SPOKANE, Wash. -- Fans of No. 5 Gonzaga have been asked to
stop yelling "Brokeback Mountain" at opposing players.
The reference to the recent movie about homosexual cowboys was
chanted by some fans during Monday's game against Saint Mary's, and
is apparently intended to suggest an opposing player is gay.
The chants were the subject of several classroom discussions
over the past week, and the faculty advisers for the Kennel Club
booster group urged students this week to avoid "inappropriate
chants" during the Bulldogs' Saturday game against Stanford, which
was nationally televised on ESPN.
"We implore the students of the Kennel Club to show the nation
this weekend what makes Gonzaga different," Kennel Club advisers
David Lindsay and Aaron Hill wrote in a letter in the student
newspaper, the Bulletin. "We challenge the students of the Kennel
Club to exhibit the class, the creativeness and the competitive
drive that has become a foundation of this great university."
Mark Alfino, a professor of philosophy at Gonzaga, said the
matter had been widely discussed by faculty and students.
"Many faculty members have brought up the discussion in their
classes," he said. "They find none of the students have been
comfortable with the chant, and that's a good sign."
Ryan Olson, the president of Helping Educate Regarding
Orientation, a gay-straight alliance on campus, said the chants are
just the latest incident that shows GU is struggling to make gays
and lesbians welcome on campus.
In a letter to the Bulletin, the HERO membership wrote, "This
is not even remotely the first time that Kennel Club chanters have
chanted homophobic phrases at basketball games."
"A lot of people in the Kennel Club say it wasn't them" that
chanted "Brokeback Mountain," Olson said. "But there's something
to be said about apathy as well. Students didn't stop people from
In Friday's Bulletin, senior Callie Monroe wrote a column
calling the chants a case of "outright discrimination."
"Imagine yourself as a homosexual individual in the midst of
your peers, classmates and friends during this 'Brokeback Mountain'
cheer," Monroe wrote. "I simply do not understand how a student
body claiming to live by Jesuit principles of acceptance and
respect for all can allow an incident like this to happen and