LGBTQ Community Responds to Harassment


By Victor Ordonez and Mike Byrne

On Friday, Sept 23., Progressive Students for Justice: Women’s Empowerment (PSJ: Women’s Empowerment) hosted “Speak-Out Against Homo

Students held a speak-out against homophobia on the lawn of McGinley.

phobia” on the McGinley lawn. Students and allies of the LGBTQ community voiced their concerns about the Sept. 3 incident in Finlay Hall, where three LGBTQ roommates found a harassing comment written on their door’s whiteboard.


During the speak-out, students discussed fears for their safety, as well as acceptance among the Fordham community.

Some students said the speak-out was an effective medium to voice the concerns of the community. General Coordinator of PSJ: Women’s Empowerment Tina McCain, FCRH ’18, spoke about the purpose of the event.

“I think the speak-out was a crucial way to address instances of homophobia on campus, specifically the incident in Finlay,” McCain said. “It was a way for allies and LGBTQ folks at Fordham to come together in solidarity against attitudes of hate and oppression.”

Gina Foley, FCRH ’18, said there is an element of exclusion in the Catholic church as well as at the university.

“It feels like Fordham doesn’t want us here,” Foley said. “I know that I belong in the LGBTQ community and at Fordham. I know that I belong in the Catholic community, but they don’t want me here. I see this all the time, and it hurts.”

Foley also said there are allies of the LGBTQ community at Fordham, but who there is no one in relative power that would stand up and speak out for this community on campus.
Christopher Rodgers, dean of students, was in attendance. Rodgers did not speak at the event, and club member Becca Erwin, FCRH ’18, found his presence to be unhelpful. “He could have had a good presence here,” Erwin said after the event. “He could have gotten up and spoken as a representative of the administration… instead he just stood there.”

General Coordinator of PSJ: Women’s Empowerment Sarah Lundell, FCRH ’17, spoke about the attitude of the greater Fordham community.

“While it was refreshing to see our community and allies organizing and speaking openly about the difficulties they face both at Fordham and in their day-to-day lives, the rest of the student body has remained apathetic,” Lundell said. “From the lack of representation in core curriculum to housing policies that ignore or even endanger queer students, it is clear that although Fordham claims to be a welcoming Jesuit university, it fails to uphold cura personalis for LGBTQ students and other marginalized identities.”