Editorial: Senators are the ones wasting time

Apr. 04, 2013 @ 09:19 PM

Don’t North Carolina senators have better things to do?

Aren’t our lawmakers busy enough trying to kill criminals, drag out divorce proceedings and establish a state religion (personally, we recommend the Jedi Church)?

Apparently not.

Last week, two Republicans – David Curtis and Chad Barefoot - and Democrat Ben Clarke pitched their proposal to scrap the housing policy that was recently adopted by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that would allow for gender-neutral housing.

As The Chapel Hill Herald’s Gregory Childress reported, it’s a policy that was championed by people sensitive to the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students. It gives them an option to find housing with people who won’t harass or bully them for who they are.

“It’s a known fact that students who are harassed and bullied don’t feel safe,” said Kevin Claybren, a UNC junior from Alamance County who helped lead the effort to establish the policy. “Safety is related to academic outcomes.”

If allowed to proceed, the pilot program would start this fall, providing 32 living spaces for gender-neutral housing.

It’s an opt-in program. It doesn’t let people of different sexes share the same room. And, according to these senators, it’s a waste of time and money.

“UNC did not become a national leader in academics by wasting time and tax dollars on frivolous social experiments,” Curtis stated in a news release.

It’s not wasting either.

For a university that’s been taking it on the chin in recent months over how it handles sensitive issues, it’s actually a progressive step in the right direction.

These senators, on the other hand, are wasting time and energy on legislation over something that, quite frankly, shouldn’t even be on their radar.

Alston Gardner, a member of the UNC Board of Trustees, whose University Affairs Committee recommended approval of the policy.

“Why would they want to micro manage our housing policies?” he wondered.

That’s a fair question. The simple answer is: They shouldn’t. They really must find better use for their time.