To the editor:

The piece by Joey Wolongevicz (“I am told I am going to burn in Hell on Salem State’s campus every week,” Nov. 5) brings needed attention to an ongoing issue at Salem State University.

As fellow LGBTQ+ students, we want to add our two cents. University police’s response to these invaders has felt directed against students. As the “visitor” escalates, so does the police presence. Yet officers face student protestors like they’re protecting the homophobes from our words instead of vice versa. We are not the problem. Police need to stop treating us like we are.

Administration is no better. As Joey noted, in a recent meeting the chairman of the Board of Trustees, Rob Lutts, suggested LGBTQ+ students avoid the hate speaker by using the back doors to campus buildings. We don’t pay $30,000 a year to use a back door. Administration needs to remember that their job isn’t just to protect the university, it’s also to protect their students. Chairman Lutts backtracked his comments in an email to students, emphasizing the power of “truth, acceptance, and love.” Too little, too late. Lutts showed no acceptance or love until he was forced to. He doesn’t actually care about LGBTQ+ students and he is not alone. His attitude is indicative of a wider issue among administration of half-hearted and performative attempts to save face. Students deserve better. Rob Lutts needs to resign. Salem State needs to prioritize protecting its students over its reputation. If you care about us, prove it.

Cassidy O’Connor

Christine Belitsky

Salem

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