This petition had 784 supporters
For all current students who identify as members of the LGBTQIA+ community, it is insulting to be represented by someone who if given the opportunity would take their rights away. For the prospective new students and for the current ones, it is better to send a message of cultural competence and not advertise someone who has no respect for a culture different from their own. Missouri State would do much better to have a representative who lives their values.
My goal here is not to make Lindsey a scapegoat for the way the vote turned out yesterday or attack her religious rights or right to free speech. The goal is to create dialogue that induces change here on campus and in our city. Yes, last night's vote was disappointing, but the petition was not made because of the way things turned out, it was made because of the things Lindsey has said in the past that include the comments she made last night. I respect Lindsey's right to say what she believes just as much as I ask anyone to respect my right to voice my opinion, however when one is the representative for something larger than themselves, it is important that their opinions and values align with those of the entity they represent. Missouri State claims to value its Public Affairs mission pillars of Ethical Leadership, Cultural Competence, and Community Engagement and each year chooses one pillar to highlight. This year, the chosen pillar is Ethical Leadership. In GEP classes, students are assigned projects to define and identify ethical leaders in our world. At SOAR, new students do group activities that represent our Public Affairs mission and one that I specifically remember is the one in regards to Ethical Leadership. My SOAR group found that an ethical leader is one who has their own set of values but can recognize when the greater good requires them to set those values aside. As a representative of Missouri State, Lindsey represents our Public Affairs mission and this year represents Ethical Leadership in particular. For prospective new students on tours; Lindsey is shown to be an exemplary MSU student who lives the University's values and opinions. Her remarks in the past do not exemplify an ethical leader by ostracizing and discriminating against current and prospective students who identify as member or ally of the LGBT+ community. Whenever Lindsey was approached in 2013 to be on the banner on Missouri State's most recognizable building, she agreed. Through that agreement she also vowed to live our Public Affairs mission and be culturally competent, engage in her community, and be an ethical leader. For Missouri State to continue to endorse her discriminatory views is effectively showing that they do not in fact value ethical leadership. The goal of the petition is not to attack free speech or victimize Lindsey. The goal is to show that there are consequences to one's speech whenever it is inflammatory and supports discrimination against those who the speaker represents. I have spoken to Lindsey on this issue, she is passionate in her beliefs and normally kind in expressing them, however as a representative of our campus, her beliefs should not be allowed to discriminate against any portion of our students or our community. Think of this petition not only as a removal of Lindsey's banner on Carrington, but also a stepping stone to removing discrimination on campus and in Springfield. The petition simply urges Missouri State to rethink who it allows to be representatives of our Public Affairs mission. It is not exclusively a #TakeLindseyOffCarrington campaign, it is also a #StopHate, #StopDiscrimination, #EqualRights, and #AccurateRepresentation campaign. Lindsey is not to blame for the loss for the LGBT+ community last night, but signing the petition can help change our campus and our city for the better. Signing the petition is an excellent example of truly living our Public Affairs mission. I call on all students and citizens to please engage in our community, be culturally competent, and be ethical leaders. Last night a friend told me, "I think what is worse than not having rights is the feeling I have walking around on this campus or in this town knowing that I am not accepted." Signing this petition is a large step to making Missouri State and Springfield a safe haven for the LGBT+ community and showing everyone that Missouri State is an accepting campus regardless of your religious beliefs, race, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Signing the petition shows that Missouri State does not allow discrimination of any sort, and hopefully Springfield will follow.
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Connor Hayes needs your help with “Missouri State University Students: #TakeLindseyOffCarrington”. Join Connor and 783 supporters today.