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‘It gets better’ videos help bullying victims

To the Editor:

As a former Daily Pennsylvanian editor who identifies as part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and appeared in one of the “It gets better” videos along with a number of my coworkers, I felt the need to respond to Alec Webley’s column (“It doesn’t get better,” 10/27/10). Ezra Klein of The Washington Post made a better argument.

My response is twofold: 1. Webley is correct in that it doesn’t get better until we make it better. 2. Webley is incorrect in stating that the “It gets better” videos will have no impact on the victims of bullying.

The videos have been extremely successful in raising awareness, reaching hundreds of thousands of people that would otherwise not have thought about this issue.

I had a lengthy exchange with my own aunt (Christian, conservative) after she spotted me in one of the videos. She had never even considered that her offhand, homophobic comments might have an adverse affect on how her own children perceived and treated members of the LGBT community. She took the opportunity to talk to one of her sons, and I hope that conversation will make him more likely to stand up for others who might be bullied — even if their beliefs may conflict with his. I believe that many other similar conversations are happening across the nation because of these videos.

Cynthia Yeung The author is a 2006 Wharton and Engineering alumna and a former DP editor. Problems with coverage of immigration

To the Editor:

We would like to first thank the DP for its ongoing coverage of MEChA’s advocacy of the DREAM Act. However, we have reservations about a recent article (“University enrolls illegal immigrants,” 10/15/10). We would like to clarify that the terms “illegal” and “undocumented” are not interchangeable or synonymous. The word “illegal” carries negative connotations and contains moral implications. We believe that the word “undocumented” would be better suited because it allows the reader to form their own opinions without the influence of the author’s bias.

The portrayal of immigration and undocumented students as one solely Mexican or Latino in nature is troublesome. Undocumented students come from all backgrounds and MEChA’s advocacy of the DREAM Act has always aimed to advance the interest of all undocumented students regardless of ethnicity. Instead of discussion, this article has sparked unnecessary controversy, and in the process undermined much of the work to garner support for the DREAM Act on campus, both from the administration as well as from other student organizations.

Ollin Venegas, Vanessa Romero and Benjamin Henriquez The authors are the vice president, secretary and treasurer of MEChA, respectively. Venegas and Romero are College juniors and Henriquez is a College senior.

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