Students speak out against hate

On Friday Apr. 28, the Hate Is coalition rallied at the Waterman steps from 12-2 pm. “Hate Is, is a coalition of UVM students of varying identities, banding together in support of diversity, safety, and respect within and between all UVM communities and the student body as a whole,” said Hate Is member Jaska Bradeen. In the previous week, the Hate Is coalition conducted public awareness campaigns that brought attention to homophobia on the University of Vermont campus. Members of the coalition lay in mock death in front of a root beer float table on Random Acts of Kindness Day, in front of the UVM Bookstore. Hate Is also posted fliers throughout the campus that displayed examples of racist, sexist, and homophobic rhetoric used by UVM students. The majority of the fliers were pages printed from Facebook. On the UVM Facebook site there are dozens of groups that affiliate themselves with terms and beliefs that Hate Is considers to be hateful and marginalizing. One of the Facebook groups reprimanded by Hate Is is titled “UVM Girls Are Sluts,” which has nine members. This group claims that “UVM girls are easy so go out and get them.” The Facebook page was printed out and written on with a black marker, so that the faces and names of the group members remained anonymous. The words, “sexist,” “hate is,” and “hurt” were written around the edge of the page. Another Facebook page that was printed and used as a flier was the “Boys Suck Big Dong!” group, which Hate Is claims depicts men in a homophobic manner by characterizing acts of male on male fellatio as an oppressive punishment for men who frustrate women. After obtaining a permit to protest at Waterman, the coalition hosted a rally that attracted over fifty people. The rally was an open forum speak-out at which all people were encouraged to attend and speak into a microphone about their experiences with alienation and hate at UVM. The rally attracted students, staff, faculty and administrators alike and had a strong LGBTQA presence with Dorothea Brauer, LGBTQA Services Director of the Diversity & Equity Unit, speaking against hateful practices and inspiring hope for an equitable future. Members of the Student Labor Action Project attended the rally and stood in support of the Hate Is movement. The crowd was excited and acted empowered by the event, brandishing signs that solicited honks from cars that drove by on South Prospect Street.