Gail Durkin ‘26
Rising tensions in our nation’s political climate has become increasingly apparent in recent months, so much that it has led to an inordinate polarization between groups of students. One such example is seen in the incredibly high strain between the Pride RSO and the Fenwick Review RSO. As we watch the nation, and in turn our campus, divide itself, we must ask ourselves as a community: where does the line between exercising individual opinions bleed into hate speech, libel, and discrimination?
Due to this increasing political divide, the campus Pride organization has been incredibly active lately, with protests such as the Trans Day of Visibility Vigil or the more recent Fenwick Silent Sit-In. But what has been inspiring these protests? What are they achieving? The message underlying each protest calls for President Rogeau and other members of the Holy Cross administration to prevent the Fenwick Review, and any other student organizations, from any form of marginalizing commentary. One student’s poster at the Silent Sit-In read “I ask Holy Cross to break their silence about how the Fenwick Review contributes to a culture of hate towards LGBTQ+ students.” It has been made clear: Pride is determined to take action against the Fenwick Review.
This action is being taken because the Fenwick Review’s public Instagram account, which is directly affiliated with the journal, has been consistently posting media that is either subtly or outright marginalizing, often with the angle of accusing members of the LGBTQIA+ community of pedophilia. For example, there has recently been an uptick in the use of the word “groomers” by the Fenwick Review to describe LGBTQ+ community members. A recent upload to the Fenwick Review Instagram Story features a post by @gaysagainstgroomers which displays Kaitlyn Jenner taking a stand against pedophilia in the LGBTQ+ community. This, alongside several of their posts, specifically target transgender people as pedophiles.
There have been several other instances of posts involving LGBTQ+ identities. The Fenwick Review posted a meme on its story captioned “when you send your son to school in a blue state” which depicted, in meme form, a gender transition– the implication being that all young men attending school in any left-leaning state will automatically become transgender. This post, along with a few other memes which depict transgender or queer people in a negative light, such as the since-removed meme comparing TikTok influencer and transgender advocate Dylan Mulvaney to the Chinese government, received several Title IX bias reports. The Instagram page does indeed exhibit bias, lacking an air of professionalism which has been replaced with memes and provocative posting.
Another recent Fenwick Review article on the budgeting for Holy Cross student organizations specifically calls out the funding for Multicultural Student Organizations (MSO’s) or Identity-Based Organizations (IBO’s). This article takes issue with the fact that these organizations are funded on student activity fees, and also expresses discomfort with the fact that these organizations receive funding for events marketed explicitly as students of color or LGBTQ events, despite the fact that these events are open to everyone on campus. The article goes on to say that the only reason these organizations get such a large share of the budget is because of a feeling of guilt in the SGA, and a “white savior” complex. It is interesting that this article explicitly cites the Pride RSO as an example of an organization that receives too much of a budget.
Since the Fenwick Review is a registered organization with the college, there is an issue when the organization intentionally posts something that can be considered discrimination. Posts such as these and articles that similarly marginalize LGBTQ+ people are examples of how the Fenwick Review actively promotes a culture of hatred for queer identities here on campus. While Pride has been putting more and more pressure on administrators to prevent posts such as that, so far the only action taken has been an all-school email from President Rougeau proclaiming his support for LGBTQ+ students and recognizing that “there is still work to be done.” Many at Pride are waiting with bated breath to see if these words are true, and if President Rougeau will take any action against the Fenwick Review.
Featured photoshop image courtesy of @FenwickReview, Canva, Leidos.com, and Shanil Perez ’24
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