THE SANTA CLARA
February 20, 2014
Exclusion due to sexual orientation prompts discussion and investigation
On the night of Friday, Jan. 24, sophomore Alex Golding went out with his friends but was kicked out of an off-campus party for being openly gay.
According to Golding, he was talking with friends while taking a break from dancing inside a Lafayette Street residence known as “Zoo House” when a Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity member approached him.
“He asked me what my name was, so I told him, and he said ‘You need to get the f— out of my house, really aggressively,” said Golding. “I asked him what I did and he just kept getting closer and closer to me and said ‘You need to leave.’”
While exiting the house, Golding was heckled by several individuals.
“As I was walking across the lawn to leave, (I) saw five or six other guys on the porch of the house who were pointing and laughing at me,” said Golding, noting that the group of partygoers also used a homophobic slur.
Freshman Grace McKinney, who attended the party with Golding, said that they had been at the house for about 15 minutes before Golding was told to leave. McKinney also confirmed hearing a homophobic slur directed at Golding as he left.
Golding explained the incident to members of Gay and Straight People for the Education of Diversity, an organization within the Santa Clara Community Action Program. GASPED mobilized a group called Students for a Just Community in order to respond to the incident.
On Sunday, Jan. 26, the group delivered an open letter to both the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house and Zoo House. The letter explained the incident and requested a meeting with the fraternity to discuss inclusion.
“There have been a lot of conversations all year about how party culture at Santa Clara is exclusive,” said SCCAP Director Dominique Troy, “and how there have been incidents in which members of our community have felt violated and disrespected, or approached in inappropriate ways as it relates to their race, sexual orientation or gender.”
According to Troy, the Office of Student Life is currently investigating the incident. Students for a Just Community has also been in contact with Pi Kappa Alpha, which has agreed to meet with the group to discuss inclusion.
“What this highlights is that homophobia still exists on campus,” said Golding.
In an email to The Santa Clara, Pi Kappa Alpha declined to comment on Golding’s dismissal from the party.
Contact Sophie Mattson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.