With Help from a New App, SMU Students Again Reject LGBT Senate Seat

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Daniel Lobo
For the second time in three weeks, the SMU student body has shot down a proposal to add an LGBT student senate seat.

Students voted on the measure on Wednesday and Thursday -- a re-vote after an initial attempt fell a few hundred votes shy of the two-thirds majority required to pass.

Student body president Ramon Trespalacios announced the results in an email blast to the student body on Thursday evening:

Hello Mustangs,

Thank you all who voted for the referendum in the past two days. The results were 1,107 votes in favor and 1,025 against. Therefore, the referendum failed as it needed 2/3 of the votes in favor in order to pass.

Once again, I appreciate the time you took to vote and be an active citizen of this community. I'd like to remind all students that Student Senate is here to support every one of you. If there is an issue that you'd like to see addressed you can contact me or any other member of the Senate.

Pony Up,

Ramon Trespalacios

See also: SMU Students Aren't Quite Ready For Increased LGBT Representation

Had the measure been approved, the LGBT community would have joined other campus minorities (e.g. African Americans, Asian Americans, graduate students) with a designated student representative.

LGBT advocates on campus had hoped that putting the measure on its own ballot, rather than on the general election ballot, would boost its chance of passage, but the plan backfired.

Turnout for the special election (2.132) was actually greater than in the general election (2,060). Support for the LGBT senate seat dropped from 59 percent to 52 percent. SMU's Daily Campus credits the surge of no votes to an app:

A new social media app on campus, Yik Yak, may have played a big role in garnering opposition turnout against the proposed referendum. Many posts were made on the anonymous social media site that urged students to vote against the referendum that took place Wednesday and Thursday.

"I would like to thank Yik Yak for single handedly getting the LGBT seat to fail," read one anonymous post on the app following the announcement of the results. "I don't think any of us would have known to vote without it."

"It definitely influenced my vote," sophomore Erik Beresford said. "I didn't even know there was a re-vote or when to vote without getting info from Yik Yak."

Yik Yak is an anonymous messaging app that allows users to pay a small fee to share messages with other nearby users. It was developed by college kids for college kids, primarily, according to TechCrunch, as a means of sharing gripes.

There are some signs that SMU is warming to the LGBT community. The student senate voted overwhelmingly to put the LGBT seat on the ballot -- something they have refused to do in the past -- and advocates say the school's administration has been fairly progressive. The student body, on the other hand, just isn't quite ready to make the leap.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.


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115 comments
juanmayeaux
juanmayeaux

Do the Hitler Youth have a Senate Seat?

tsacreman
tsacreman

Tremendously disappointing. SMU likes to style itself as an Ivy League of the south and I have a tremendous amount of respect for the institution. But this is so provincial.

And the comments here paint Dallas as a backwards cess pool undeserving of its place on the global stage. Congratulations everyone. I look forward to the day when your children google this nonsense and know from what good, moral stock they descend.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

Do LGBT's make up, statistically, the same or similar percentage of the student body as the other groups with special seats?  If they do, it seems fair for them to get the same treatment.  If not, it seems like the student body made the correct decision.


Frankly, based on my experience at SMU, I would be surprised if there are more black students than there are LGBT students.

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

Maybe I missed it in the article, don't think I did, but how LGBT status be confirmed if this had passed? I mean we can all spot a tranny but how do you prove you're a lesbian, gay, or bi? A black guy is obvious, an Asian is obvious, but LGBT is not.

thebelltollsfu
thebelltollsfu

I'm so shocked by these comments. Not because of what they are saying, but on how they now have internet access in trailer parks. Do you guys pay extra for that or something? How can you even see a key board with those white sheets on your head? Doesn't the tip of the hood knock over the monitor when you look down? 

joseph1552
joseph1552

Oh no, the LGBTABCDE's tried to force another element of their agenda down our throats, and it got turned down. Boo hoo. Good for the SMU student body. This was an obvious attempt by the LGBTABCDE's  to minimize turnout and get their desired outcome.  Didn't work. Pony Up!

brad364
brad364

Does anyone else see anything absurd about all of this? Everyone wants to be treated equally and fairly so we unfairly give special treatment to certain groups to make things fair and equal.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

How was the special vote broadcast to the student body?  From at least one of the Yik Yak posts, it was not a generally well-known item.  If the special vote was disseminated selectively to 'boost its chance of passage', then this is a fitting end for it. One thing that is more detrimental to society than open bigotry is deceptive democracy.

Are LGBT issues not given consideration in the student Senate as things stand now?  What are the grievances that lead one to think SMU needs to grant a special privilege seat to LGBT? Hint: Just because 'other campus minorities' have a seat, is not justification for this group, or any other group, say Irish-American Hindu students from Wyoming, to have a special seat.  The goal of freedom and equality is not to create distinctions between people, rather to minimize differences.

The right to marry, as Jack said below, is a better fight.  That push is not asking for people to make an exception for them, just to give them the same right as everyone else, minimizing a difference.

shawn4848
shawn4848

GOOD FOR SMU !!!!! bout time we stand up and say NO MORE FUDGE PACKERS.... All their stupid parades and coming out mess...STAY IN and or just go away totally. 

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

In the not too distant future the SMU Student Senate will have one seat for every student on campus.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

Are there specially-designated seats on the senate now? Woman seat? woman-of-color seat? Republican seat?

If not, the whole premise is silly. If there are "special seats", then there is a legitimate beef.

If this is the first "special " seat created, then where does it end?

Steeve
Steeve

This is kickass.   Fuck off, "LGBT Nation."  Fucking bullies.

SCamp2
SCamp2

I don't see anything in this that says SMU Students are against an LGBT in the Senate. An LGBT can run for any seat, just not a specific seat reserved for them.

CraigT42
CraigT42

It would be interesting to see what was posted on the social media. 


Was it, Dont forget to go vote on the referendum for an LGBT seat on the senate?


Or was it Get out there and vote before they give the homos a seat!

Threeboys
Threeboys

I am curious what "needs" the LGBT community at SMU are not being met nor cannot be met by someone not in that community?

becoolerifyoudid
becoolerifyoudid

Did they give a seat on the student senate to Hookers Killed by Craig James?

pak152
pak152

the cries of homophobia will be deafening

JackJett
JackJett

While it does seem odd to me that in the year 2014, SMU will not allow a senate seat for a LBTQ student, I think we have bigger fish to fry.  And this particular issue has little to do with the bigger picture.  

Most people I know are far more concerned with getting Wendy Davis elected than college politics.  Then we can begin the process of getting the message out that gays are not asking for "special" rights but simply equal rights.  

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@juanmayeaux

Why, do you think there should be a seat for Hitler Youth?

UPrenter
UPrenter

@tsacreman  SMU is not even close to an "Ivy League of the South".  The only "Ivy League" in the South is Duke. Going on admission rates and student body quality, SMU isn't even in the same league as schools like Rice and Washington U (St. Louis).  SMU is a safety school for rejects from the second tier.

tsacreman
tsacreman

@PlanoDave  You would be hard pressed to get an accurate census. Many students would prefer not to self-identify as a minority which is clearly the target of so much animosity on campus. But size isn't the point here, as demonstrated by the very existence of minority seats. It's need. And if you need evidence of need, just scroll down through these comments.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@P1Gunter

As is the case with Bradley Manning declaring himself a woman named Chelsea, you are what you say you are, regardless of your body parts, or whether they've been lopped-off or whatever.

I've noticed that the moment penised male Bradley declared himself a woman, mainstream media immediately complied, though some conservative outlets referred to him, I mean penised-her as Bradley and as a man, I guess because he technically is, though he, I mean she declares she, or he still has a penis.

Confusing, I know. I'm not sure who he bunks with in the slammer, since the government I think still recognizes penises as a male appendage it's probably with some very lucky lifer.

Point is, in the near future, if a couple wants a boy baby, and the fetus doesn't co- operate and emerges from the cocoon with a vagina, they can declare the baby a boy regardless, without any surgery or inconvenience.

Oh, and by the way, I am a harbor seal. A male harbor seal, and incidentally, the most intelligent, capable and handsome male harbor seal in history.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@RTGolden1

there was publicity about the vote, there were news stories in the student newspaper as well as the DMN, not to mention others who picked up theses two and republished

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@tpfnap

How about a seat for non-students? Considering that SMU may produce one or more folks with influence in the public and private sectors, shouldn't potential employees or constituents have a seat at the table?

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@TheRuddSki

yes, there are over a dozen specially-designated seats in the senate now.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@Threeboys

They need a "Seat". Apparently, one cannot properly represent certain interests without a "Seat". And if every other identity group has one, then no-one should be denied.

Even if these "Seats" afford no extra power or privilege or any tangible use (assuming no extra padding, etc), their mere existence demands an established protocol of Seat-based equality.

These kids, after all, are being prepared for the Real World, and may some day enter government or academia, and get paid handsomely to resolve pointless issues with voluminous solutions - without proper training, who knows what could happen?

shawn4848
shawn4848

@pak152  the sounds and smells of fudge packers ALREADY is disgusting and enough is enough....GO AWAY ALL FUDGERS

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

Best of wishes to you being able to legally marry in Texas Jack. I mean that sincerely. I can't imagine what a pain the ass not being able to must be.

James080
James080

@JackJett  

Jack, I'm a supporter of equal rights for the LGBT, but reserving a senate seat for a LGBT representative isn't asking for equal rights, it's asking for a special privilege. I have no doubt there are already LGBT members in the SMU senate, and there seem to be many gay-friendly student senators at SMU. "Special" right just breed resentment. 

pak152
pak152

@JackJett the problem is that LGBT's believe only one of their own can properly represent them. This is antithetical to our country's ideals. what if there is a call for a LGBT person of color representative to sit on the board?

tsacreman
tsacreman

@UPrenter Only said that the school likes to think of itself as such. It's a good university (deserving more credit than you give) making big strides. But these actions, and the response it's received, put the school right back in the 20th Century.

Goober-Patrol
Goober-Patrol

@TheRuddSki Hey, are you about 95 years old?  Did you gather this information from the Globe?  You sound like a damaged dildo, like one without any balls.  Do you eat from the same turd troth as roosterfap?  A seal?  WTF?  Maybe you mean an Easter Seal!

tsacreman
tsacreman

@bvckvs No one with socially liberal beliefs uses the term 'sexually deviant.' Just so you know, liberal doesn't mean what you think it does.

lebowski300
lebowski300

"sexually deviant community"? WTF? I hope hard driving pipe hitting member of the "racially deviant community" visits you soon.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@bvckvs

So, you can't support them because they, in fact, have been and to an extent still are victims of society's prejudice.

What you are saying is unless queers can change history, you can't support their movements for equality, because they cite history which they can't change

So, we know where you stand, and can we assume you are against any initiative connected to equality for blacks, or native Americans, or anyone who has at some point been victimized.

Well, considering the number of times over the years you have claimed victimhood - of evangelicals, republicans, Ruddski, women, your professors, DISD, the websites who have banned you (have I left anyone out?), I'd say that you, Sanders Kaufmann, deserve sympathy or support from absolutely no-one for absolutely anything.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@mavdog

Ok then, they have a legitimate concern, and my guess is that in due time, they will get that Seat.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@mavdog  Like PlanoDave, Ruddski failed to read the article.... along with the usual suspects who gave them likes.

JackJett
JackJett

@P1Gunter That is really a cool thing for you to say.  If people had an insight to the struggles that myself and John have, they would see that they are absolutely no different that those of any straight couple in a long term marriage.  I know this because 90 percent of our friends are heterosexual and married.   The exception is that we have to jump through a few more legal and business hoops.   Thanks again for your words of support.  Now, do you feel strong enough about it to pay our electric bills this summer??

JackJett
JackJett

@James080 I don't really care about what goes down at SMU.  It is a school for the wealthy known for being very conservative and a cheating scandal.


Today is the 15th year anniversary of Matthew Shepherd.  My energy is spent on marriage equality.  While I may not see it in my lifetime and be able to marry my partner of 22 years,  I will continue to attempt to convince people that marriage is equality and not a special right.  It will eventually happen in Texas because our youth is energetic and focused. 


The reason I post my view here on what has become an ultra conservative blog is that I want anyone that might be reading this that is trying to come to terms with their own sexuality that the views expressed here don't really represent the totality of our city or our state.   Even if you happen to be a child or relative of someone posting some of the more negative comments you should know that a wide world of acceptance and support exist. 



RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@pak152 @JackJettI think you missed Jack's point.  He's saying this is not the right fight.  He is essentially saying the LGBT community should be focusing its efforts on equal rights not special considerations.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@pak152  You speak for the LGBT community?  The LGBT community is happy to have Obama on their side to represent them in their fight for equality in marriage.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@Goober-Patrol

No estoy seguro qué idioma hablas. ¿Puede hablar harbor seal?

tsacreman
tsacreman

@bvckvs Again, if you think of LGBT people as perverts, you are not liberally-minded.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz We read the article, we just didn't draw the same conclusions you did.  That makes us wrong and bad, though, doesn't it?

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@Myrna

You're right, I missed the sentence that answered my question, hence my "if this then - if that" position.

And mavdog, without any fanfare or snark, simply provided the information I overlooked.

The important thing is, those who accuse me of homophobia will, once again, be confused by my position.

JackJett
JackJett

@bvckvs Okay ...so in your opinion a Libertarian would be totally opposite than a Populist?  

Also, my view is that the Unfair Park blog has become very tea party like, not that the Dallas Observer as a publication.   I still seen the DO as what it should be.  Pop culture, sub culture with a progressive vibe on most social issues.   I was talking about the direction of the Unfair Park blog has going over the last 10 or more years.  

JackJett
JackJett

@bvckvs I have never fully understood the term Populist as it relates to politics.  Would you say that is a fairly accurate layman's definition......the "government should do whatever the people who are governed want them to do"....to define Populist. 

JackJett
JackJett

@bvckvs I think you may be talking about the "act" of marrying.  After 22 years we have a lot of issues like Social Security, 401K's, property, home, and a couple of companies etc, not to mention a tax situation.,

Now we can go through the act and we would need to see lawyers to get something organized that we should be able to accomplish as every other American ........that since we can not marry we are forced to live in sin. 

As I understand, the next big step for Texas is to get the State to vote on accepting and giving full marital rights to those married outside of Texas.

The religious aspect of it is of little concern by maybe for his family. 


Unless I have totally missed something we can not marry in Texas in the same capacity as others.   That is the equality we are looking for.

JackJett
JackJett

@RTGolden1 I want to acknowledge my involvement in any retort that included any berating.   I sincerely apologize to any and all that might have been on the receiving end.  I have a history of bitchiness and my  mouth has burned more bridges than I have ever crossed.   In recent times, I have tried to keep in under control  

And in a couple of situations attempted to find some mid ground with poster by stating that, in reality gay and straight men have far more in common than not.   Hoping to get people to be less aggressive.  

I have always been one of the few who attach my name to my postings and thus must take full responsibility for them.  So again, if I have ever berated you are anyone that might see this, accept my apology and know it will not happen again. 

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@JackJett @wcvemailI'd say your perception of things might be a bit skewed by your closeness to some of the more contentious issues.  I'm a relative newcomer to the blog, but I've noticed that the berating and spewing hateful retorts you speak of is about equal on both sides.  I've even noticed you doing it a time or two, though it is a rare occurrence.  

I'd hate to see this blog devolve into a mini-drudge report, as it is the one place I can get a balanced (in the comments) critique of local events and news.  And your contribution to that balance, as it was when I first started visiting here, is sorely missed.

JackJett
JackJett

@wcvemail I appreciate your respectable response.   I have been here since the early days of "Bible Girl".  While I have vacillated between lurking and posting I am always checking it out.  I am the one who lost my new gig at Clear Channel for something I said to Wilonsky on this blog several years ago.  So I am aware.


And this is clearly an issue of perception but I have never seen this blog be as outspokenly conservative as it is now.  To me, it seems to be a local version of Drudge.   I have notice that many of the progressive and moderate voices are gone and many have made a point of the reason they no longer post. 


I would say that on gay issues here the pro vs con would be about 70% pro 30% con.  Now that is, at least reversed.   Again, that is my perception.   And this need for certain posters to berate and spew hateful retorts to those who simply decide to post a comment.  It is not enough to disagree with that person, they must be verbally humiliated.  And if you haven't noticed that then your perception might be a bit off. 


This is why this blog will soon become about the same 8 people who feel the exact same way agreeing with each other and perhaps the name calling will cease at that point. 


Probably more of an answer than you anticipated.  Check the archives and you will see the point I am making. 

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@casiepierce

That's the lowest rating. Then there's Uber, ultra-Uber, wingnut, rabid wingnut, and crazy uber right-wing loon, and "Bush Voters" - most of whom should be jailed.

The definition for "liberal" or "progressive" is "normal", I.e, "what everyone believes".

Hope that helps.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@JackJett @James080  
Jack, for several years on this and other blogs, under my present handle and others, I've appreciated and frequently benefited from your eloquent, deeply considered, and sometimes hilarious commentary. I wondered why you haven't been around much.

I'll differ with you about this blog being ultra conservative, as the strident anti-LGBT comments on this subject come from out of left field, from commenters who were excited enough by this story to register for the first time just to post. 


I perceive this blog's frequent commenters balanced roughly between libertarians and classic liberals, with some classic conservatives and frequent "others" for spice.

dingo
dingo

@JackJett @James080 

The majority of the more negative comments on this post or derogatory baseless generalizations concerning SMU.

-cheating (25 years ago) 

-bigots (even though the majority voted for the referendum)

-homophobic (even if you merely believe that reserved positions are problematic for other reasons)

 



Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@pak152  You made an assumption.  Here's mine.  Nearly everyone in the LGBT community would have Obama as their spokesperson in a New York minute.

pak152
pak152

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz but Myrna baby Obama isn't a member of the LGBT community (AFAIK), based upon the SMU LGBT community's reasoning how could Obama properly represent them>

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