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Battle in Boren: Senate opposes anti-lGBTQ amendment
February 17, 2012
By Ellen Nicholas
Community Senate is supposed to be a
representational body that embodies the
needs and desires of Guilford's traditional
How would you feel about your political
opinions being represented by that body?
On Feb. 8, sophomores Daniel Raeder
and Rose McIntyre presented a proposal to
Community Senate concerning Amendment
One. The proposal was passed at the Feb. 15
Now, Community Senate will take a public
stance opposing Amendment One, joining
such institutions as North Carolina Central
University, North Carolina State University,
and Appalachian State University.
Before exploring the numerous questions
other Senate-goers had about the proposal,
let's take a step back.
Amendment One, also referred to as
the North Carolina Same-Sex Marriage
Amendment, strives to clarify and redefine
what kind of domestic unions will be
recognized by the state.
According to Associate Professor of
Political Science and Community Senate
Faculty Advisor Maria Rosales, the intent
and possible effects of Amendment One are
"This proposed amendment is written
very broadly," said Rosales. "So some people
are saying it says 'marriage is between a
man and a woman' and it doesn't actually
say that at all. It says the only legal domestic
union that will be recognized or considered
valid by the state is a marriage between a
man and a woman."
Nicole Guilfoyle, senior and vice president
of Guilford Pride, agrees.
"It basically nullifies any relationship
that isn't a heterosexual marriage," said
Guilfoyle. "This is just one example, but if
you have a man and a woman living together
and there's domestic abuse, there's not as
good of a chance of the abuser getting tried
because they're not in a marriage."
However, the real issue for Guilford's
student government is whether or not Senate
should declare a position on political issues
This issue came to a head this week when
one student blocked the proposal, making it
the first block of the year.
"Senate should be a representation of
the entire school," said first-year Alexander
Morales. "I feel like there are people and
certain cultures of this school that aren't
being represented suitably. ... We should
really be focused on issues that are really
pressing here. We have a really big agenda
and that just took away a day's worth of
Guilfoyle, however, sees it another way.
"First of all, I feel it's really hard as a
representational body for Senate to represent
every interest on campus," said Guilfoyle.
"That's just not possible. But even so, I still
feel that as a college that emphasizes core
values of equality, then we have a mission
to do this."
In Raeder's view, this issue is less political
than it seems.
"This is standing up for our fellow students
and our faculty members and our staff," said
Raeder. "And it may take a political tone,
but at its heart it's community standing for
community. There's a difference between the
state trying to pass a law to try and change
zoning laws and saying we're passing a
constitutional amendment — that cannot be
opposed once it's in the constitution — to
discriminate and oppress a minority."
The block remained after discussion, and
the proposal went to a vote of Senate officials.
This is the first time Senate has voted on an
issue all year. The proposal passed, with two
standing aside and one opposing.
Tim Leisman, junior and Senate diversity
action chair, wished the discussion stretched
on another week instead of calling for a vote.
"I'm not in favor of making decisions
when not everyone is comfortable with
them," said Leisman. "Particularly when the
people who are voting, such as myself, are
not comfortable with taking that vote."
There is the additional question of what
this proposal actually means now that it has
been passed through Senate.
"I think it would be purely symbolic,"
Sophomores Daniel Raeder and Rose McIntyre present a statement opposing Amendment
One. On Feb. 15, Senate voted for the first time this year to stand opposed to the amendment.
said Rosales. "It would be that Senate is
trying to suggest that they are standing in
solidarity with people who are affected by
"Also, it's a kind of building blocks to
a call to action for our school and for the
greater student body to start becoming
aware of this and how it oppresses people in
our community," said Raeder.
Morales, however, thinks it is unlikely the
proposal will lead to action.
"We make a lot of these statements and
then don't do anything to follow up on
them," said Morales. "So I feel like it will
be mostly symbolic. I just feel like it's not
the responsibility of the Senate to make
decisions like this without consulting more
Leisman shares the concern that the
proposal will not lead to action.
"The thing that I'm concerned about is
that people will say, 'We passed a proposal
and now we did all we need to do,"' said
Leisman. "'We're standing against hate.'
But really what we need to do is use this
proposal as a launching ground to campaign
If this issue interests you and'you want
to get your voice heard. Community Senate
meets on Wednesdays at 7:00 in the Boren
Lounge. Though, for now. Senate has put
this issue to bed.
By Bryan Dooley
Reduce, reuse, Recyclemania. Recyclemania is an annual
contest which lasts from February through March. Over 400
colleges and universities nationwide — including Guilford
— will compete to see which one recycles the most waste.
"We 're submitting results of measured landfill waste,"
said David Petree, director of environmental sustainability,
via email. "Food waste and electronic waste. Each of these
categories are measured by weight and the results are
posted weekly on the Recyclemania web page."
According to Recyclemania.org, Recyclemania began
in January 2001, as a challenge between Ohio University
and Miami University. The two schools decided to take
advantage of the existing sports rivalry and challenged
each other to see who could recycle the most.
"I believe that any time you can use fun and competition
as a part of changing behavior, people respond in a more
positive way," said Kyle Dell, associate professor of political
science, via email.
"This is demonstrated again and again in public polling
literature and environmental psychology," continued Dell.
"At a certain point, people suffer from apathy fatigue if
they are assaulted by negative messages regarding the
environment and our capacity to affect change."
Recyclemania returns to Guilford
Guilford has already done a lot to affect positive change
to the environment around the campus.
"We do a lot of cool things at Guilford about recycling,"
said Kim Yarbray, project and communication manager
and passionate environmentalist
"We have one of the most advanced compost systems
in the area, along with a group called TerraGyde, doing
innovative things like recycling candy wrappers, which
is something that is not done in Greensboro," continued
Even though Guilford is innovating many practices to
make it a much greener college, it cannot be a truly green
college without the involvement of its student body.
Students can help in many ways. One of them is an
upcoming dumpster dive, which senior Alexis Goldman
and Farm Coordinator Jim Dees are organizing later this
Students can also contact Goldman at goldmanar®
guilford.edu to become a part of the EcoRoom Initiative,
which offers personal energy audits and educational
opportunities regarding sustainability.
"The institution does a great job of making recycling easy
for students and staff by providing trash and recycling cans
in all rooms, but we cannot truly be a sustainable campus if
the community members are not involved," Goldman said.
"We need students to separate their trash in their dorm
According to Goldman, by separating their trash and
recyclable items students reduce the amount of waste
going to the landfills. Landfills are extremely hazardous to
human health as well as the environment, but waste can be
reduced with more people involved.
"The easiest and most exciting way students can help
Guilford become a more environmentally friendly college
is to innovate, imagine, and dream," Yarbray said. "It
would be amazing if we could think about the first 'R,'
which is reducing, by buying items in bulk when we can
so we can avoid all the extra packaging. You buy a freaking
flash drive and it is in a 14 oz. petroleum bubble wrap,
which cannot be recycled. It is not smart."
As a college, Guilford already recycles a huge quantity
of trash. Those involved hope that Recyclemania will
demonstrate the value of recycling to the rest of the country.
"I think (Recyclemania) is wonderful because it
highlights a practice we should be doing all year, but it
also gives Guilford a chance to show up other colleges
on our environmentally responsible campus," Goldman
said. "Since we've reduced the amount of waste going to
landfills by 55 percent in 2010, which ranked us first in the
state, I would say we definitely have some major bragging
rights as well as (wanting) to keep our reputation up there
at the top."