The University of Virginia's student council has unanimously passed a resolution to bar co-eds from inserting the word "not" before the word "gay" (meaning "happy") in the school's song, which is performed at athletic events.
As Outsports reports, UVA students have been inserting the word in the school's traditional "Good Ol' Song" since the 1970s, but previous calls to change the practice have fallen on deaf ears.
Not so this time, the report notes.
"Using the proposed resolution, Council seeks to take a stand against the chanting of the unscripted phrase -- a phrase that members see as contrary to the safe and welcoming environment the university seeks to provide to all its students," Emily Hutt and Jordan Bower of UVA's Cavalier Daily report. "Council members said they hoped the legislation would be a step toward ending disrespectful or derogatory acts toward LGBTQ communities and supporters."
Though some students reportedly questioned how effective the ban could be, others praised the move. Among them was student Eric McDaniel, a college representative and the council’s director of university relations, who called the chant “a relic of hate from a time of intolerance that we have more than progressed past," according to the Cavalier Daily.
A lengthy editorial that also appeared in the student newspaper echoed those sentiments. "[The phrase] ostracizes students, embarrasses the school and is downright oppressive whether blared by hundreds or just a few," staff wrote. "The expression is factually, morally and in all senses wrong; it’s been a burden for both the chanters and listeners...The people still shouting 'not gay' should realize the weight of a slur. We will just ask they think a little harder before saying it next time — there’s no need to yell."
Earlier this month, students at an Alabama high school reportedly faced disciplinary action after displaying a homophobic banner at a nationally-televised football game. When ESPN broadcast Spanish Fort High School's victorious 20-14 matchup against Daphne High School, a group of students was revealed to be holding up a banner reading, "Purple? Man, that's GAY" -- an apparent dig at Daphne's school colors.