One word can hold a lot of hatred. The word “faggot” may be used by some college students who let it slip into their vocabulary, but this deep-rooted insult is no joke to Quinnipiac’s Interfraternity Council.
IFC members were influenced to work toward promoting awareness to end the usage of the “F” word with their campaign “Fraternities Against the ‘F’ Word,” after a possible hate crime occurred that is currently being investigated by security. Students showed their support and recognition last Wednesday in the Carl Hansen Student Center and Café Q by getting their pictures taken with posters that read: “Fraternities against the ‘F’ word,” for fraternity members, “Sororities against the ‘F’ word,” for sorority members and “I am an ally,” for non-Greek life members.
The event was quickly created on campus after gaining hundreds of Facebook supporters.
“There was an issue of people not being open to the idea of others with different sexual orientations that triggered the idea for this event to promote awareness and acceptance of the entire Quinnipiac community,” said Luigi Tancredi, vice president of programming of IFC.
Other fraternity members implied that the event was in response to a recent conflict.
“It seemed like there may have been something going on on campus and so in reaction to that, we wanted to put something together relatively quickly so that it was brought to attention,” said Tim O’Rourke, Tau Kappa Epsilon IFC vice president. “I don’t know the details of it so I can’t speak about it.”
Quinnipiac’s Greek life is fighting against the idea of the stereotypical “frat boy” label with this philanthropic event says Josiah Feigleson, Delta Tau Delta’s director of recruitment.
“The event is really good for fighting stereotypes and people who are trying to exclude other people,” Feigleson said. “There is a really negative stereotype with Greek life in that sense and I think that this is really opening up the Greek communities’ eyes as well as the Quinnipiac community.”
Some students said they had heard of the awareness campaign online but were unaware of any recent conflict on campus. Conflict or not, the students still recognize the importance of the issue.
“I definitely support this because speech frames the way we think about people, and I don’t think people always put as much conscious thought into the words they’re saying and the effects it can have when they are hurtful words,” senior Lindsey Raffol said.
The Gay Lesbian and Straight Supporter’s group on campus, as well as the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender community were happy to see greater recognition to help end the usage of the “F” word on campus.
“This event meant a lot to GLASS and to LGBT people and allies alike who aren’t in GLASS,” said Ian Jackson, the vice president of GLASS. “It’s nice when you get to see acceptance and equality being promoted outside of your own community. Allies are a very important part of the LGBT community.”
Pictures were posted on IFC’s Facebook page to remind members of the Quinnipiac community that the “F” word is unacceptable in any context. This event also reminded students how a community response can have a big impact.
“When one of us is affected by something, the whole community finds out about it and we aren’t going to stand for it,” O’Rourke said.