PRISM lives in the present, you should too

By Kourtney David | Copy Editor

PRISM’s chartering has been a long time coming, whether you like it or not. Despite student support for Gamma Alpha Upsilon’s 10-year battle for a charter, Baylor has quickly gone through with the creation of the new group, prompting mixed reactions from students on campus. In light of mixed reactions, Baylor students and staff should open themselves up to new opportunities, even if those opportunities aren’t for them specifically.

Baylor has been pretty late to the game when it comes to accepting and affirming the LGBTQ+ community, whereas other schools have moved the conversation forward. For example, Texas A&M University is home to the Pride Center, which is an actual office on campus under the dean of student life. Similarly, the University of Oklahoma and Texas Christian University both house university-affirmed groups and offices. If you’re still not convinced, even Abilene Christian University had to take a step back and reassess in 2018 after previously banning “homosexual behavior or activity” on campus.

It’s valid to be apprehensive, considering Baylor’s long-standing Statement on Human Sexuality, which explicitly discourages students from engaging in “advocacy groups which promote understandings of sexuality that are contrary to biblical teaching.” Respecting tradition and Christian values, I can see how this view aligns with the school’s mission. However, it is harmful to eliminate education and advocacy completely.

And if the time it took for an LGBTQ+ community to finally be affirmed on campus wasn’t already discouraging enough, some of the reactions from Baylor students will be. I think everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and that opinion can be informed by the doctrine you adhere to. However, your opinion is just one point of view, and you have to understand not everyone holds the same values, even if it seems that way by attending an outwardly Christian university. Besides, Baylor’s mission promises “academic excellence and Christian commitment within a caring community,” and I don’t see why there isn’t room for LGBTQ+ acceptance within that. Christian commitment can also be a commitment to unconditional love.

Putting religious affiliation aside, PRISM is a community full of human beings, and that’s something we should all keep in mind as we continue discourse and track the growth of the group. Baylor’s resolution expressed commitment to “the dignity and worth of all,” even if those individuals don’t align with the university’s definition. In the same breath, the board reaffirmed its understandings of sexual relations, so even if you can’t fully back a different view, you can at least respect it enough to care. It’s important for members of the Baylor family to take a step back and form their own views, regardless of preconceived notions regarding sexuality and identity.

PRISM is hosting an interest meeting from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the third floor classroom of the Bill Daniel Student Center for anyone interested in learning more about the organization or becoming a member.