The Westboro Baptist Church has announced it will picket Vassar College on February 28 because of the school’s reputation as a gay-friendly institution. (We realize that’s a lame reason to demonstrate, but this is WBC we’re talking about.)
But, making lemonade out of lemons, the Vassar community quickly sprung into action. Vassar President John Chenette addressed the planned demonstration in a statement:
In the face of Westboro’s statements, we want to celebrate the inclusiveness of our community and the multitude of backgrounds, interests, and preferences that enrich our experiences. In an effort to coordinate activities that members of the campus and alumnae/i communities are planning, the senior staff of the college has organized a group representative of students, faculty, staff, and alumnae/i to serve as a clearinghouse and sounding board. I know they will foster an array of events that will speak powerfully to our values.
If you have ideas you would like to share with the coordinating group, please send them to its email account, email@example.com.
Judging from the flood of comments so far, they probably cannot respond to everyone; but they will read and consider each contribution as the plans develop. We look forward to sharing more specifics with you soon.
One group started a fundraising drive for the Trevor Project, which provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBT youth.” Currently, the campaign has garnered more than $20,000 in donations.
If you’d like to help make that number higher, you can donate here.