Andalas University Is Not a Loving, Safe and Welcoming Campus for LGBT+ Youth

Andalas University (Indonesian: Universitas Andalas, abbreviated Unand) is a state university located in Padang, West Sumatra, Indonesia. Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education (Kemenristekdikti) placed Unand on the 11th rank and made it to be one of the best universities in the country in 2016.

Since April 26, 2017 senior year students of high school are able to see the result of National Selection of State Universities Admission (SNMPTN 2017). There are 101,906 out of 517,166 applicants who get accepted by 78 state universities in Indonesia. Unand itself accepted 1,616 applicants to be their new students. For those who got accepted, they can verify their own documents and re-enroll in their respective universities on May 16, 2017.

According to an announcement from Unand’s website, Unand required its new students to sign statement letter stating that they are not one of LGBT people. And if they are found being one of LGBT people, then they should be willing to accept sanctions and get expelled from the university. It is shameful and wrong how Unand openly discriminated LGBT youth by expelling and banning LGBT youth from campus.

Dr. Alfan Miko said that Focus Group Discussion (FGD)—held by Center for Development Studies and Social Culture Change (SCDev)—aimed to share knowledge and ideas on the movement of LGBT persons as well as finding the right strategy to stem the movement of LGBT persons. Results of FGD is expected to have the common perception among leaders and community groups about the dangers of LGBT individuals with movement as well as the formulation of effective strategies to stem the movement of LGBT persons. The event is also expected to anticipate the danger of LGBT on campus.

“LGBT is prohibited in the campus because LGBT greatly endangers the nation from all aspects, especially once the aspect of religion, culture, economics and politics.” – Dr. Emeraldi Catra, researcher of SCDev.

In addition, Unand believes that the movement of LGBT can also impact the depopulation or destruction of the human race because there are no same-sex couples to give birth to normal offspring. If not resisted, the movement will endanger the younger generation, including students.

In my opinion, schools and universities should aspire to be nurturing and supportive institutions for LGBT students. However, experience dictates that it can be a place of seclusion rather than support.

Indonesia is definitely being left behind. In 2015, Thailand was the first Southeast Asian country to pass a non-discrimination law including transgender people. The Philippines includes LGBT people in their national anti-bullying law. The Philippines also issued a detailed and explicit LGBT non-discrimination policy for all mental-health professionals. Also, great progress for LGBT rights has been seen in Japan, Nepal, and India.

Seriously, Indonesia should join their ranks. Instead of discriminating LGBT people, why don’t Indonesia’s governments protect and support them? The government can best do this by rolling back anti-LGBT decrees and proposed laws, pledging public support for freedom of expression and diversity.



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