Gonzaga University President Rev. Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., has asked Student Life Vice President Sue Weitz to engage a task force to investigate campus climate in the aftermath of a Feb. 6 incident involving a student chant at a men’s basketball game.
Some members of the Kennel Club, much to the dismay of fellow students, faculty and staff, chanted “Brokeback Mountain” at a pair of players from the opposing team. The players, apparently, had been pictured on a Web site kissing – apparently as a joke.
Reaction was immediate. Club advisers met with Kennel Club leadership, and Athletic Director Mike Roth and Weitz also talked with student members of the Club. Faculty on campus used the incident as a “teachable moment” and discussed the incident with students in many classes throughout last week.
Father Spitzer issued a statement exhorting Gonzaga community members to live out the mission of this Jesuit, Catholic and humanistic university by honoring the dignity of every human being. He offered apologies to those hurt or marginalized by the chant.
Kennel Club leaders, who said their members had learned a valuable lesson, vowed to be creative, intense and respectful in the future.
“We are confident that every member of the Kennel Club will uphold the values of our university . . .,” responded the Kennel Club Board in a letter to the Gonzaga Community.
Last Saturday's (Feb. 11) game against Stanford demonstrated their commitment to this promise. The Club will be closely monitored to ensure its members hold true to this vow.
Gonzaga University is committed to the Jesuit ideal of “cura personalis,” or care for the individual. The University stands by the principle that no one in society should ever be marginalized because of any actual or perceived differences.