GTN resolves insensitivity issue

By Maria Tortorello

A conflict involving insensitivity toward various religions was resolved in less than 24 hours by Grant Towers North Hall Council.

The residence hall sponsored a contest for the best Christmas picture in the front windows of the lobby. Along with other paintings with Christmas themes was a picture of the Virgin Mary.

The picture of Mary was the instigator of complaints late Monday night about the contest. Several resident assistants from Grant Towers North complained all the pictures, particularly the picture of Mary, represented Christianity and did not give other religions the opportunity to display holiday paintings representing their religion.

“They (the resident assistants) came down acting out of concern of their residents,” said Mike Ruscitti, Hall Council president for Grant Towers North.

In response to the complaint, the hall council called a meeting to discuss the issue later that night.

The council discussed the fact that there was no regulation as to what can appear in the windows. However, there was the question of giving other organizations the opportunity to represent their organization in the windows.

“The executive board decided to take down two of the windows, allowing other religions to put up pictures,” Ruscitti said. The pictures which were removed were incomplete. The painting of Mary is still in the window, however.

The Black Student Caucus will be replacing one of the windows. However, there is no organization to replace the second window, yet.

Ruscitti said Pam Jackson, hall director for Grant North, feels the council made the “right” decision.

Ruscitti also said since the windows were taken down, there has not been any more negative responses to the contest.

“There is a positive aspect to this situation,” he said. “McDonald’s (805 W. Lincoln Hwy.) wants us (Grant North) to paint their windows for Christmas.”

According to Ruscitti, the contest will be continued despite the complaints.