Quinnipiac students protest for LGBTQ policy reform

Emily Flamme and Nicole McIsaac

Students gathered outside the Arnold Bernhard Library on Oct. 21, to protest for LGBTQ policy changes at Quinnipiac University. 

Alex Burns, a senior political science major, started the protest because he was disappointed by the university’s response to the homophobic incidents former student Peter Jordan faced that drove him to withdraw from Quinnipiac.

“I was disgusted by the lack of action the school has taken when this sort of stuff happens,” Burns said. “And I get that change is difficult. I’m not unrealistic, but it just feels — from my point of view — nothing has changed.”

Students gathered outside the library on Mount Carmel campus to fight for LGBTQ policy reform. (Nicole McIsaac)

Athena Cuttle, the president of the Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA), also attended the protest. She said she was dissatisfied at the university’s response too, as she was hoping for a specific plan for change. 

The GSA released a statement on its Instagram on Oct. 20, saying it wished the administration reached out directly to the organization to help implement new policies. 

“We are also disappointed in their advocation for bystander intervention rather than a promise to take on stronger policies to protect QU’s LGBTQ+ community,” the GSA stated.

Burns said he felt compelled to go out and do something instead of just sharing posts online. 

“Saying you’re in solidarity looks great, and it’s a great start, but if you just sit at home or in your dorm or wherever, and kind of think to yourself, ‘Me doing this is big,’ I’m sorry to break it to you, but it’s not,” Burns said.

Mary Gerdenich, a senior criminal justice and political science major, was also at the protest. She said she attended because she wants Quinnipiac to become more inclusive of all people.

“After each thing happens on campus, each discriminatory action that happens, no change is really brought about,” Gerdenich said. “It’s almost looked at as a joke where you can send out an email and address the situation, but not really do anything about it.”

Students have said they are disappointed with university’s response to the homophobic incidents former student Peter Jordan faced. (Nicole McIsaac)

People should do more than just listen to stories about hateful acts, according to Gerdenich. She also said everyone needs to know there will be consequences for their actions if they are discriminatory toward other students on campus.

“If it’s going to be more of the students’ burden to spread the word, then we’re happy to do it because I don’t think everything should keep getting swept under the rug,” Gerdenich said. “At the end of the day, a student was caused a tremendous amount of pain and that can’t be overlooked.”

Burns said people have to go out and be the change that they want to see. 

“The United States wasn’t founded on the founding fathers sitting in the continental congress twiddling their thumbs,” Burns said. “We fought in war. I mean, not every change has to be radically violent, but you have to go out.”