Bellarmine students question bulletin board promoting support of racists, homophobes

Bellarmine addresses bulletin board promoting racists, homophobes

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Bellarmine students are upset with a bulletin board, posted in a dorm, promoting tolerance and respect of all people, including racists and homophobes.

The university took it down on Monday after students reported it, but the campus is still stirring.

A group of students even protested on Tuesday.

Many residents of Anniversary Hall, like sophomore Hannah Brown, were upset by the student-made bulletin board.

“I saw on the little people it said ‘racist’ and ‘homophobe’ and I was pretty appalled that it was actually written on there," she said.

The board promoted tolerance whether someone is atheist, liberal, communist, poor, rich, Jewish, Muslim, racist and homophobic.

The student-made bulletin was posted in Anniversary Hall at Bellarmine University.
The student-made bulletin was posted in Anniversary Hall at Bellarmine University. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

“People that are racist and homophobic, they are actively oppressing people of color and minorities and the LGBT community, which I’m a part of,” Brown said. “It was pretty sad to see that and be like, ‘Oh my God, those people don’t really like me, I don’t want to respect them for that.’”

Bellarmine President Susan Donovan called the board insulting and offensive, saying it was a misguided attempt to bring awareness to diversity issues.

“What drew attention was the, not so much offensive, just blatantly wrong statements that were made,” student Peyton O’Leary said. “They don’t reflect the mission of Bellarmine or our core values.”

As a senior, O’Leary is more than familiar with the core values calling students to respect individuality. However, Donovan said the school cannot respect those who express hate and intolerance.

Bellarmine President Susan Donovan called the board insulting and offensive, saying it was a misguided attempt to bring awareness to diversity issues.
Bellarmine President Susan Donovan called the board insulting and offensive, saying it was a misguided attempt to bring awareness to diversity issues. (Source: Bellarmine/WAVE 3 News)

“It’s really opened up a space for dialogue,” O’Leary said.

Recognizing humans make mistakes, Donovan said this can be a learning opportunity.

“It’s interesting to see us try to put that into play, yes, we’re inclusive, what are we going to do about this?” Brown said. “Bellarmine has always been a very accepting school. I believe in Bellarmine.”

Donovan said she’s been meeting with students and her new Advisory Board on Equity and Inclusion.

Discussion forums have been scheduled for the next two weeks on campus to talk about the issue.

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