Since early on in the semester the Fellowship of Associated Gay Students have been riding the wake of a tsunami size controversy created around the induction of their new acronym, FAGS.
Now, almost two months later, whether or not the San Diego Community College District will recognize the name change remains unresolved. The case is now in the hands of Equal Opportunity Site Compliance officer, Mary Coleman. Coleman did not respond to requests to comment on the issue.
Whatever happens FAGS is determined to keep their name.
“I see that they have no grounds to censor our name. If this activity continues we are planning on seeking legal council to file an injunction,” said president of FAGS Jason Frye-Kolarik.
While waiting for word from the administration for the clearance of the acronym, FAGS has had other matters to contend with.
At this time the club is not even recognized as an official club on City Campus due to advisor issues.
FAGS anticipates having their new advisor, assistant professor of health and exercise science Andi Milburn, instated by Nov. 10.
Dean of student affairs, Denise Whisenhunt said that many student clubs have trouble finding advisors that fit City College guidelines, specifically that they be full time professors, and that FAGS is not alone in this instance. She says that the administration is doing its best to offer support to these clubs while they look for eligible advisors, but FAGS president Jason Frye-Kolarik suspects that the difficulties they have experienced this semester have more to do with personal prejudice than regulation.
“We’ve been stifled and that has thrown our semester off here,” said Frye-Kolarik. “We’ve had one stumbling block after another until the faculty advisor that we found this semester wasn’t eligible when we’ve had part time faculty in the past. Things keep being re-interpreted. It’s very fishy.”
Frye-Kolarik sites the removal of F.A.G.S. posters on campus as another example of the campus reacting to the club unfairly.
“Our posters were taken down because they were in the wrong area, however the cafeteria is absolutely full of posters that are in the wrong area and so I feel that there is semblance of dishonesty happening right now and it’s disheartening and disappointing,” Frye-Kolarik said.
Wisenhunt was unable to be reached as this article went to press for a response to Frye-Kolarik’s accusations.
“There is a balance between free speech and protecting those that might be offended. In my role we have to make sure there is that balance,” Said Whisenhunt in an earlier interview where she also expressed what she thought were positive elements that had come from the clubs name change.
“If it makes people think more critically or grapple with issues they may not have thought about before that’s good for a college community, not just students, but faculty and administration as well,” Whisenhunt said.