MICHAEL MORGAN / SPECIAL TO THE GUARDSMAN
There is not one sound argument against City College installing single-use unisex bathrooms in all existing bathroom areas on campus.
As it stands, transgender people must use available gender-specific bathrooms, risking negative comments, complaints and possibly violence. Trips to the restroom that non-transgender people take for granted can be a constant source of fear and anxiety to a transgender person. Public bathrooms are common sites of violence and harassment of transgender people - even in San Francisco.
San Francisco has one of the highest populations of transgender people in the United States, and is world-renown as a haven for groups and individuals who are marginalized elsewhere.
Many transgender people are students and faculty here at City College — that is why we should take the role of leading other less-progressive institutions in the endeavor to make our community a safe place for all its members.
There are never enough bathrooms. Adding single-use bathrooms would provide more bathrooms for everyone, including transgender people and parents who want to accompany their opposite-sex toddlers to the bathroom; it would also provide more handicap-accessible restrooms.
City College ought to require these bathrooms be put in all new buildings, and should implement a timely plan to add them to all existing buildings. This will be costly, but to ignore it would be exclusive and irresponsible.
RECOGNIZING WHITE ACHIEVEMENTS
BY DANI GOMEZ
Looking for the right way to fight what they call the “worst form of bigotry in America,” Boston University’s College Republicans is circulating an application for a “Caucasian Achievement and Recognition Scholarship” that requires all applicants be at least 25 percent white. In addition, all applicants are required to write an essay describing what it is like to be a white student in America today.
The award was not intended to offend, but to protest race-based scholarships and affirmative action.
Although race-specific scholarships do have some good intentions, like providing equal opportunity and assistance to those in need, they are all based on the common misconception that if you come from a white background you are automatically privileged and rich, and if you are a person of color you are disadvantaged and poor.
We all know that is not necessarily the case. Just to think so is an act of racism.
It is not acceptable to divide people by their race when it comes to academic awards. Scholarships should be based on factors such as personal characteristics, academic achievements and financial need, not on skin color and ethnicity. Scholarships should not be given away as handouts — they are meant to be given as recognition of academic achievement.
The “Caucasian Achievement and Recognition Scholarship” is a somewhat satirical way to underline the prejudice and institutional racism that exists in today’s academic world. The point: to show how terribly wrong it is to qualify some and deny others, just because of their racial backgrounds. African-American, Caucasian, Latino or Asian, we should all have equal opportunities based on our scholarly abilities — not physical appearance.
MYSPACE TAKING PLACE OF RESEARCH
BY LARRY SIMPSON
Many university students have a massive amount of debt in student loans by the time they graduate.
COURTESY OF MCT CAMPUS
How many students would accept a MySpace friend request from the Rosenberg Library?
If librarians like Kate Connell have their way, this spring students might be getting such requests.
That they know MySpace is an effective way to get a student's attention should come as no surprise. Not a day passes that computer stations at the Rosenberg are not signed on en masse to the friend-to-friend network phenomenon.
Outside of a tendency for MySpacers to occupy computers set aside for research, the librarians do not feel that friend networking is a misuse of library resources -- but they know it is not the best use either.
The librarians said they had recently had a speaker who discussed using technology to serve the library's patrons.
Since then, they have been researching MySpace, Facebook, and other such sites in hopes that when the time comes, the Rosenberg Library can offer students more than access to a high-tech popularity contest.
These are people with master's degrees -- in library science, which is basically like knowing everything -- and they want to reach out to library patrons over the din of garage bands and he allure of booty pictures.
The librarians at the Rosenberg Library only care about one thing really: making sure students are best served by all of the resources they have, or can get their hands on. They are on hand every day, planning out ways to make knowledge more accessible, even if that means sending a friend request to every student at City College, one at a time.
ON THE RECORD
Should students be allowed to use MySpace in the library?
“It's not a problem. I think it should be allowed."
“If it hasn't caused any damage, there shouldn't be a problem with checking it."
“No. The library is meant for learning."
“No. The library is for studying."
“Yeah, if your work is done, you should be able to."
“Yes. I think it's a problem."
BY JOHN GOINS
Anton Alexander was (or, should I say, is) my blood brother. We consecrated our union in the woods down the street from his house when his older brother, Ricky, cut the palm of my hand with a pocket knife (he had already done the same to Anton) and told us to shake hands; blood on blood, you might say.
After that, we proceeded to do what had been on our minds all of that summer – hunting birds and squirrels with the slingshots we made, and accompanied by their dog, Sam, who possessed an almost pathological hatred of cats and was a predator of all things wild and small.
For those of you who are offended by my early forays into nature, I can only offer Sam’s boundless enthusiasm and unwavering desire to bag something – anything - as our defense, and the fact that Anton and I were only 10 years old and poor shots.
As for Sam – he’s in heaven chasing cats …The Alexanders were good people who lived a block away from my house. I liked them because they treated me as if I were a member of their family and didn’t ask embarrassing questions like: “Why doesn’t your father live with you anymore?”
No arguments. No violence.
At their dinner table every one recited a passage from the Bible, beginning with Mr. or Mrs. Alexander on down to their oldest son Hardy, Cynthia, Ricky and Anton.
Anton’s parents were so versed in the Bible that it seemed like they could recite the entire book if they had wanted.
I didn’t know any verses from the Bible the first time I ate dinner with them. But that was what blood brothers were for.
Anton took a quick look around him and whispered in my ear.
“Jesus wept,” I said, smiling.