Guest Post from the Red-headed Sis (Updated)
She wrote the letter a while back, mind you, and shared it with Moi. I offered to publish it back then, and she hesitated. But now that she's been accused "pushing the gay agenda"...not so much hesitation.
Here's the result:
Dear Mr. President,
My name is "the Red-headed Sis" and I am the manager of Marshall University's tutoring center. I myself am a graduate of Marshall for both my undergraduate and Master's work in history. I am a white female who identifies herself as heterosexual and I am a native West Virginian.
Of the forty- two students we employ at the tutoring center, twenty are not citizens of the United States. We have twelve Vietnamese students, seven from India and one lovely young woman from Cameroon. We also have four students who identify themselves as homosexual and two who are transgendered. Our remaing tutors are U.S. citizens who identify as heterosexual.
The reason I am writing this letter to you today, is that I was told that the University budget for the tutoring center might be cut again and that we could increase our chances of being used if we hired 'normal, run of the mill' tutors and people with West Virginia accents. I was told by the senior counselor for University College that we needed to get tutors that 'everyday people' feel comfortable using and who will not 'slap people in the face with their sexuality'. I was told this during our meeting to discuss current and on-going problems with serving our students to the best of our ability. The main problem the Tutoring Center has with serving students to the best of our ability is that we do not have enough tutors to comply with both requests for drop-in tutoring and individual appointments. The other issue we face is getting students to attend tutoring sessions once they have signed up for our program.
As it stands, our budget will not allow us to hire more than forty-two tutors. One quarter of our tutoring requests are for classes in the College of Business. One quarter are for classes in Math and Physics. One quarter are for classes in the sciences and the remaining quarter are for miscellaneous Liberal and Fine Arts courses.
Strictly across the board, all of our Business tutors are non-US citizens. In response to my superior's request that I get tutors that 'regular people' can understand or that have West Virginia accents, I would invite him to look at the over all GPA for the College of Business which is a lack luster 2.75 for undergraduate students. The students who tutor are required to have a 3.0 minimum and to make an A or a B in the class they wish to tutor. The few U.S.-born and West Virginia natives that meet this criteria do not want to work for minimum wage, even if they get a tution waver. These students become bank tellers at local banking offices. One of our Vietnamese tutors in the College of Business is also a bank teller and continues to work twenty hours a week with us.
The other potential problem with students not attending is that even though these tutors are obviously intelligent and hard working, they cannot be understood. Of the students who have requested a tutor and actually shown up for their sessions, none of them has expressed an issue with communication. I keep records of who requests a tutor and who attends sessions and would be happy to provide you with this information.
In regards to the practice of hiring students who are openly homosexual or transgendered, I would like to state that Marshall University is a follower of the Equal Opportunity Employment Act and that each of these tutors are invaluable to the functioning of our Academic Lounge. I have one tutor in Math and Physics who is transgendered and tutors up to five students at once and can effectively tutor up to three subjects at one time. Most of our tutors can only handle one or two students and one subject per session. It would take up to five tutors to replace this person and she is working for minimum wage and a tution waiver. The other non-heterosexual tutors are each Pre-Med majors and none of them has ever brought a signifigant other into the tutoring center, even though this would be allowed. They each go to Marshall, they each study for finals and worry about their GPA. They are each 'run of the mill' students. The only thing that would make them different from the average student they tutor is that each semester, these students are on the Dean's List.
In response to the counselor's suggestion that we not hire so many tutors that make his 'run of the mill' advisees uncomfortable, I suggest that he advise his students to do whatever it takes to succeed. I run a tutoring center, not a counseling center and with our slashed budget, I will hire the individuals who can best get the job done. If it is decided that our budget must be cut again, I will not be getting rid of anyone who can and has gone above and beyond the call of duty. I will not take down our LGBTO Safe Space sign, even if the senior counselor feels 'slapped in the face' by sexuality. I'm sure that when he kisses his wife in the office (who is also an Advisor) he will understand that just because something doesn't feel right to 100% of the population, that doesn't mean it should have to.
The Red-headed Sis
Questions? Comments? Dirty looks?
The President has generously refused to slash the budget. However, this post has gotten my sis into some trouble, it appears, but she's bravely asked that I leave it up. I've taken out additional names, but this post stays so long as she asks. She's accused of having violated a privacy code. Policy or not, it's unethical and needs to be changed. Any workplace which adheres to the Equal Opportunity Employment Act is supposed to have zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind. If a worker witnesses any such behavior, particularly where hiring practices are concerned, they damn well better call out the offender.
Furthermore, the blogosphere counts as press, and she has a right to take news of injustice to said press which, as we all know, is covered by the First Amendment. I find such "privacy codes" as referenced above to be alarming, because they basically hinder employees from outing discriminating superiors in the workplace.
From what I can tell so far, the "senior counselor" still has his job. He hasn't received discipline of any sort. He did a very wrong thing and is sitting pretty. The Red-headed Sis did the right thing and yet she's coming under fire.
And older people in this town wonder why the younger ones keep trying so to pack our shit and out move the fuck out.
From the Red-headed Sis:
"GREAT SUCCESS!!!! I just found out that he was part of a judiciary hearing with an Iraq vet with PTSD. Someone this douche bag should be lauding and he demeaned him and publicly embarassed him. The vet then threatened to cut his throat. The vet is not facing any jail time because witnesses can prove that El Douche was badgering him, thus proving his PTSD status. Jake however is pissed and my letter and this incident have launched an inquisition that his friends in Big Green can't stop. They are questioning whether or not he should be an advisor. WOOT!!!!!"