Main | Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Name Clash For Gay Student Groups At San Diego Community Colleges

This should provoke some interesting discussion. In San Diego, gay student associations at two community colleges are clashing with administrators over the acronym for their name: FAGS.
Members of gay and lesbian clubs at two San Diego community colleges say campus administrators have violated their free speech rights by repeatedly blocking attempts to advertise their shared acronym: FAGS. Frye stands by the use of the acronym for the club, whose full name is The Fellowship of Associated Gay Students & Straight Allies.

“We wanted something with a little pop to it, and we wanted to neutralize an epithet like a lot of groups have done with the word 'queer,' ” Frye said. The conflict has forced the schools to weigh students' free speech rights against the rights of offended employees and other students.

Richard Dittbenner, spokesman for the San Diego Community College District, which oversees both schools, said the acronym generated complaints from some staff members and students at City College.
FAGS vice president Brande Faris: “I thought it was a fabulous name. I think anything that challenges people's paradigm and gets them to think outside the box, and at the same time reclaims what has been used as a hate word, is a positive thing.”

Last year's posters included the proclamation: "The FAGS Are Back."


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