After declaring my candidacy for UGBC, there have been numerous attacks against my character. Enough is enough. After reading Edward Byrne’s recent Letter to the Editor, I have a responsibility to correct these misinformed assumptions about Ray and myself. Many of these comments have been liked or “endorsed” by Akosua and Tt’s campaign page, as Ray referred to during the last debate. Since they will not correct these statements, I will.
These posts, the same ones that Edward Byrne claims to be “in jest”, are defaming statements. I am not homophobic, racist, or any of these other words coming from these attackers. I pride myself in being an ally to these communities and being against discrimination of any kind. This past summer while I was in Israel, I attended a Pride festival in support of the LGBTQ community. In an area filled with so much conflict, it was an amazing experience to stand as a straight white male in unity alongside this welcoming community. I will carry the jubilant memories from that day with me for a very long time. Although I do not identify as a part of this community, that does not mean that I cannot support them and their needs.
At Boston College, I have worked to organize educational events regarding the LGBTQ community. This past semester, Eagles for Israel brought in Jonathan Elkhoury, who shared his experience about identifying as gay in Israel. I enjoyed hearing about the great freedoms and sense of inclusion that Jonathan feels in Israel.
Both Ray and I want an LGBTQ resource center. It is on our platform. Ray voted the resolution down because he believed UGBC could come up with a more specific and better resolution to present to the administration, not due to the misguided views that you, along with others, have been promoting. To assume we are against it is not only wrong, but is also an attack against both of us. Edward, I am glad that you have had the opportunity at BC to express yourself. I also wish that you had more resources around you to make this transition easier. Ray and I will work for an LGBTQ Center. We want it to be effective and established for all students who need and deserve this center. We want these resources for the student body, or else it would not be in our platform.
As Michelle Obama beautifully said, “When they go low, we go high.” While it is acceptable to disagree with my personal beliefs and policies, it is unacceptable for a leader to perpetuate and endorse these misinformed statements. Anyone who would like to meet with me to discuss this topic, please reach out to me. I am more than happy to meet with you.
While I know this is an intense time with the elections on campus, I ask for all students and other campaign teams who agree or disagree with our message to do so out of respect. Lastly, make sure to vote for Ray and Matt 2017 Wednesday and Thursday.
Matt Batsinelas, CSOM ’19
Featured Image by Lizzy Barrett / Heights Editor