Quinnipiac’s Residence Hall Council, Office of Multicultural and Global Education and Office of Residential Life teamed up on Monday night in Burt Kahn Court to present True Life: I’m a QU Stereotype.
The event focused on cleaning up Quinnipiac’s student reputation, which RHC Historian Rachel Shute said is plagued with negative stereotypes and ideas.
“Everyone knows we’ve been called slobcats. It makes us sound really sloppy,” Shute said.
Shute thinks that a lot of the stereotypes are thanks to several different media sources, including online magazines and newspapers.
CollegeProwler.com described females on campus as someone who “goes tanning, carries a designer bag and wears North Face jackets in the winter with Ugg Boots.” Males are categorized as a business student “who likes to work out, party and talk to girls.”
A journalist for the Yale Daily News describes Quinnipiac students as heavy drinkers with little self control.
“The thought is that Quinnipiac is a world where beer flows like water and shortages of condoms due to an overwhelming demand are far more common than a run on microeconomics textbooks at the school bookstore.”
And of course, there was the article in Yale Daily News dedicated to the closing of Toad’s Place that garnered quite a bit of attention in the fall.
“Have you read all the articles about us peeing in New Haven?” Shute asked the crowd during the segment of the night. “Is that how you want to be known?”
Shute believes that getting students involved will make a difference in the quality and reputation of QU’s student life. She says that “making ourselves more presentable could make our image a little more positive.”
RHC President Nicole Carnemolla agrees that getting students to participate in events on campus would be beneficial to the QU community.
“I hope this event encourages students to get more involved, try new things and not just be the typical student that goes back to their room,” Carnemolla said. “We want them to be involved and give back to the community.”
The event also promoted cultural competency and awareness, which was touched upon by the Office of Multicultural and Global Education.
Mohammed Bey, the director for multicultural education, explained cultural competency as how students act as individuals and not being concerned about the “larger community at hand.”
He wants QU students to become aware of how their actions affect everyone else and not just themselves.
“If I do something wrong, it’s going to effect the whole community. We are in this together,” Bey said.
Bey said that he wants students to become more culturally aware by getting to know their peers.
“Culture is like an iceberg. Some things you can see on the surface, and then there is a ton of stuff you can’t see under the surface,” Bey said.
In order to simulate becoming more aware of others, participants took place in an exercise called “Traffic Jam,” where people were randomly grouped together in order to solve a problem. Each person was given a different personality to carry out during the activity, which symbolized different cultures and stereotypes.
The creators of the event made a promotional YouTube video called “The 10 Ways to Fight Hate,” showcasing several student groups on campus. It touches on 10 different ways to end discrimination on campus.
The video instructs students to “speak out”, “teach tolerance” and “teach future generations to fight hate.”