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Group discusses Pride Week shirt

Kelly Meehan | Tuesday, November 23, 2004

The rash of campus protest against Saint Mary’s “Pride Week” shirt’s alleged sexism, racism and classism was the main topic of discussion at Monday’s Board of Governance meeting. Some students felt the image of a blonde Caucasian woman on the T-shirt did not represent all Saint Mary’s women, members said, adding these students have decided to protest through the creation of a petition and their own T-shirts. The petition’s goal is to obtain 400 signatures, or approximately one-fourth of the campus’s population. The main discussion at the meeting was the protesting students’ desire for a formal apology specifically noting the supposed inappropriateness of the shirt. “We desire a specific apology,” technology commissioner Patricia Mobolade said. “These are serious issues that [many students] have had to deal with.” A primary concern for many board members was the spin-off of this protest. It was questioned if anyone would feel comfortable designing a shirt in the future for fear of offending someone. The board strove to discuss ways to be pro-active in the situation to educate the student body and avoid bullying and making people feel more closed off from the situation. “People who are ignoring the issues are the ones who need to be educated on it,” junior class president Danielle Lerner said. “We need to reach out to those who are not attending the forums to teach them about the issues to further our progress.”Student Activities Board president Lauren Fabina reported on Thursday’s feedback session, in which the Student Activities Board invited the entire student body to come out and discuss their likes and dislikes of past, current and future SAB activities. The primary topic of discussion at the feedback session was also that of the controversial “Pride Week” T-shirt, and included the shirt’s colors – blue and gold – as well as the image printed on it. Many students felt that these colors were chosen to further unite Saint Mary’s identity to that of Notre Dame. However, it was reported this was not the intention, Fabina said, and the gold color on the shirt was intended to be more of an orange hue. Fabina added SAB in no way meant to offend anyone with the images or colors on the shirt. “We are empathetic to those who do not feel represented by the shirt,” she said. “We listen to everyone and take all ideas wholeheartedly.”It was not determined at this time if student government will issue a formal apology.

In other BOG news:u The first lists for the “Big Sister – Little Sister” program were issued, displaying which sophomore each first-year student was paired with. u The board also approved regulations on election policies, now allowing Instant Messenger as a form of campaigning. It was also included in the policy that students cannot just pass out fliers without actually placing them in the hands of a student to cut down on litter around campus. u There will be a BOG-sponsored bus trip to Chicago on Dec. 4.