First-year student withdraws from Quinnipiac after homophobic hate


Hannah Mirsky, Executive Producer

A first-year student is leaving Quinnipiac University after a series of homophobic hate crimes from students living in his residence hall.

Facebook post from Lauren Swick Jordan, the mother of the first-year student.

The mother of the student posted on the Quinnipiac parents’ Facebook page yesterday informing the community that her son was receiving homophobic hate from students in his residence hall.

The student living in Irmagarde Tator Hall, often referred to as Irma, had baby powder and trash thrown at his door and students were constantly “banging on his door at all hours” while he was in his room. The floor he lives on is only for male first-year students. The student reported the suspected students but never heard back. 

After another morning of waking up to powder on his door, the student is withdrawing from the university.

Gender and Sexuality Alliance, a student organization that provides a safe haven for all students identifying as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, knew action needed to be taken instantly.

“GSA was shocked by this and could not believe this happened on our campus and immediately knew we had to do something to create a change for students,” the GSA President, Athena Cuttle said.

A petition was started last night, outlining a plan of tangible change that needs to be made immediately if they stand behind their claim to inclusiveness to all students attending Quinnipiac. Students have been sharing the petition on their Instagram and tagging President Judy Olian and Quinnipiac to get their attention.


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A post shared by Quinnipiac GSA (@gsa_qu) on

The reforms are:

  1. Adoption of the Campus Pride Index to get an independent audit that explicitly shows where Quinnipiac stands as an LGTBQ+ friendly institution.
  2. Gender-inclusive housing for all upperclassmen to allow for LGTBQ+ students, especially transgender students, to be able to live with people that are accepting and give them a sense of community.
  3. LGTBQ+ friendly housing for first-year students. If students can access questions for how messy they are, they can have a question for if they are LGBTQ+ friendly.
  4. The creation of LGBTQ+ LLC so students can have a safe community to go home to.
  5. Mandatory bias training for faculty, staff, and student leaders so they can appropriately recognize and respond to incidents of bias against LGBTQ+ members of the community.
  6. Increased visibility of what resources are available to LGBTQ+ students on campus.
  7. Formally recognize the incident, and hold the offending students, as well as all others that are perpetrators in incidents of bias, responsible for their actions

The petition currently has 904 signatures including Cuttle, Aden Mariyappa, Vice President of GSA, Lindsey Downey, former President of GSA, William A. Jellison, GSA faculty advisor and Professor of Psychology, Andrew DePass, Executive Chair for the Multicultural Student Leadership Council, Sophia Marshall, President of the Student Government Association (SGA), Austin Calvo, former President of SGA, and Mary Gerdenich, Director of Public Relations for Leading Women of Tomorrow.

“It was amazing to see how much support we have and how many people will stand by us like faculty, alumni, and students,” Cuttle said. “It is just so nice to know people realize these incidents are wrong.”

GSA is working with the Multicultural Student Leadership Council and reached out to administration but is waiting for a response.

“We are hoping that they reach out and talk to us and start working closer with students of the community to create a better environment for the students because the only people that can say how to make a better environment are the students,” Cuttle said.

Members of GSA want students to know that their club is a resource with people who understand.

“Our plan is, once we talk to the school and get everything situated and figured out and get the steps in place, work with the school to make GSA a bigger environment so students realize they can come to us whenever they need help,” Cuttle said.

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