Letter to the Editor

Chimes has granted anonymity to the writer of this op-ed because publicly expressing their sexual orientation could result in personal injury.

There is a disconnect between the way that Calvin talks about loving and affirming LGBTQ+ persons and how they react to same-sex relationships. Your recent article on Nicole Sweda leaving the CSR, stated, “Nicole Sweda shared news of the anniversary with Sexuality and Gender Awareness, Calvin’s LGBTQ+ student organization, and said she was met with silence and awkward stares.” The reaction of SAGA is disheartening for all kinds of queer folks on Calvin’s campus. Although SAGA may have changed in recent years, there is still an attitude on campus of accepting the orientation but not those in same-sex relationships. It seems there is an unspoken reality that same-sex couples exist but they won’t be supported. As a queer student in a same-sex relationship myself, I have felt the worries and strain of subtle discrimination. There are a variety of students on Calvin’s campus that live lifestyles outside of the CRC’s stances or support. For example, Calvin has an interfaith program whose mission, according to the Interfaith Program page, is to, “equip Calvin faculty to engage interfaith content in their curricula, and to provide a welcoming space of equal opportunities and respect for all Calvin students, regardless of religious identity.” Students who live outside of the Christian Reformed stance are welcomed by Calvin. If these same standards applied to same-sex couples, I would feel comfortable being in an open relationship on campus without fear of the reaction that Nicole Sweda got from SAGA. Calvin talks a big game about wanting to be an open and safe community for queer people, but they don’t make it clear whether same-sex couples are welcome on campus. I don’t know exactly what change ought to look like on campus, but I know that a better Calvin wouldn’t have responded to Nicole Sweda in the same way.