Undergraduate Student Govenrnment President Minh-Tri Nguyen

We are a generation gifted and cursed with the wonders of technology. We rely on our texts, our gchats, and our phone conversations to express ourselves, and to communicate with our closest friends. We are so familiar with its conveniences that we often blind ourselves from reality. We easily forget that there is another human being on the end of the other line—that with a push of a button, we connect to a human heart and mind. I am sure that recent events have reminded us of this. What I’m not so sure about is whether or not many people have truly paused to consider the right approach to stop gay-bullying events like these in the future.

I consider this thought as I recall watching a news video coverage of the recent tragedies within our nation’s schools. It was with the words of a gay-rights activist that made me think deeper about our roles as students of higher education. In this video the activist advised LGBT teenagers to refrain from taking their lives as a means to end the struggle. I quote:

"Life is worth living. High school is just a small part. It will get better once you get out of high school."

It will get better once you get out of high school. We can speak to victims of hate-crimes and tell them that it will only get better after high school, but then what do we do and what we say to students who have this concern in college? Should we say that college is also a small part of our lives and that things also get better? Why should anyone have to wait that long to feel the same confidence and support that others seem to be born with? No, as Case Western Reserve University students we seek a better solution. We seek inclusion. We seek the comfortable acceptance of differences and we celebrate life.

We are a welcoming and accepting community. From my experience, CWRU is a place of tolerance, a place where open and comfortable dialogue can happen between two completely different individuals. I ask that you keep that openness and continue to participate in conversation as this country begins a national dialogue that has been stirred by these recent events and victims to gay-bullying. As a community, I hope that the students of this university will take it upon themselves to speak against the uninformed tongue and to stop the comments that aim to subjugate any student from the notion of inferiority or hatred.

Tonight we make it evident, that while we are students of varying profiles, we stand together to abate the hate crimes that hinder our advancements as educated individuals. Methods of bullying have changed. Our obligations as supporting members of the overall community will not.

Thank you and I appreciate your time being here.