On September 27th, Quinn Griffith released a short survey on UC Merced Classifieds in hopes to “help promote greater equality and recognition of minority groups on our campus.” This survey asked if participants believe the Pride flags should be taken down, and if so, replaced with the American Flag, a UC Merced banner, or a Heritage Month flag and/or banner, such as the current Hispanic/Latino Heritage Month banner/symbol. The release of this survey resulted in hostility from the Lambda Alliance, an LGBTQ+ & Ally organization on campus.
On the same day, Griffith attended the ASUCM Senate in response to the survey and the hostility it may or may not have caused amongst the LGBTQ+ community. He did so in hopes to clarify and clear out the air of any stigma. He stated,
“It is my intent with this survey and initiative to foster a campus environment that promotes equality, awareness, and recognition of all minority groups or just different groups on our campus in general and to not favor just one group. I myself am a member of the LGBTQ+ community and feel that we should share this recognition and awareness with other groups on campus.”
Griffith also openly admitted,
“I would also like to concede and admit that my wording of the survey could be better, and appreciate the feedback of several senators who brought it to my attention that my survey could have been worded in a more neutral and positive way. It is my hope that we can come to a resolution that represents the wants of our student body, the Senate’s constituents, and faculty of UC.”
After delivering his speech to the Senate, Griffith received numerous responses. A member of the Lambda Alliance questioned,
“Do you find this to be conclusive data because: one, your wording is not acceptable, it’s completely objective within the survey you created. Two, there’s no actual proof that anyone that takes this survey (you said 90 students). There’s no proof that they are students. They were just accepted onto the UC Merced Classifieds page and three you haven’t posted any data and you said that the survey hasn’t even closed yet, so in what way is this survey complete or conclusive or accurate. What makes this survey valid if you’ve already recognized that the wording in it is not okay?”.
Griffith responded, “The way I worded it could’ve been better and I do have at least some sort of way of making sure these respondents are UC Merced students because the survey does allow me to look at the IP address and geographical location”
Lambda Alliance was then given time to deliver their own speech. One of their arguments against the survey was:
”[The argument of] ‘Pride month is only one month’ seems to be used as justification for the removal of the Pride Flags Scholars Lane, since it is no longer Pride Month right now. However, queer culture, queer music, art history, language, film, etc. does not only exist in this material world once a month. Queer and trans folks are here before and after Pride month.”
One of the last points given by the Lambda Alliance was,
“For those individuals who are senators that have sided with one way and not really looked at the whole thing please recognize the political climate. The graduate center has been vandalized. It is small, yet it is still white supremacy mentality,” to which the audience responded extremely positively.
Currently, Griffith is still attempting to create a campus environment that promotes equality, awareness, and recognition of all minority groups and plans to release a more professional survey soon.