Queer News On Campus [QNOC] Articles Digest
For the week ending 2009.04.19
Brought to you by the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals. http://www.lgbtcampus.org
Archives of the QNOC Digest can be found at http://queernewsoncampus.blogspot.com
Reminder: If you come across articles that should be included in the digest, please email a link to the article to email@example.com
1. Yale Daily News - On the ground: Pride Month gets sexier
2. Dallas News - TCU backs away from plan for gay-themed housing
3. TCU Daily Skiff - Opinion: LLCs not conducive to campus unity
4. Dallas Voice - LGBT dorm just one part of TCU students’ action plan
5. Daily Progress - Police: Anti-gay bias behind attack on UVa student
6. Daily Progress - UVa rally decries anti-gay attack
7. The Lantern - Dean: Prof called me a 'gay leprechaun'
8. Temple News - National Day of Silence starting to lose gay voice
9. The Daily Princetonian - Discretion Required
10. University of Kentucky News - OUTsource Center's 'Gayla' Supports GLBTQQA Students
11. WSBT.com - Notre Dame Students Take ‘StaND’ Against Hate
12. The Fullerton College Hornet – Day of silence quiets violence: Lambda's hushed actions speak loudly for the gay and lesbian community
13. The Daily Reflector - Students take up gay cause
14. The Daily Targum - March brings social injustices to light
15. The Cavalier Daily - Vigil held in support of victims of violence: LGBTQ, Allied Activist groups held vigil yesterday night to unite community against homophobia
1. Yale Daily News, April 13, 2009
P. O. Box 209007, New Haven, CT 06520-9007
On the ground: Pride Month gets sexier
By Heather Robinson
The air was saturated with thoughts of lust. A current of sexuality swirled around the woman sitting at the head of a polished wooden table in William L. Harkness Hall on Friday.
That woman was Gina de Vries, who led an erotica writing workshop as part of Pride Month at Yale, a series of LGBT panels and activities throughout April. De Vries, a well-known writer and activist for the LGBT community, spent two hours Friday afternoon teaching a dozen Yale undergraduates how to get in touch with their inner pornographic writers.
De Vries, who came out as a lesbian at the age of 11 and describes herself on her Web site as a “queer femme writer, rabble-rouser, sex worker, pervert, and Paisan,” has been teaching writing workshops since she was a teenager in San Francisco.
“As an artist, I really believe that the most important and interesting and necessary art is the art that is the hardest to do,” de Vries said. “And sex has been so denigrated and made taboo in society, for both queer and straight people.”
As a student in college, de Vries was told by a creative writing teacher that her work was pornographic exhibitionism (“as if that was a bad thing,” de Vries said), when she wrote a scene in which gay characters talked about sex.
“The funny thing,” de Vries laughed, “was that that writing wasn’t pornographic at all.”
Since then, the activist has made it her goal to ensure that porn and erotica writing are taught well, saying she believes the denigration of these sexual genres has resulted in an atmosphere in which they are poorly taught, if they are taught at all. And so, she said, she decided to offer erotica writing workshops.
On Friday, the workshop participants were encouraged to think seriously about their sexual writing preferences by coming up with “yes-no-maybe” lists of sexual words or phrases that they would or would not use in their writing. Sample “yes’s” included complicated feelings and the word “spasm,” while “no’s” included the phrase “quivering member” and any sort of floral euphemism for the vagina.
Participants were then given 15 minutes to write a sexual scene involving two characters. For those having trouble writing their own erotica, de Vries suggested starting with the line, “I want you to touch me.”
At the end of the session, eight students volunteered to read their stories out loud to the group.
“I’m glad that she pushed us to think about things that are normally taboo,” Ariana Berkowitz ’12 said. “She did a good job making a safe place where we all felt comfortable.”
De Vries’ erotica writing workshop was presented as part of Pride Month at Yale, which consists of a series of events designed to celebrate and support the LGBT population at Yale and in the community at large. But funding for this year’s events was hard to come by because of University-wide budget cuts, Rachel Schiff ’10, co-coordinator of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Cooperative at Yale, said.
“I do think that Pride Month is so important,” said Schiff. “Because while I do think that there should be LGBT-only safe spaces, this month is meant for both the LGBT communities and allies, friends and like-minded individuals. The only way we are going to change the world is if everyone cares about everyone else.”
The event has been evolving since the advent of gay and lesbian pride days at Yale in 1982.
2. Dallas News, April 14, 2009
508 Young St., Dallas, TX 75202
TCU backs away from plan for gay-themed housing
By Holly K. Hacker
Texas Christian University has abruptly shelved plans to create more themed housing programs this fall, including one for students interested in gay and lesbian issues.
Monday's decision follows a national uproar, played out on blogs and media Web sites last week, over TCU's plans to reserve a block of rooms in a campus apartment complex for gay and straight students wanting to learn about issues of sexual orientation and gender identity.
TCU Chancellor Victor J. Boschini Jr. said the national attention over the gay-related housing theme did not drive his decision to backtrack on themed housing.
"The biggest complaint we got from people was not about any single group but about having these groups in general," said Boschini, whose decision reverses the approval of eight new housing pods, including the gay and lesbian-themed unit. The others – patriotism, Christianity and marine biology, for examples – didn't appear to be controversial.
Boschini said he heard from students, faculty, alumni and others. "Their theory was, it's splitting students up instead of uniting them," he said.
Carson Russell, a TCU student, said the administration's backtracking is ill-advised.
"Now, the community that supported the movement for these housing communities, myself included, is angry at TCU for giving in to those who were against it," Russell said. "I had not heard much, if any, complaint from the majority of the student body, so whoever it was that changed TCU's mind must be more important than its students, I guess."
TCU opened five "living learning communities," as they're called, this school year. The themes are arguably less controversial: honors, leadership, environmental issues, health and wellness, and language and international issues.
Themed housing may be new at TCU, but not so at many other universities.
The University of Minnesota, for instance, offers two dozen housing themes. They include the American Sign Language House, Women in Science and Engineering House, and Lavender House, where "students learn about the history and culture of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and allied communities."
Texas A&M provides housing for students interested in science, leadership, engineering and other topics. And Georgetown University's offerings include the Muslim Interest Living Community. Among its stated goals: "To increase awareness about Islam on campus and promote understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims."
The eight new themed groups at TCU were all proposed by students. In an e-mail last week, TCU said the process for approving them "is very comprehensive."
Shelly Newkirk, one of the TCU students who proposed the "DiversCity Q" gay-themed housing, said she was disappointed by Monday's decision. Unfortunately, many people got the wrong idea that the housing would be exclusively for gay students, she said.
"The whole mission of our living learning community was to unite within ourselves so we could unite to educate the broader campus," she said. The group had a faculty adviser and planned to discuss a range of issues, from the national debate over civil unions to the Bible's interpretation of homosexuality.
Boschini said a committee of TCU faculty, staff and students will review and recommend guidelines for the living learning communities. The board of trustees has the final say. Meanwhile, the five themed housing programs already on campus will continue until new guidelines are drawn up. And if any new programs are approved, they won't be opening this fall.
3. TCU Daily Skiff, April 15, 2009
Box 298050, Fort Worth, Texas 76129
Opinion: LLCs not conducive to campus unity
By Ashley Tambunga
Please, will someone tell me again how the Living Learning Communities act to diversify and be inclusive at the same time?
Chancellor Victor Boschini's recent decision to reject the new LLCs will undoubtedly heighten the controversy that has gone nationwide in recent weeks. Discussions will inevitably revolve around how "Christian" Texas Christian University is and whether or not these communities will limit separation on campus or intensify it.
These communities, specifically the DiversCity Q LLC, give a nationwide message that TCU is interested in accommodating for the individual, instead of promoting unity. Of course our chancellor decided against it; not so much for the content, but the message it sends out.
It really says, "Hey, we expect the professional workplace to give you special treatment, so here's your own LLC!"
On the TCU Facebook fan page, a myriad of comments arose from alumni about this topic. Many said that they would discontinue their donations or cancel their season football tickets if this LLC plan continued to fruition.
One comment questions what happened to the "Christian" in Texas Christian University. This made me think about what that meant. Really, Texas Christian University is only as "Christian" as its members choose to make it. Having "Christian" in the name does not mean all its members carry out this belief system.
At the same time, it is a Christian mantra to "judge not, or be judged," or "do unto others." As the chancellor said, the decision not to continue with the LLCs is not targeted at "approved housing for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and questioning students and their supporters," according to Tuesday's story in the Skiff. It's a matter of whether or not it promotes unity. The fact of the matter is that students will not be going into the workplace after leaving the university on the condition that we are given co-workers who co-exist as we exist, or even have the same culture we have.
TCU is the common thread that unifies us, not divides us. When we graduate, we are individuals that have experienced the Horned Frog culture. This should be our ultimate unification. It shouldn't be whether or not I had the same sexual orientation or environmental beliefs as my roommate. In the end, that's not how we remember our college years at TCU.
Riff. Ram. Bah. Zoo. Unify, TCU!
Ashley Tambunga is a junior English major from Fort Worth
4. Dallas Voice, April 16, 2009
4145 Travis, Third Floor, Dallas, Texas 75204
LGBT dorm just one part of TCU students’ action plan
By John Wright
FORT WORTH — Texas Christian University has made national news twice in as many weeks over a proposal to launch an on-campus housing community for LGBT students and their supporters.
But in the wake of the media firestorm, the students behind the proposal said that when it comes to LGBT issues that need to be addressed on campus, the so-called “gay dorm” is just the tip of the iceberg.
Shelly Newkirk, a TCU sophomore who initially proposed the DiversCity Q community in January, said although she believes the controversy was distorted by the media, she’s hoping the attention will be helpful as LGBT advocates pursue other initiatives.
“It was getting attention because it was sensationalized, but at the same time, anything that creates dialogue about the issues I think has done some good, so I’m not too upset,” Newkirk said Wednesday, April 15. “It has polarized people a little bit, but it has also taken away the ambiguity of opinion.”
Both Newkirk and Su Harz, a TCU junior who was also involved with DiversCity Q, said they were disappointed with the administration’s decision this week to shelve the proposal, which had previously been approved by the Office of Residential Services.
TCU Chancellor Victor Boschini Jr. announced Monday that the university was postponing all new living-learning communities while it determines whether they’re in line with the school’s academic mission.
Boschini said the decision, which will also affect about eight other proposed living-learning communities, was in response to general concerns that “themed housing” segregates students.
But Harz said it was pretty clear that the administration was reacting to anti-gay backlash after it was widely reported that TCU would be the first school in the region to offer LGBT-themed housing.
“I guess I feel that there were a lot of phone calls being made from alumni and external sources, people who have vested interests in TCU, that felt concerned that TCU was promoting homosexuality on campus,” Harz said.
“I wouldn’t say I regret it,” Harz said of the controversy, “because it actually forced the administration to make a decision. It fosters, I think, great discussion about the future for the TCU LGBT community.”
Newkirk and Harz acknowledged that they were reluctant to be overly critical of the administration. They said they didn’t want to burn bridges because there’s too much at stake.
For example, a grassroots organization they launched earlier this year, the Iris Reaction, planned a rally on campus Friday, April 17, to push for an LGBT resource center at TCU. Unlike LGBT housing communities, resource centers are fairly common on college campuses.
“It’s just one aspect of a lot of other things that we’re wanting to do here,” Newkirk said of DiversCity Q. “We still don’t want to frame it as us versus them, because the administration has worked with us on a lot of these issues, and we would rather promote cooperation.”
Newkirk’s plunge into campus activism began in earnest a few months ago, after she produced a three-minute YouTube video segment titled, “If I Could Speak Freely,” In the video, Newkirk talks about LGBT issues at TCU and recounts some of her own experiences —such as being told by a work-study supervisor that she needed to grow out her hair. After “If I Could Speak Freely” went viral on campus, Newkirk was summoned to Boschini’s office to discuss some of the issues raised in the video.
Newkirk said she’s now circulating a petition in support of the resource center proposal. She also recently completed an academic study in which four of five gay students at TCU said they’d experienced at least one instance of harassment on campus.
Meanwhile, a committee of faculty and staff from the TCU Allies program is meeting to draft a document that will be submitted to the administration outlining proposed improvements related to LGBT affairs. Committee members didn’t return phone calls seeking comment, and one said Dallas Voice’s inquiry would have to go through the university’s communications office.
The only faculty member willing to go on record was Stephen Sprinkle, an openly gay associate professor at Brite Divinity School, which is affiliated with TCU but independent from the university. Sprinkle said he actually opposed the DiversCity Q proposal because he felt the housing community would have amounted to “separate but equal.” But he said he appreciates the students behind the proposal and believes their voices are badly needed on campus.
Sprinkle, who’s been at Brite for 15 years, called TCU a very politically and socially conservative place.
But he said that has more to do with its location in North Texas than its religious affiliation with the moderate Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) denomination.
Sprinkle noted that TCU has a nondiscrimination policy that includes sexual orientation and offers domestic partner benefits, but he called those policies “aspirational.”
“TCU’s got a long way to go,” Sprinkle said. “If there’s any good that comes out of this, it will be a broader debate about what social justice and fairness look like on this campus.”
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 17, 2009.
5. Daily Progress, April 14, 2009
685 Rio Road W Charlottesville, VA 22901
Police: Anti-gay bias behind attack on UVa student
By Brian McNeill
Five young men attacked an 18-year-old University of Virginia student and his friend while yelling anti-gay slurs, according to police and university reports.
The unidentified student and his friend were walking home from a friend’s house around 3:30 a.m. April 4 when they were jumped by the group of five white males between the ages of 16 and 20 in the east parking lot of UVa’s Scott Stadium, officials said.
The attackers grabbed and smashed the UVa student’s cell phone while he tried to dial 911.
The UVa student and his friend tried to run, but the attackers chased down the UVa student and hit him in the back of the head. As he fell, he scuffed up his right elbow on the sidewalk, according to a police report.
“Based upon the facts as we currently know them, we believe this to be a bias-motivated crime, in that the perceived sexual orientation of the two victims appears to have motivated the assault,” wrote UVa Associate Vice President and Dean of Students Allen W. Groves in a statement sent to the university community late Friday.
Following the attack, the victim was treated and released at UVa Medical Center for his injuries. Groves said Monday that the UVa student is doing well and attending classes.
The Charlottesville Police Department originally investigated the incident, but investigators realized Friday that the crime scene was on UVa’s campus. The University Police Department then took over the investigation.
“It’s an open, active investigation,” said Lt. Melissa Fielding of the UVa police. “We would encourage anyone with information about this incident to call Crimestoppers or University Police.”
Attacks motivated by a victim’s sexual orientation — or other characteristic, such as race, gender or religion — are exceedingly unusual at UVa, Groves said.
“Bias-related physical assaults are rare,” he said. “I’m not aware of any, off the top of my head, in the two years since I became dean of students.”
According to crime statistics reported by UVa police, the department investigated one “hate crime” motivated by religion in 2006 and three such cases based on race in 2005. Between 2005 and 2007, there were no other bias-related crimes investigated by UVa police.
Virginia law allows for enhanced punishment against offenders who attack, intimidate or harass based on the victim’s race, religion or ethnicity — but not the victim’s sexual orientation.
UVa’s student-run judicial system, however, can impose additional sanctions against an offending student if the action was motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation. According to the policy: “Any violation of the University Standards of Conduct motivated by the age, color, disability, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, or veteran status of the victim will be deemed an aggravating circumstance, and will result in a more serious sanction up to, and including, expulsion from the University.”
Groves said that “bias-motivated assaults” are especially hurtful for students because there is no justification for the attack other than hatred.
“You cannot rationalize that,” he said. “There’s only one explanation: You were assaulted because of who you are.”
Alex Tatum, a third-year computer science major at UVa and the rising president of the Queer Student Union, said he has heard the occasional derogatory remark against gays and lesbians at UVa, but considers the university overwhelmingly inclusive. He was surprised to hear that a student was apparently attacked because of his perceived sexual orientation.
“The incident is very unfortunate, and during my three years at UVa, I never imagined such a hateful assault would have occurred in a community as progressive as ours,” Tatum said.
According to Equality Virginia, there have been only a few incidents of anti-gay attacks on Virginia college campuses. In 2002, a group of Virginia Commonwealth University students were assaulted while waiting to attend a gay student group.
6. Daily Progress, April 17, 2009
685 Rio Road W Charlottesville, VA 22901
UVa rally decries anti-gay attack
By Scott Shenk
Several hundred people, mostly University of Virginia students, turned out at the McIntire Amphitheatre on Thursday to show support in response to a recent anti-gay attack on Grounds.
Many held small white candles donated by the UVa Student Council, as several speakers spoke out against the recent attack and any hate crime, whether it’s based on religion, race or sex.
Attacks like the one that happened April 4 “terrorizes that entire community,” said Seth Kaye, UVa student and president of Queer and Allied Activism.
That incident happened about 3:30 a.m. as an 18-year-old UVa student and a friend were walking home from a friend’s house, according to UVa police. As the two walked across the east parking lot of UVa’s Scott Stadium, they were jumped and attacked by five white males between the ages of 16 and 20.
During the assault, the attackers yelled anti-gay slurs, according to reports. Though the UVa student was treated at the UVa Medical Center, neither of the victims was seriously injured.
Following the incident, UVa’s Student Council passed a resolution condemning anti-gay violence. The council also gave $350 for the 1,000 candles that were handed out at the forum.
UVa Associate Vice President and Dean of Students Allen W. Groves, who also spoke at the forum, read a letter from the Seven Society, a secret UVa group, expressing the group’s stance against intolerance and hate attacks, especially on the campus of a university founded by Thomas Jefferson.
Groves spoke vehemently against the recent assault, calling it “an attack made simply because of who the victims were.” He called the attack “repugnant.”
Groves explained that UVa responds to all crimes against students, but hate crimes in particular call for more action.
When a person is attacked because of who they are, the lifestyle they live, it “strikes at the most cherished values that we hold,” he said.
Groves and the other speakers applauded the crowd for attending, but said to make real change they need to take action and talk openly about such issues.
“Confronting subtle acts of hate is never easy,” Groves said. He then told the crowd that when he was younger he told his parents he would no longer listen to their racist remarks, and they eventually stopped.
Another student, Eudora Chua, said she is heterosexual but that doesn’t keep her for standing up for the rights of homosexuals.
“This is about equality,” Chua said. “We are working toward a day when a person’s sexuality doesn’t matter and doesn’t define who they are.”
After the forum, a question-and-answer session was held for those interested in talking about hate crimes and last week’s incident.
7. The Lantern, April 14, 2009
Dean: Prof called me a 'gay leprechaun'
By Richard Oviatt
Nasty bickering between William Meezan, dean of the College of Social Work, and professor Rudolph Alexander has been going on for four years, and there's no end in sight.
Meezan alleged in a May 2008 deposition that Alexander referred to him as a "gay leprechaun" to one of his classes and falsely accused him of having AIDS. Meezan testified that he is gay.
Alexander, an African-American, testified in a February 2009 deposition that Meezan is a racist who discriminated against and bullied minority faculty members, and called him "a street fighter from New York."
Alexander has sued Ohio State, specifically Meezan and Vice President of Human Resources Lawrence Lewellen. He also previously filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He alleges he was discriminated against on the basis of race and that public documents he requested were destroyed.
To say Alexander and Meezan have issues with each other would be an understatement. In an e-mail to an OSU attorney and an OSU Human Resources representative, Alexander sums up his feelings regarding the lawsuit and Meezan.
"In effect, it's going to take a seven-figure settlement to get me to drop this case. I will likely retire immediately, leave Ohio State and move back to Texas. At this point I'm totally disgusted. Every time I see Meezan, I want to punch him in the face. And this is putting it mildly."
The tensions began almost as soon as Meezan started as dean in July 2005. Alexander alleges that Meezan suggested having a ceremony in which students would sign a pledge that they accepted homosexuality. Alexander says he expressed concern with the idea, while Meezan says the pledge was designed simply to require students to uphold the code of ethics of the National Association of Social Workers. But both concede that the relationship only went down hill from there.
The bickering reached a boiling point when it came time for Meezan to calculate "ratings" that would dictate faculty's pay raises for that year. The eventual calculations resulted in Alexander receiving only a 1.5 percent pay increase in 2006.
"That 1.5 was the lowest raise given to the faculty in 2006. And to me it was meant to be personal. It was meant to be humiliating. And I considered it to be racist," Alexander said in his deposition.
A main point of contention between the two is whether Alexander should be given credit on that year's evaluation for a book he wrote in a previous year.
"He gave three white faculty, Keith Kilty, Virginia Richardson and Gil Greene, Moyee Lee who is Asian - he gave those four people credit for books after the books were published. He did not give me credit for my book in the same manner. And that caused me to get a lower evaluation in this area than what the white faculty received," Alexander said in his deposition.
During his deposition, Meezan listed reasons beyond the book issue that contributed to the evaluation.
"The lack of progress on both the minor and honors program, â€¦ the fact that he was not seeing me on a regular basis, the fact that he wasn't holding staff meetings with his staff, the fact that his [graduate administrative associates] were basically unsupervised, â€¦ the fact that I believe I heard from numerous students that there was unavailability of staff to service them â€¦ I guess that's a long enough litany," Meezan said.
But Alexander doesn't accept that explanation. He said the following in an e-mail that demanded an investigation into the rating he received from Meezan.
"I have a right to know how Meezan came up with a rating of 4.5. And I should not have to undergo this to find out. I don't intend to beg, plead or, forgive my crudeness, kiss Meezan's ass to find out," he wrote.
In September 2006, a survey from the Department of Human Resources that was circulated in the College of Social Work asked faculty and staff about various issues, including their approval or disapproval of the dean. Alexander says he twice requested the data from this survey, but was given insufficient information both times. He wanted the individual responses, but insists he was only given averages. Additionally, he said that the written responses were separate from the bubble-in answers, making it impossible to correlate the two.
He accused Lewellen, Meezan and possibly others of either destroying or withholding the data.
However, in court, OSU's lawyer, Jack Decker, pointed out that by correctly using the spreadsheet, one could see individual responses and accurately match them with their corresponding written response.
While Alexander admitted he "doesn't use Excel that often," he still wasn't satisfied with what he was given in court. He claims that the document he was originally sent in 2006 included fewer responses, and that responses may have been altered.
"I have subsequently learned that there was discussion among Dean Meezan, Nancy Messerly and I believe Larry Lewellen about formatting the information before giving it to me," Alexander said in court.
"[The responses] are relevant to the sense that we have a number of people in our college that are intimidated by the dean and intimidated by Ohio State."
As the case remains ongoing in federal court, University spokesman Jim Lynch says the university continues to stand behind Meezan.
"We look forward to getting this issue resolved," he said. "We never enjoy it when a member of the Buckeye family files a lawsuit against the university they work for, but we support the actions of the dean."
Both Meezan and Alexander remain as faculty within the College of Social Work.
Richard Oviatt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
8. Temple News, April 14, 2009
1755 N. 13th St., Room 243, Philadelphia, PA 19122
National Day of Silence starting to lose gay voice
By Joshua Fernandez
Since 1996, high school and college students have united every April to protest against homophobia. This protest, the National of Day of Silence, entails an entire school day of silence, acknowledging the many gay youths who remain silent as a result of the fear and anxiety brought upon by intolerance.
The Day of Silence, started at the University of Virginia by 150 students, played an incredible role in the gay rights movement in the 1990s. But now, especially after the Proposition 8 reaction, it’s time activists come up with a more proactive demonstration.
Having been a participant in the Day of Silence since high school, I know the amount of dedication it takes to remain silent. Nasty peers eviscerate you mentally — and, although I haven’t experienced it, physically — for taking a stand. Some teachers think you’re participating in the event with the intention of getting out of class and therefore treat you like a delinquent. The rest are confused and trying to understand the point of another day of silence.
It’s because of bullying that the Day of Silence managed to be such a success in the late ‘90s and until now. According to the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, in 2008, 86.2 percent of gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender youth experienced verbal harassment. Almost half – 44 percent – were physically harassed, and almost a quarter reported being physically assaulted.
These statistics are the fuel behind the Day of Silence and allow the event to grow each year, especially after last year’s, dedicated to Larry King, a teenager killed in February 2008 by a peer because of his sexual orientation. Channeling this tragedy into motivation made the event an enormous success, with hundreds of thousands of students nationwide participating, proving that as a nation, we are furious with this type of hatred and will no longer stand for it.
Deanna Wozniak, a senior biology major and former president of the Temple Queer Student Union, has coordinated the Day of Silence for three years. She said she believes high school is the perfect setting for an event like Day of Silence.
“It’s one of those things that is much more effective in a high school setting, where you can see people every day, and it’s always the same people who know whether you’re talking or not,” Wozniak said. “It’s always going to be more effective on a scale where people are more involved.”
The Day of Silence, although it has good intentions, has reached the end of its rope.
“On a college campus, it’s hard because you have to figure out a way to make a spectacle and make a splash without really making any noise. But the real reason why the Day of Silence isn’t effective is because we are past the point in our movement where silence is what we’re looking for,” said Deborah Hinchey, a senior political science and history major and former president of Pennsylvania College Democrats.
Until we, as a group of concerned citizens, can come up with an effective protest, all we can hope for is that the Day of Silence continues to spread its message and will reach that heartless bully, letting him or her know it is not OK to torment others because of who they are.
Nevertheless, we still need to come up with the next best thing to stop the hate.
Joshua Fernandez can be reached at email@example.com .
9. The Daily Princetonian, April 13, 2009
P.O. Box 469, Princeton, NJ 08542
By Melanie Jearlds
Though many University students spend Saturday nights out on the Street in search of their next hook ups, Peter — a gay undergraduate — has found a safer and more discreet meeting place. Peter, whose name has been changed to protect his privacy, said that during his time at Princeton, he has hooked up with “about three guys” he met through posting personal ads on Craigslist.
On a campus that Peter said is “less accepting of gay life” than Harvard or Yale, some gay Princeton students like Peter turn to online venues like Craigslist in search of sexual partners. Posts on the site dating back one month showed 176 results matching the search criteria “Princeton,” “18-30” and “men-seeking-men.” Thirty of these results included the word “student,” and many others made reference to the campus or the University in some other fashion. A similar search on the site for Harvard students yielded just nine posts, while one for Yale students generated 22 responses.
And at Princeton, the same demographics for “men-seeking-women,” “women-seeking-men” and “women-seeking-women” revealed no results explicitly linked to the University.
Peter, who began using the site after he broke up with his boyfriend during his sophomore year, noted that Princeton does not provide many social opportunities for gay students.
“There aren’t any gay social events, gay clubs, chances to meet other gay guys,” he said in an e-mail. “[Craigslist] offers you a way to meet other guys who are looking for … no-strings-attached fun.”
LGBT Center director Debra Bazarsky noted there was limited research on gay and bisexual men’s online cruising behavior. She cited a 2004 study on this topic titled “Where Young MSM Meet their First Sexual Partner: The Role of the Internet” which found that “more than half of participants went to cruising sites to find sexual partners, to have contact with others, [out of] boredom, and [because] they found it entertaining or exciting.”
In another 2004 study, researchers found that when online, the majority of men — 60 percent — are looking for friendship, while 50 percent are seeking casual sex partners and 42 percent are seeking a boyfriend, partner or lover.
The privacy provided by online sites like Craigslist is one of their primary appeals, Peter said, noting that it can be “dangerous” for male students to make out with other guys on the Street.
“I’ve been kicked out of both Cottage and TI (by student ‘officers’ or at least people claiming to be officers) for dancing/making out with another male,” he explained. “The problem is, the Street (excepting Ivy and Terrace) provides a poor environment for meeting other guys. So you have to turn to other outlets.”
He added that he thinks the administration has done a great job of making the University a “sexual-preference neutral environment,” but he also explained that student culture is less accepting of gay public displays of affection.
“The message really becomes: We accept you for being gay, but just don’t let me see you being ‘gay,’ ” he said.
Bazarsky, citing a 2003 study performed by Tikkanen and Ross, said many gay students may use online forums like Craigslist because they do not wish to disclose their sexuality publicly.
“One third of frequent [gay] users [seeking men online] in their study indicated they were very closed” and another quarter were “quite closed” about their sexual identity, she noted, adding that 80 percent of frequent users were not involved in LGBT organizations.
Peter also attributed some of the popularity of anonymous sites to how many gay students at Princeton are not open about their sexuality.
“Even if the Street was the most welcoming and open place on earth, some guys are just in the closet and need a discrete avenue for pursuing their sexual desires,” he said. “While the means may be a little shady … the impulse is totally human; what 20-year-old male doesn’t want to get laid?”
Peter, who is openly gay on campus, added that many of his family members do not know that he is gay.
Many of the online posts specifically ask that respondents be discreet, and several posters even note that they have not come out to their friends and family.
One post, titled “Closet Case lol-21,” reads, “hey guys never done this before but hell, why not? I play sports at Princeton but im not out (hence the title).”
Another, called “Fun in Firestone,” describes a “Senior looking for fun in Firestone or maybe somewhere else after midnight.”
The user instructs, “Be a PU undergrad and discreet.”
Peter noted that discretion is one of the key elements of online hookup culture.
“I think [Craigslist] offers a lot of guys a chance to enjoy the company of another male … without running the risk of being stigmatized by friends/family,” he said. “It’s sad, really. But it’s a reflection of the culture in which we live that a male who wishes to be with another male has to, in some cases, be on the ‘down low’ about it … If a straight male making out with a girl was looked upon with disgust, how many straight guys do you think would soon be using Craigslist?”
Bazarsky noted that the University has, in fact, attempted to reach out to the gay community on campus by using some of these same online forums.
“About a year ago, we started occasionally posting information about the LGBT Center on Craigslist in hopes of reaching out to closeted students to let them know that there is a vibrant and active community on campus,” she explained.
But because discretion is so highly valued by Craigslist users, it can be uncomfortable when they encounter each other on campus, Peter explained.
“Personally, there have been a few times when I’ve run into a guy I’ve hooked up with by using Craigslist and there is that awkward glance,” he said, adding that though many of the students who post personal ads on Craigslist use very sexually explicit language, Peter said he tried to avoid this.
“When I used to post, I tried to be straightforward regarding what I wanted (sex), but didn’t want to come off as a sleaze,” he said. “Sleaziness attracts sleazy people. And I didn’t want that.”
Peter said that while Craigslist users were often very secretive about their identities, it was more common for students to be forthcoming about their real identities on some other sites, including Gay.com and Manhunt.com. Craigslist users often exchange photos, but not of their faces, he added.
“There have been a few times that I’ve not gone through with a meeting based upon someone’s pics,” he said. “I do have standards, after all.”
10. University of Kentucky News, April 17, 2009
OUTsource Center's 'Gayla' Supports GLBTQQA Students
Media Contact: Gail Hairston, (859) 257-3303, x235
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 17, 2009) − The University of Kentucky OUTsource Center, a resource center for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, queer, questioning, and ally (GLBTQQA) students, will celebrate its second anniversary with the 2009 "Gayla" gala on April 21.
As a fundraiser to support upcoming OUTsource projects, the Gayla is also a way for many campus and community members to learn more about OUTsource. Projects include event sponsorship, campus diversity support, and the creation of a safe space and voice for GLBTQQA students on campus and in the community. Outsource provides information, literature, media, and support for GLBTQQA students and interested community members
The Gayla will be 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, April 21, at the Cat's Den at the University of Kentucky Student Center. Events include a student drag fashion show, a keynote speaker from No Drama Productions, information booths from area nonprofit organizations, and a silent art auction. Although there is no admission fee, guests are asked to either make a donation or bid in the silent art auction.
11. WSBT.com, April 17, 2009
1301 E. Douglas Road, Mishawaka, IN 46545
Notre Dame Students Take ‘StaND’ Against Hate
By Margaret Fosmoe
SOUTH BEND — Some University of Notre Dame students on Thursday snapped up free T-shirts, eager to join a campus effort to eliminate hatred toward gays, lesbians and transgender people.
The black T-shirts, with white lettering, read: “I will not be silent. I will not be indifferent. I will not just tolerate.”
The T-shirt giveaway was part of the annual “Make a StaND Against Hate” week on campus, designed to end hostility toward others based on sexual identity.
Many Notre Dame students generally are accepting of others, regardless of sexual orientation, but there still are jokes, hurtful remarks and hostile comments heard on campus, according to students involved in the shirt handout.
“I had several friends who had to transfer (from Notre Dame) because they experienced daily harassment in their dorms (regarding their sexual orientation),” said Notre Dame junior Eddie Velazquez, co-chair of the campus Core Council for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Questioning Students. Such hostility “is definitely present on this campus,” he said.
The week’s events are “really important. I feel like a lot of people here just brush (such issues) under the rug,” said freshman Jason G’Sell, who stopped by to pick up a T-shirt.
Some students will be wearing the shirts today to mark National Day of Silence, dedicated to creating safer schools and colleges for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
The week’s activities included banner signings, a film screening and the shirt giveaway. The events end today with a silent campus procession and a prayer service.
It’s important to spread the word that hateful language and actions will not be tolerated on campus, Notre Dame law student Jacqueline Cahill said. Cahill said she has undergraduate friends who have faced verbal abuse in their residence halls because of their sexual orientation.
Notre Dame also should add sexual orientation to the university’s non-discrimination policy, Cahill said.
“There are gay students at ND. We’re out and we’re not willing to be second-class citizens,” senior Daniel Nolan said.
The Core Council is a body created by the administration that advises on the needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students. The council provides discussion sessions and educational programs, including information about Catholic teachings on issues of sexuality, said Sister Susan Dunn, a Notre Dame assistant vice president and a council co-chair.
Some students involved in the Core Council say it serves a valuable purpose, but they still hope some day to be able to establish a student group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students and their friends.
Students have requested such a group repeatedly over the years but the idea has been turned down by the administration.
Staff writer Margaret Fosmoe:
12. The Fullerton College Hornet, April 15, 2009
321 E. Chapman Ave, Fullerton, CA 92832
Day of silence quiets violence: Lambda's hushed actions speak loudly for the gay and lesbian community.
By Sebastian Ontiveros
More than 300 members and supporters of the Lambda Society - an organization providing support to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender community - wore T-shirts and tape over their mouths on Monday in support of Day of Silence, a program set to raise awareness for those who are forced to silence their own sexual orientation in fear of harassment and bullying.
Lambda's goal for this day is to raise awareness for the occurrence of hate crimes and social injustices. Last year, the day was held in honor of a teenager from Oxnard, Calif. named Lawrence King. He was 15-years-old when he was brutally gunned down by his classmate after he identified himself as homosexual.
According to Lambda Society President Alex Salvador, DOS is a movement that is exactly what the club is all about.
The movement originally started in 1997 by students at the University of Virginia. It has grown since then and is now endorsed by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Network, the day's official supporter. The program is national, but has been recognized on the Fullerton College campus for three years, when Julianna Campbell, former Lambda Society president, made the event a campus activity.
Salvador felt more compelled to propel this year's DOS further due to the campaign and passing of Proposition 8.
"We think it's especially important to do our part today after Prop 8 passed," said Salvador. "We really want to eliminate all the hate and negative energy generated by the campaigning."
Inter Club Council President, Loreana Cadena agreed about this year's significance.
'We really want to send a message as powerful as possible this year,' Cadena said. 'The tape is optional but it really symbolizes the struggles that many face all over.'
The club was set up on campus at a small station on the quad all day, hoping to generate positive understanding of their cause.
Pamphlets littered the tables to educate people about DOS and the hardships some people endure.
One pamphlet chosen by Salvador was close to home. According to Salvador, he met the mother of one of a victim profiled in a pamphlet. Victoria Arellano, an immigrant, was transgender and HIV positive. She was allegedly denied her medication and tortured to death by individuals aware of her orientation.
"Through everything we endure. I always remember I am doing this for people like Victoria," Salvador said. "Making people aware is our priority even if it's few of us. We just want to make a difference in our community."
13. The Daily Reflector, April 16, 2009
Students take up gay cause
By Kristin Day
Shawn Michaels does not want to be a woman.
The 6'1” son of a military man got involved in the drag business after a successful dare in Texas. He won the nightclub's contest and three months rent, and spent the next 10 years taking his show to new audiences as Michelle Michaels.
“I was really good at drag,” Michaels said. “I didn't want to go out and be pretty. I wanted to shock the audience.”
He's good at that, too.
On Wednesday, March 25, the GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender) Student Union at East Carolina University held a drag show for Diversity Week with Michaels acting as hostess. She, along with former double for Reba McEntire Coti Collins, Dorea Saunders from “America's Got Talent,” and former Miss NC USofA Ebony Addams, entertained more than 600 cheering and screaming students, dancing along the aisles of Hendrix Theater throughout a show complete with hit music, risqué comedy and athletics.
On Thursday, March 26, reflector.com posted a slide show of the event. Readers quickly responded.
Some supported the decision to cover the event. More said the slide show was appalling. Commenters said it was irresponsible for ECU to expose students to such filth, or the entertainers were disgusting, fat and destined for hell for their sexual orientation. Comments rolled in for 16 days.
“It is very sad that our precious students have to be exposed to this at the university. They can find this kind of perversion on their own.” — Gail, on reflector.com
A few weeks later, the GLBT Student Union had its final meeting for the year to hold elections and prepare for today, the National Day of Silence. Supporters will spend a portion — if not all — of today in silence to recognize those who remain voiceless about their sexual orientation out of fear. They, along with the Student Health Center, College of Human Ecology, the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center and the Office of Institutional Diversity, sponsored events all week and will conclude with the March of Silence — from College Hill Drive to the Free Speech Zone in front of Joyner Library — at 2:30 p.m. Once they reach the end, they will break their silence with an explosion of screams.
Members are no strangers to discrimination. Even next year's female vice president Shiloh Canale, a heterosexual, says she's been subject to hate speech just for being involved in the GLBTSU. Still, some remarks left on the Reflector's Web page were hard to swallow for Christien Harden, current president of the GLBTSU.
“A lot of comments were expected,” Harden said. “But I didn't expect so many supporters.”
“I've run into a lot of discrimination,” Michaels said a few days later. “But the very closed-minded opinions that were publicized were very shocking.”
It's something GLBTSU members remain baffled over. They say it's a world of confusing give and take when Vermont and Iowa approve gay marriage laws, but during the same week, 11-year-old Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover of Massachusetts hangs himself after years of schoolmates' taunts calling him gay.
Early Tuesday morning, Fayetteville police answered a call that led them to drag performer Jimmy Ali McCollough, 34, dead on Joseph Street. Officials hadn't yet released details, but WRAL.com reported that McCollough had been stabbed and police were investigating a possible hate crime.
When it comes to bigoted words, members of the GLBTSU say they've learned to simply smile back and reply “sorry you feel that way” or maybe blow a kiss.
“I guess humor goes a long way,” said GLBTSU member Moses.
Michaels believes most of the negative reactions occur when people feel homosexuality and drag is being thrown in their faces.
“But drag queens have been such a fixture in the gay community,” he said, adding that Diversity Week events also included a showing of the film “Milk,” a biographical movie about the life of an American gay activist, and a presentation from a bisexual speaker. “You can't do a gay event and not have a drag queen.”
ECU's Chief Diversity Officer Kimberly Baker-Flowers said that the university wants everyone to feel welcome, and that includes supporting forms of expression.
“We are very much committed to diversity,” she said. “And our definition of diversity is one that is inclusive of all.”
Away from the clubs, drag queens are thought of as freaks, Michaels said, and they're often talked down to. But some of the dissent and fear also comes from misconceptions, like they're all pedophiles or transgendered.
“We are entertainers,” he said. “We are actors. I do not live as a woman.”
And many don't. In the ECU show, for example, they had one post-operation transsexual, one pre-op transsexual and two who simply chose to dress up, like Michaels.
“I pray that God will convict the administrators at ECU to lead our students to morality — not away from it.” — Rhonda, on reflector.com
The Free Speech Zone is famous to most ECU students and employees. And if you've ever stopped to listen to one of the regular open-air preachers, you more than likely have witnessed someone with PinPoint Evangelism at work. Patrick O'Connell has preached on campus, as well as on the streets downtown, several times.
O'Connell says the Bible clearly teaches in both the Old and New Testaments that homosexuality is a serious sin punishable by damnation, as is dressing in another gender's clothing. Sin is unnatural, he says, no matter what it is, and with fornication, adultery and homosexuality, the sinner is taking a gift from God and perverting it. His mission, he says, is to spread the truth wherever he sees the need and, hopefully, guide the transgressors to repent.
“I would say first off that anyone's welcome,” O'Connell said, adding that they've received homosexuals into their church before. “But they're always going to hear the truth.”
The Bible gives us clear warnings about these things, he said, from 1 Corinthians (" Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."), to men turning toward each other in Romans, to the destroyed cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.
But not everyone reads the Bible literally.
“We just think it's kind of ridiculous to refer to a particular scripture,” said the Rev. Anne Marie Alderman of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Greenville. “Because the Bible also says not to eat pork.”
Alderman, an open lesbian who grew up in a Southern Baptist church and received a degree in religion, says her church accepts everyone, and the congregation includes Christians, Buddhists, agnostics, atheists, homosexuals and heterosexuals.
“What each person believes is not the point,” Alderman said. “It's how we treat each other.”
Alderman said she sometimes wonders if these evangelists have read the whole New Testament, noting that Jesus associated with prostitutes, thieves and every other type of person.
But O'Connell said the point is that the Bible warns believers not to encourage others to continue in their sin. By doing so, they're offering half-truths and not saving their friends and loved ones from eternal damnation.
“For people who are very accepting and tell people God loves them, which is the truth, they're not telling them he's angry at the wicked, which is also the truth,” O'Connell said.
Diane Bridgman of Grifton is the co-executive director and spokesperson for We. L.U.V. (Let Us Vote) Marriage, a newly formed grassroots committee working to protect traditional marriage. If they can convince state lawmakers to pass House Bill 361, residents can vote to keep marriage between one man and one woman. They are also holding a rally on May 9 at the Grifton Town Common.
“My views are really insignificant because I hold God's views,” she said. “And it is what he says.”
God says homosexuality is an abomination, she said.
The subject is a bit more personal for Bridgman because her stepson is gay. Still, she says his sexual orientation hasn't changed the love she and her husband have for him.
“He's made that choice,” she said. “I love him and he knows how he and his father stand. It's not a subject we really talk about because we're not moving.”
“It seems to me that the people that are more outraged by this peaceful and fun event than the beating of a 110-lb gay boy that resulted in a broken jaw, busted eardrum, and bleeding in the brain ... should take a good look at themselves.” — CameraChris, on reflector.com
On Sunday, March 22, 25-year-old Chris Meadows was assaulted in Greenville during what is believed by many in the GLBT community to be a hate crime. At this point, the details surrounding Meadows' trip to the Intensive Care Unit are considered hearsay, and the case is still open. But the incident is a reminder of why the GLBT community promotes peaceful events such as the National Day of Silence. This year, it is dedicated to Lawrence King, who was shot and killed at his California school when he was 15 years old. Friends say he was murdered because he was gay.
“Just because people do not accept us or want us in their establishments does not give them the right to cause harm to a member of our community,” Michaels said.
“This is not a choice. People do not choose to live their life ridiculed.”
But O'Connell said he and other evangelists are mocked when they're preaching on the streets, too, and at times, know their safety is at risk.
“(Violence) is certainly a possibility,” he said, adding that people simply don't like something coming between themselves and their sin. “But what did they do to Jesus?”
As far as the possibility of evangelists igniting violence toward the GLBT community, O'Connell said that's the choice of the person who commits the crime, not the evangelists' decision.
“If somebody takes anything anyone says, and does something illegal or hurts someone ... everyone makes up their own mind,” he said.
The best thing ultimately, he said, is to repent and believe in God because disobeying him is always a curse.
“We think it's really important to stand up for people who could be marginalized,” Rev. Alderman summed up. “To be advocates for their well-being.”
In the long-run, Michaels, who grew up horrified of homosexuals and who was kicked out of the family once they found out he was gay, said that one day he'd like sexual orientation to not be an issue in anyone's mind.
But that will take time, he said.
Contact Kristin Day at firstname.lastname@example.org or (252) 329-9579.
14. The Daily Targum, April 16, 2009
126 College Ave. Suite 431, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
March brings social injustices to light
By Adrienne Clark
Shouts of “Break the Silence — Stop the Violence” could be heard along College Avenue last night as supporters and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community broke their silence at 6:30 p.m. for the National Day of Silence protest.
“[Day of Silence] is about erasing prejudice by showing how much support there is [for the LGBT community] even if you do not see it in your every day life,” said John Aspray, a School of Arts of Sciences sophomore at the rally.
Participants, members of the LGBT community and their straight allies were silent from yesterday morning to yesterday evening, when the Break the Silence Rally and March took place outside Brower Commons on the College Avenue campus, said College of Nursing first-year student (name omitted), a member of both Bisexual, Gay and Lesbian Alliance at Rutgers University and LLEGO, two groups supporting LGBT rights at the University.
“[The Day of Silence] is a big symbolism thing; we participate and stay silent for those who can’t talk or were killed for their sexuality,” (name omitted) said.
The event was meant to raise awareness for those who may not be involved with the LGBT community or their allies by making their silence apparent to those around them with the speaking cards and ribbons, said Political Chair for LLEGO Shawnna James, a School of Arts and Sciences junior who coordinated the event with (name omitted).
Students handed out speech cards to anyone curious about their reasons for staying silent, (name omitted) said.
“[Day of Silence] is good for awareness [of LGBT issues]. I hope [people] ask questions,” James said.
Rainbow ribbons and cards explaining the Day of Silence placed in many campus centers and multicultural centers went quickly, James said.
“[The protest] is about being in support of anti-hate,” James said. “People are silent [about LGBT issues]. We’re about to get vocal about it right now.”
The national protest symbolizes the silence endured by those who cannot speak about their sexuality and for those who have been silenced permanently for their sexuality, said (name omitted), a coordinator for the University Day of Silence protest.
Issues of violence, prejudice and harassment affect everyone, not just members and allies of the LGBT community, James said.
The LGBT community faces oppression shared by women for some time, said Political Chair of Lambda Theta Alpha Epsilon Chapter Namibia Donadio, a Rutgers College senior.
“You want to be called, however you want to be represented; we support you 100 percent,” Donadio said to the crowd.
Members of the LGBT community face a lot of opposition when forging their identities, said Denarii Monroe, a Rutgers College senior.
“[We] are tired of being oppressed, we are tired of being repressed, told we are going to hell, told we are sick,” Monroe said. “I am proud to be bisexual. I am not confused.”
Straight allies are important in the fight for LGBT rights and awareness to create solidarity in society, Monroe said.
The protest march wound around College Avenue, down Hamilton Street, along George Street, then back up to College Avenue, James said.
Events like the Day of Silence are important because issues like violence and prejudice against LGBT community members exist and go on today, Aspray said.
“I know a lot of [LGBT] people who have suffered bullying,” he said.
15. The Cavalier Daily, April 17, 2009
University of Virginia, PO Box 400703, Charlottesville, VA
Vigil held in support of victims of violence: LGBTQ, Allied Activist groups held vigil yesterday night to unite community against homophobia
By Bethel Habte
The candles held by attendees of the Stand Against the Violence Vigil were a visible sign of attendees’ support and solidarity, as University community members reflected about the hate crime that occurred on Grounds earlier this month.
Around 3 a.m. April 4, five Caucasian males physically and verbally assaulted a University student and his guest based on their perceived sexual orientation, Dean of Student Allen Groves stated in an e-mail April 10 describing the incident. When the student tried to call 911, the attackers broke his phone. The victims were able to get away and were treated for minor injuries at the University Hospital, but law enforcement officials have not made any arrests since the incident.
In a show of community support, leaders of the Lesbian Gay Bi-Sexual and Transgender, Queer and Allied Activist groups and others organized the vigil last night to bring the University community together and take a stand against bias-motivated violence.
“I didn’t want to see you tonight,” said first year College student Seth Kaye to the audience, regretting that a Vigil had to take place for an incident that never should have happened in the first place.
“Empower yourselves and others ... so there will be no need to have events like this tonight,” he added.
University Police Lt. Melissa Fielding , who was asked to discuss safety tips at the Vigil to prevent future incidents like the one that occurred April 4, noted that the attack earlier this month was in no way the victims’ fault.
“Anybody in our community should be allowed to walk down a sidewalk without fear of being attacked,” Fielding said.
She also urged anyone with information about the incident to call a confidential tip line.
Groves, meanwhile, described the incident as “cowardly and bred out of the fear of difference.” He said he believes this case was especially significant because “the victim wasn’t targeted for any reason other than because of who he was.”
First-year College student Samantha Dodbele came to the vigil because the attack “didn’t sit well” with her.
Dodbele said she was glad that the event had a variety of groups involved in the showing of support. She noted in particular the painted rainbow “Z” on the steps of Garrett Hall overlooking the Amphitheater, and the letter from the Seven Society that speakers at the event read condemning the attack.
“It makes [the issue] more wide reaching,” Dodbele said.
In addition to talking about the attack, speakers brought up ways for community members to stop even subtle acts of homophobia in their everyday lives, encouraging members to stop using the word “gay” in a derogatory sense.
Kay added that those who still harbor homophobic views should never act on these views.
“If for some reason you do have some bias against a minority, it should never manifest in violence,” he said.
Groves echoed this sentiment, noting that the University community must strive to address problems before they become violent incidents.
“The University of Virginia is not a place for hatred, bigotry or violence bred from intolerance,” said Groves. “We will continue to work together to create a safe and supportive community for all students, faculty and staff ... and we will not settle for anything less.”
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 regarding fair use of copyrighted work, this material is distributed without profit for information, research, and educational purposes. The Consortium has no affiliation whatsoever with the originators of these articles nor is the Consortium endorsed or sponsored by the originators.
Questions or concerns should be directed to email@example.com