Students protest Quinnipiac’s response to homophobic hate


Hannah Mirsky, Executive Producer

Quinnipiac students are not happy with the recent email that was sent out regarding the homophobic incident that involved first-year student Peter Jordan.

Over the past two days, students gathered along the steps of the Arnold Bernhard Library with posters calling for change and demanding more action for marginalized students at the university.

In an email signed by President Olian and V.P. for Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer, Don C. Sawyer III, Quinnipiac relayed the message that “such behavior is abhorrent and degrades the values of our institution” and “intolerance of any kind has no place at QU.”

“It felt very lackluster. It didn’t have any actual substance in it and the actual actions that were happening. I do know with my relationships with administration that there is a level of privacy that students have on campus but I was looking for something that said the students that were responsible for doing this about another student would be held responsible,” the Vice President of Public Relations of the Student Government Association, Jamien Jean-Baptiste said.

Quinnipiac has not insinuated if the students will be held accountable.

“We want the students who harassed the student to be reprimanded for it instead of just getting a slap on the wrist,” the Instagram account owner of QULGBTQrights, Marianna Rappa said.

The email failed to acknowledge what the consequences of the incident will be, making students feel uneasy about how the administration will proceed with investigating the incident.

“In the past, we’ve gotten emails like people that violated COVID-19, CDC guidelines… They said the exact number of people that would be kicked off… I didn’t need to know the names of those people, I just needed to know that something was happening and I did not get that from the email,” Jean-Baptiste said.

Jordan notified the Residential Assistant (RA) after every instance. By the time Jordan’s mother contacted the Assistant Director of Residential Life, Mike Guthrie, it was too late, as Jordan decided to withdraw.

“Any RA would meet with the student, collect some facts, provide resources for the student, make sure they felt validated and cared for, and had resources so they need it, and certainly write a CARE report,” the Chief Experience Officer, Tom Ellett said

As students continue to protest, they hope to grab the attention of the administration.

“We want administration to know we’re here and that we aren’t going to stop protesting until things change and we’re here to support all LGBT students and allies and we want them all to know they are loved and all here for them,” Rappa said.

Some students say homophobia has always existed at Quinnipiac, not by the entire population, but many members of the LGBTQ+ community have had experiences.

“I’ve been here all four years and I’ve experienced homophobia. I know a lot of people that experienced it and we’re here with GSA to get our message across,” Rappa said.

Over the summer, Quinnipiac had released a statement due to an incoming first-year student being seen with blackface.

“It’s a matter of being statement happy and just releasing statements without having any action behind them,” Jean-Baptiste said.

Within the next few days, students will wait to see if the administration speaks up again, but for now, they will continue to advocate on incidents like this so they don’t keep happening.

“We want policies, we want things to happen and students to be protected,” Rappa said.