(Ball State Daily News – Page 5 – February 4, 1992)
By CHRISTOPHER BARTON
Assistant Diversions Editor
For some Ball State students, membership in only one organization is a challenge. Senior David Speakman, however, is an exception.
Speakman, who says he is “very active” in six campus organizations, is a senator in the Student Association’s Student Senate, vice president of the University Democrats and founding president of Delta Lambda Phi. He is also involved with Ball State’s Lesbian and Gay Student Association and SCPB’s Diversity Committee.
“Ball State is my home until I get my degree,” Speakman said, “and I don;t like the way it is right now. Ball State can be improved on, and that’s what I’m trying to do.”
Speakman has been responsible for several improvements on campus. As a member of Student Senate, Speakman has involved himself with an investigation of the environmentally harmful smokestacks on campus. Speakman was heavily involved in a recent Student Senate resolution condemning establishments with discriminatory hiring policies.
Speakman was also responsible for staring the Lesbian and Gay Student Association, which is described by Ball State’s Student Organization as providing “programming to expand the awareness of students at BSU while helping students to adjust.”
“It’s not fun. but it IS fun at the same time,” Speakman said, explaining the work involved in his many achievements.
“I really like really like the recognition from doing something good,” Speakman said. “Not only from other people, but from myself. I’m really, really tough on myself and on other people.”
“Sometimes I’ve had to skip a couple of classes,” Speakman said. “I probably shouldn’t have done that.”
SPEAKMAN ON POLITICS
“I’m a politician, very obviously, and I play the political game as well as anyone. To be a good politician, you must have a healthy ego because you have tons of people around you, telling you that you’re worthless.
“It takes a lot of guts to put your name on a ballot and hope that enough people will vote for you. If you don;t win, it’s kind of embarrassing. It takes a healthy ego to say, ‘yeah I think I can win,’ even if you get disappointed.”
Speakman considers himself a self-supported student.
“I’m not one of those rich people whose parents pay for everything. I’m one of those poor people who has to take out loans and who has to work his butt off for an education.
“When you’re in college, the majority of learning is done outside the classroom. Class is great, but what’s written knowledge? I’m more interested in the stuff you can apply. If that makes a person take another year to graduate, so what?”
ON HIS SEXUALITY
Speakman, a homosexual, and outspoken gay rights activist, has found importance in downplaying his sexuality in organizations not directly involving gay issues.
“I assume that I’m working at a minus. I try not to bring up homosexuality unless it’s needed. I really want to focus on credibility.
“I’m open about it, and I’m not open about it. I don;t constantly remind people. It’s not a big deal.
“Look, I’m serious about this stuff. I’m not here just to talk about gay issues. I’m also a student and I represent all 20,000 Ball State students.
“People need to realize that gay men and lesbians are concerned about other things besides their plight on this campus. I think that’s where I’ve made the most strides.”
“The ideal behind political correctness is that if you implement the policies of being PC, you will offend nobody. The problem is that people don’t take into consideration the fact that people are allowed to believe anything they want. When you have speech codes with a list of words people aren’t allowed to say, you’re infringing on rights.
“People get overzealous about it, especially when spelling ‘women’ with a ‘y’, buy I understand it. It’s giving people their own space.
“The idea behind PC is good, but I think it went into the wrong direction.”
“Diversity is more important than unity. If we recognize the diversity of our population, we’ll achieve unity.”