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Fine by Me campaign to be held again today

Maureen Reynolds | Wednesday, April 21, 2004

For the second time this semester, students will don orange shirts in support of the Gay-Straight Alliance and homosexual community on campus today. The shirt campaign has been designed by the GSA to raise awareness and show support for homosexual students and faculty. Once again, GSA members have distributed orange shirts emblazoned with the slogan “Gay? Fine by me.” “We ordered an extra 400 hundred shirts,” said Mac Russell one of the event’s coordinators. “300 shirts were distributed in 45 minutes … they’re all gone now.”Russell also commented that in addition to students, many more faculty members have gotten involved this time. “I don’t know percentages,” he said. “But I know that many more faculty have gotten shirts.”He continued that the GSA is also using this second day to assure students their goals are positive.A press release issued by the GSA states, “This second day is proof that the shirts are more than just a fad. It is also an opportunity to dispel a common misconception.”The press release explained that many people had perceived the orange shirts to “encourage homosexual acts,” something Russell said is not true.”The shirt is to raise awareness of the homosexual population on campus and to help the homosexual population feel welcome,” he said. “It has nothing to do with sex … it’s about saying that if you’re a homosexual student here, that’s fine.”The GSA will not be holding demonstrations today. Instead, it is sponsoring community-building activities for all students.”We have Frisbee on [South Quad] from 2 to 6:30 p.m.,” Russell said. “Everyone can come, if they are wearing a shirt or not.”A group dinner will follow Frisbee at 6:30 p.m. in South Dining Hall, and finally, a group picture will be taken at 7:30 on God Quad.Russell also said the GSA will not be approaching the administration today with a request for club status on campus, but that an open letter is being put together.”We have an open letter, which is the letter we wrote to the administration saying that a mistake was made, and they need to recognize a place for straight and gay students to come together,” he said. “It will be presented probably by the end of the school year, depending on how many signatures we get.”The campaign by the GSA has been primarily sponsored by the departments of sociology and anthropology, according to Russell.”They have been wonderful to us,” he said.