Z. Iris Filippi
Last week, I wrote to the Wooster Voice illuminating many of the hardships that befall queer students on the margins of campus, or those whose interest to which it may not be to seek help through the recommended channels. Reflecting on the sheer volume of miscommunications and cultural alienations that some of us have been subjected to, I could only conclude that “There is No One Solution to Queer Students’ Difficulties,” or the original title of my Viewpoint. As if to further prove my point, the editorial staff reworked my piece to a title of “Queer students need support,” referenced on the front page as calling attention to an explicit lack of support in what is clearly an effort to save the face of the invisible monoculture that I did my best to draw attention to last week, not to mention a blatant disregard for the “Disclaimer” posted above. What I had meant to communicate, as anyone who notices the dissonance between the piece and its title will gather, is that our support for queer students as we define it is not only far-reaching in its scope but parasitic in its aims to prop up a normative student elite.
If my complaints sound at all like useless, internal finger-pointing that splits hairs within groups that already struggle to assert themselves against other forms of normativity at Wooster, I would remind the reader that previous Viewpoints have been offered that, if considered in earnest, could promote real violence in our community and endanger the well-being of many students, yet none of these were considered inappropriate for publication. What, then, would I have to do to make my views controversial enough to pass through the press unedited? Would I have to stir a quarter of the campus to arms or humiliate myself with extreme and unlikely politics?
The Wooster Voice is all too happy to release pieces inflammatory enough to secure readership, but when the concerns of students failed by unrealistic approaches to inclusion wish to make themselves heard, a faceless, contented few moves to protect its satisfaction with our school’s climate as it stands. To suggest merely that we students “need support” is an assumption that we each recognise an inclusive campus in seeing one, and that matters of whose support, how it is delivered, and why we choose to help one another is irrelevant. All the while, The Voice twists our words to churn out such propagandistic orders as they confounded my last piece into.
By industrializing the aims of my previous contribution into a more commoditised claim palatable to students who have already found their everything in terms of acceptance, The Voice commits itself to a path of fraud leading only to the cementing of a privileged aristocracy on our campus and forfeits its mission to represent a diverse range of voices. To echo last week’s piece, I can only hope that a resilient, few voices can overpower this gross form of censorship, and while I cannot know the outcome of the second Scot Council elections as I write this, I would advise the incoming administration to think carefully in terms of the views they choose not to represent, especially with regards to their own placement.