Editorial Board 1998-99
On the right path
On the right path
"University of Western Ontario" and "logical progression."
These are two phrases which are rarely heard in the same sentence. However, an idea being put forth today in University College has the potential to change all that. Today's meeting, jointly organized by the arts and women's studies departments is attempting to judge the potential popularity for the addition of a new degree at Western.
The degree would be in sexuality studies, allowing interested individuals to take more courses relating to the field of homosexual, lesbian and bisexual issues. Until this point, only a select few courses dealt with this vast subject area in any great depth and none could be put towards a degree in this realm of study.
While the idea is only in its earliest of stages, the concept is an extremely positive and progressive one. But giving all interested students an opportunity to pursue this developing field of academics can only help this university.
Homosexuality, in all its variations, is a vastly misunderstood and misrepresented lifestyle. While our culture is just beginning to make efforts at increased acceptance and understanding, much work is left to be done. It is precisely this lack of adequate representation and knowledge which leads to confusion.
One needs to look no further than the Opinions pages of The Gazette to see the existence of the problem. Students of all beliefs and opinions on this subject write letters on a regular basis, each claiming to have the "supreme answer" on the topic of sexuality. With more courses offered on campus, individuals would at least have the opportunity to further educate themselves which hopefully would foster further understanding and informed communication.
Most importantly, those individuals who are gay will have a chance to further study a subject which has remained taboo for too long. In much the same way women's studies gave interested women an opportunity to learn about their own histories, culture and strengths, sexuality studies can only help break down the many barriers which gay members of society face. The academic possibilities are exciting and crucially important if society hopes to further understand this undeniably misrepresented group.
Both Concordia and the University of Toronto have trailblazed this new academic path, proving it is a relevant area of study. Western should make every effort to follow the lead, making this campus a more diversified and educated place to study.