University plans event to reaffirm the values of civility, dignity and respect


Chapel PlazaFaculty, staff, and students at Fairfield University will gather to reaffirm their commitment to the values of civility, dignity, compassion, and respect during a candlelight vigil for acceptance on Wednesday, Nov. 3, at 5:30 p.m. at the Chapel Plaza.

In light of recent national events, where a number of teens and college students were bullied and tormented to the point where they took their own lives, Fairfield University will hold a candlelight vigil, where the goal is to 'shine a light' and urge the campus community to stand-up against hate. Suicide rates are much higher for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) students than any other group, and Meredith Marquez, who is the associate director of student diversity programs at Fairfield says it's important that we take the time to not only remember the lives that have been lost as a result of homophobic bullying, but also to recommit ourselves to creating an environment that openly accepts and embraces all members of our community.

University officials say they are committed to the moral imperative of an open and egalitarian community. "At a Jesuit institution, we are called to be 'Men and Women for Others,' and this candlelight vigil is one we can live out that value," said Marquez.

The vigil, which is being coordinated by Fairfield's campus ministry, and the offices of student diversity programs, and residence life, will provide an opportunity for the University and public to come together and show support for those in the LGBTQ community, who have been affected by harassment and violence. "It would be great to see members of the public come to the candlelight vigil so that we can stand as a complete community in opposition to intolerance," says Marquez.

For more information contact Wylie Blake, campus minister at (203) 254-4000 ext. 2668 or e-mail at wblake@fairfield.edu.

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Media Contact: Mark Gregorio, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, mgregorio1@fairfield.edu

Posted on November 1, 2010

Vol. 43, No. 97