simply try to resolve differences. The simple fact of the matter, though, is that some political questions are not negotiable, and we need to stop pretending that they are.

This means, then, that there are some issues where a "politically neutral" stance is in fact siding with the oppressor. Homophobia and transphobia are two of those issues.

This brings us to my hometown. Boise is a blue dot in the red sea that is Idaho. While Boise is not a political safe haven by any means, the city does some things right. Boise has established and maintained refugee centers, has heavy emphasis on music and arts, and boasts the most diversity in the state of Idaho.

Boise State University, however, seems slow to respond to Boise's political climate. If Boise State wants to demonstrate an ounce of political responsibility and respect for their students, this is an important chance.

Meet Scott Yenor. Yenor is a professor at Boise State who specializes in family politics, but at the university he teaches political philosophy and constitutional law. Although there are a plethora of mind-numbingly negative experiences that people who have taken classes from Yenor can recount, I won't be able to speak of that here due to slander law.

Furthermore, I'd rather leave these questions up to university investigation as opposed to hearsay. As is, there are a multitude of morally reprehensible notions in Yenor's writing which constitute a dangerous ideology that warrants separation from the university. Let's focus on that.

The primary piece I'd like to call attention to is one he published just 10 days ago titled "Transgender Activists Are Seeking to Undermine Parental Rights." Although the bulk of the content is repulsive, I will emphasize just a few passages.

This is a blatantly inappropriate statement and frankly the root of much homophobia. Yenor is obsessed with the idea of procreation within heterosexual marriage (which, by the way is possible for queer folk). As if it is not bad enough that this man is quite literally endorsing the obsolete, archaic notion of sex roles, he has just informed the public that he believes one type of relationship to be inferior to the others. Let's be clear: that belief is one which is frequently used to justify exclusion of queer folk and depict them as a threat to society. It should come as no surprise that this appears immediately underneath the passage.


Yenor does not believe that queer folk are as fit to raise children. Pardon me, Scott, I forgot that straight couples are doing so well. Yenor frequently fails to evaluate his arguments in context of the whole status quo, though.

As if somehow children in the US never make life-altering decisions before the age of consent against their parents' wishes...

But Yenor's utopian view of heterosexual families raising kids is evident throughout the entire piece. Yenor repeatedly defers to parental rights and parental choice as if parents are all knowing-Gods who could restore society if only the left would just let them be!

This is deplorable when we live in the state of Idaho, where it is still legal to disregard children's urgent medical needs in the name of "faith." In fact, so-called "faith healing" cases are responsible for multiple children's deaths every year in Idaho. But no, the degradation of sex roles is what's destroying the integrity of the family unit and our society.

Yenor also frequently discounts the importance of gender. Throughout his entire article, he puts the words gender identity in quotations. Couple this with his arguments about sex roles and Yenor's message is clear: There are only two genders each of which has a certain set of behaviors which ought to be followed in order to promote societal good.

Deviation from this truth must be excluded, punished, and under no circumstances promoted.

Trans folk have some of the highest suicide rates amongst any demographic in the world. Ideology like Yenor's promotes the anxiety that non-cis people feel about their gender. His work also sends the signal to trans folk that they ought to feel excluded. The rate at which trans folk are killed, also unparalleled, is fueled by people who believe that deviation from one's biological sex and "heterosexual desire" is to be punished.

These statements cannot be excused. Make no mistake, the people who are running counter protests over in Virgina, the alt-right, and white supremacist groups share one idea: They truly believe they are fighting for their way of life.

They actually live in fear of white genocide.

Yenor's propaganda is precisely the foundation for these actions. At the end of the day, it asks individuals not to accept certain lifestyles because they "pose a threat" to the way of life they deem best.

Google was willing to take this step because they recognize that political neutrality is not always an option. The university is one of the primary sites for shaping the political world. If we even remotely share in Yenor's concern for future generations, then it's time for Boise state to step up.


P.S. Don't bother approaching this article with the "This is equally intolerant" BS.

There is a difference between being intolerant of an exclusionary viewpoint someone holds and being intolerant of a person because of an immutable characteristic. Yenor doesn't have to be an asshole. Queer/Trans folk don't have a choice.


Please take a moment to sign and rally against homophobia and transphobia in academia.

Cover Image Credit: Petra Construction

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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No UNC Residence Hall Is The Same, So I've Provided Pros And Cons For The Top 5 First-Year Halls

Did yours make the cut?

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Residence halls are a big (and sometimes dreaded) part of the first-year experience at UNC-Chapel Hill. Honestly, though, life in the residence halls is nothing to dread. It's not perfect, but it can definitely be fun.

Beyond the convenient proximity of other first-years in the different residence halls, your social life may also benefit from UNC Housing's many community events. You get a lot of community support, too—your RA, your suite-/hallmates, your community director, and hopefully your roommate.

What about the buildings themselves, though? They're definitely not all the same. The following is a definitive list of the best five residence halls for first-years on UNC's campus.

5. Craige

http://reslife.web.unc.edu/2015/06/01/the-view-from-craige/

Pros: This residence hall is suite-style, which means there are four double rooms (i.e. eight residents per suite) and one bathroom—arguably better than sharing a larger bathroom with 20 more residents in a hall-style dorm. More privacy, a better chance of bonding with those seven other students, etc.. If you're interested in UNC basketball (and you should be, honestly), you'll be happy to know this residence hall is right up the road from the Dean Smith Center. It's also nestled into a quaint little grove of trees, which is cute.

Cons: This residence hall is (somewhat affectionately) known as Crusty Craige, and not without reason (according to previous residents). While it is in a nice location, it's still a good trek from main campus—the hill from Craige up to Manning is killer on one side, and that's just the beginning of the walk. Since the residence hall is only six floors high (and is mostly surrounded by short trees), the view isn't as impressive as that of, say, Hinton James' balconies.

4. Lewis

https://conferences.unc.edu/lodging/residence-halls/lewis-residence-hall/

Coming in at number four, Lewis is the only residence hall on this list that isn't located on South Campus.

Pros: This building does have laundry facilities, unlike some of the other residence halls on North Campus. Also, it is a remarkable one-minute walk from the student union and Davis Library, meaning you aren't nearly as likely to get lost during your first week (at least, on your way to the Pit—class buildings are a whole other story). I cannot stress this enough: it is super convenient to live so close to main campus.

Cons: You miss out on the first-year experience of living on South Campus, where most first-years begin their UNC journey. Also, there are typically less than 100 other residents in Lewis, which limits the number of people with whom you can bond during your first year (when you'll likely be the most focused on building your college network). That also means less RAs and smaller hall events. Also, it's a hall-style residence hall (this is a debatable con, though, since some people would definitely prefer hall-style over suite-style).

3. Koury

https://unc.freshu.io/melissa-cordell-751/best-freshmen-dorm-to-live-in

Pros: Koury is pretty close to the SASB buildings, which are full of great resources for first-years (namely the Learning and Writing Centers, where you can receive free tutoring, academic coaching, and feedback on your essays). There are internal suites, which means that only three other residents will be sharing a bathroom with you. This means you can furnish the bathroom with whatever rugs or trash cans you prefer, and you have a lot more privacy than in other residence halls, as far as the bathroom goes.

Cons: Since the bathroom is between the two double bedrooms, you have to clean the bathroom yourself, as well as provide your own toilet paper—the flip side of enhanced privacy is that you don't get custodial services. Also, with the internal suites, sometimes it can be more difficult to socialize with other people on the hall (although your RA is there to solve that problem!). Lastly, if you walk out of your room and forget your key, you're locked out—the door locks automatically upon shutting.

2. Hinton James

https://www.dailytarheel.com/article/2017/07/hinton-james-leaves-a-legend-and-a-legacy-in-uncs-most-populated-dorm

Maybe I'm biased—Hojo was my own first-year res hall. I'm sure someone will fight me on this, but I really enjoyed living there.

Pros: There are tons of people, which means there's a good chance you'll find some friends near your room. It's a suite-style dorm, so obviously, the suite-style advantages of Craige apply here as well. Also, there is a package center located on the first floor, so you don't have to trek to some other residence hall to pick up your latest Amazon orders. There's a huge staff of really fun RAs, which means there's always someone around with whom you can talk about any problems or concerns you may have. The view from the balconies isn't bad, either.

Cons: I encountered a roach once. Also, again, there are a lot of people in Hojo, so sometimes it's kind of loud. Not ideal if you prefer studying (or sleeping) in total silence. Lastly—and perhaps most annoyingly—this is the furthest residence hall from main campus (and therefore your classes). It's about a fifteen-minute walk to the Pit...doable, but aggravating after a while. On the bright side, it's close to several bus stops.

1. The Winner: Ehringhaus

http://reslife.web.unc.edu/2015/06/23/the-view-from-ehringhaus/

This residence hall is right behind Koury, so a lot of the location-based advantages/disadvantages still apply.

Pros: There's a bus stop literally right out front, there aren't a ridiculous number of residents (so it isn't super loud or anything), and it's suite-style. As if that isn't enough, you only have to cross the road once outside the residence hall if you're walking to class (and trust me, crossing Manning/Skipper Bowles/Ridge is a whole experience). Additionally, this residence hall is one of the closest to Subway and Rams Market.

Cons: The pronunciation isn't always agreed upon by incoming students (but by all accounts I've heard, it's pronounced like "Air-ing-house," you're welcome). Also, it's kind of far from class buildings (like a 12-minute walk from the Pit).

Really, the cons aren't bad at all. This residence hall offers all of the community excitement of Hinton James but is slightly calmer and closer to main campus. That, coupled with the fulfillment of the crucial first-year experience of living on south campus, puts Ehringhaus at number one in my book.

I think the south campus residence halls are inherently better than the north campus ones just because the daily 15-minute trek to class is practically a rite of passage for UNC first-years. That said, all of the residence halls have their unique advantages and disadvantages, and you can have an awesome first year no matter where you live.

For more information on each residence hall, I'd recommend scouring https://housing.unc.edu/housing/residence-halls. Welcome to UNC, kiddos!

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