Content Any Way U Want It!

BG Falcon Media

Content Any Way U Want It!

BG Falcon Media

Content Any Way U Want It!

BG Falcon Media

Join our team
Join the Falcon Media team for Spring semester - paid staff positions, internships, volunteer opportunities. Applications open now until October 13. Get the details!
The BG News
BG24 Newscast
September 21, 2023

Follow us on social
  • My Fiction Icks
    By Jay Grummel When you read as much as I do you start to notice common things in fiction that make you annoyed, upset  or even want to put down the book completely. I have a bad habit of not giving books much of a chance when they use some of these personal ‘icks’. However, […]
  • Poetry for Fall
    By Jay Grummel Poetry has a way of connecting us to the external and internal world. In poetry it is easier to feel a season and truly feel a piece due to this. Poetry has a subtle way of making the readers immersed into the world of the poem. With the air getting colder and […]

‘Sexist’ signs targeted for removal

For more than 20 years, students and community members who live on Wooster Street have been displaying signs during move-in weekend with what some consider sexist messages.

“Daughter drop off,” “We’ll trade beers for girls,” “Freshman boy drop off” and “Freshman girl training center” are examples of the messages that have been on the signs in the past.

Now, graduate student Diana DePasquale and Faculty Senate are trying to stop the signs.

During its meeting Tuesday, Faculty Senate passed a resolution calling for the Dean of Students’ office to “impose the appropriate sanctions against students found in violation of Student Code of Conduct regarding sexual harassment that creates a hostile environment.”

DePasquale tried to do something about the signs in August, but Jill Carr, vice president of Student Affairs, said the office has been trying to do something about them for years.

“[It’s] something we’ve worked on consistently over the years because it certainly does not present a positive image of the community or University,” Carr said.

Student Affairs has worked with the city on stopping the signs and has made progress, as Carr said the signs used to be bigger until the city passed a size ordinance.

The University police have also knocked on doors and talked to people about taking down the signs during move-in weekend for the past three years, said University Police Chief Monica Moll.

This year, Moll would like University officials to go out the week before move-in and be more “proactive” about stopping the signs.

“My big hope is that we can come together … [Student Affairs] has been kind of the lone ranger on this for many years,” Carr said. “There’s a fine line between free speech and a hostile environment, verbal abuse … or however you look at it.”

If those displaying the signs are students and are violating the student code of conduct, they can be punished through the University, but only if a student files a complaint.

According to the student code of conduct, something could be considered sexually harassing if: “[It] has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s employment or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or educational environment.”

DePasquale and Julie Haught, senior lecturer in English, said the signs do create a hostile environment.

“There’s a pervasive culture in this town,” DePasquale said. “Living here has changed the way I think about things … Living in this town I’ve gotten so inured to all these sexist and racist forces at work.”

DePasquale said she feels unsafe walking in Bowling Green. While DePasquale is uncomfortable with the signs and the message she said they send, some students feel like the signs are all in good fun.

“It’s just kind of an upperclassmen thing,” said a senior who lives on Wooster and wishes to remain anonymous.

The senior said she likes the signs and has even displayed them herself.

She and her female roommates displayed a sign that said “freshman boy drop off” in August 2013 while “day drinking” and were told to take it down by University officials.

The senior said she was looking forward to displaying the signs when she moved into the house in August 2013.

People smiled, honked and waved at the senior and her friends in August while they were displaying the signs, just as she did when she was a freshman.

“It’s an excuse to get drunk and we’re making fun of freshmen,” she said.

The signs are often accompanied by drinking, parties and loud music, Moll said.

As far as the signs being offensive or sexist, the senior said she thinks that people do not realize she and her friends are not being serious.

“It’s just something that’s gone on for years,” she said.

DePasquale said she doesn’t think the signs are all in good fun.

“Telling people year after year they don’t matter as much as you do – that’s not in good fun,” she said.

Sarah Rainey, assistant professor in the School of Cultural and Critical Studies, said it’s important to do something about the signs because “it’s dehumanizing to women.”

Haught became involved in efforts to stop the signs when DePasquale approached her and said she thinks students and other display the signs because they don’t think there’s anything wrong with it.

“We’re all told it’s benign,” she said.

When DePasquale came to Haught in March, she had previously talked to someone in the Dean of Students’ office and other campus officials about her discomfort with the signs.

“The town demonstrates year after year that it is not concerned about creating a safe environment for women by allowing these signs to go up,” DePasquale said.

She was told to file a complaint with the student conduct office, which was Carr’s advice to people who are concerned about the signs.

DePasquale didn’t file a complaint because she believes it’s not a student to student issue. A complaint hasn’t been filed about the signs in 10 years, Carr said.

DePasquale is currently, at Haught’s suggestion, trying to get all of the governing bodies to pass resolutions about the signs.

Haught, English department senator, wrote the Faculty Senate resolution, which will now go to city council, the Town and Gown commission, the city human rights commission and the Office of the Dean of Students.

Undergraduate Student Government and Graduate Student Senate have also been called upon to create resolutions.

GSS is meeting with someone Friday to discuss a resolution and USG hasn’t begun discussing it yet, as the presidency just changed hands.

Carr said Student Affairs is working with the city to try to get landlords to put language in the lease prohibiting the signs.

The issue was discussed at a recent Public Safety Advisery Committee meeting and different approaches were brought up, Moll said.

Though the goal for Moll is to end the “tradition” the signs have become, she said she thinks there will have to be a change in culture.

“We have to get to a point where ‘it’s just free speech’ or ‘it’s just boys being boys’ is not an acceptable answer,” Rainey said.

Leave a Comment
Donate to BG Falcon Media

Your donation will support the student journalists of Bowling Green State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to BG Falcon Media

Comments (0)

All BG Falcon Media Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *