Time is a funny thing. It has a way of diluting experiences into nostalgic memories. As a Gonzaga alum (class of 2008), I have collectively remembered my years on campus sentimentally. Perhaps out of preservation of the “good times” (and privilege), I pushed aside other events that interrupted those fond memories.
The recent hate crime against the Black Student Union (“Gonzaga stands with Black Student Union after Zoom-bombing with racial slurs,” Nov. 10) brought back exiled memories of hate on campus. I sincerely hope that students aren’t responsible for shouting racist slurs during the BSU meeting. But it wouldn’t surprise me.
I was a student when members of the Kennel Club homophobically chanted “Brokeback Mountain” at gay players on the opposing basketball team. I was there when the administration supported and hosted an anti-gay speaker on campus. (Free speech applied here but inconsistently not for “The Vagina Monologues” and Planned Parenthood). I was among a small group of students gathered for a vigil when a noose was found around the neck of a Native American statue on campus.
All that time ago, the administration took no action and in doing so fostered a culture that holds space for hate. My fear is that this pattern will not be interrupted and will once again fade into dark memories.
The recent hate crime against the BSU is not the first but please join me in demanding that it be the last. Everyone should feel safe and welcome in their own home.
I love Gonzaga — and for this reason, we must expect better.
Alexandria K. Orr