Queer Action Collective Condemns Candidature of USU Board Hopeful Erika Salmon
WORDS BY EDEN FAITHFULL
This afternoon, the Queer Action Collective made a public statement condemning the candidature of USU Board contender Erika Salmon, due to the fact that her campaign has “put forth a number of policies that directly affect and harm queer students, as well as women and people of colour - identities which commonly intersect.”
Members of the collective claim that three of Salmon’s policy points in particular counteract their aims and ideologies, along with the fact that Salmon’s campaign has employed an anti-activism framework, singling out members of student faction Socialist Alternative. They were as follow:
- Ban “Safe Spaces”
- Review all USU funded awareness weeks on campus (e.g. Radical Sex Week)
- Dissolve all P.O.C exclusive revues and programs
The Collective outlined in their statement the harm that a ban on safe spaces could potentially do, claiming that marginalised students would not have access to a space on campus on which to avoid harassment.
“Safe Spaces provide an autonomous space for marginalized individuals to communicate regarding their oppressions and create a space void of harassment, violence, hate speech and anti-LGBTQIA+ rhetoric.”
“We feel a ban on safe spaces is entirely counterproductive to the queer movement, and movements similar to ours, and will make numerous marginalized groups on campus uncomfortable.”
Secondly, the Collective condemned Salmon’s proposal to review all USU-funded awareness weeks on campus, claiming that marginalised students have been struggling for widespread awareness on campus, and that an attempt to stifle them would result in the loss of resources for both queer students and their allies.
The Collective’s final contention with the candidate’s policy to dissolve PoC-exclusive revues and programs, which also came under fire during the USU Election Soapbox this week, was that an “attack” on autonomous events such as those run by people of colour on campus could lead to repercussions for LGBTQIA events, such as the Queer Revue.
“Dissolving P.O.C events is an enormous, unprecedented attack on people of colour, and specifically on queer people of colour; and these acts of discrimination should never be given a platform.”
Pulp contacted Salmon for a response, yet she had not replied at the time of publishing.