True purpose of Yale editorial misunderstood

By on October 23, 2013

By: Amanda Salzano

When Maria Wu’s editorial about Quinnipiac initially went viral, I was happy to see the Yale Daily News finally had published something positive about our school. However, it did not take long for a small fight to break out among Yale and Quinnipiac students over the term “anti-intellectual.” Because of those comments and the ongoing “rivalry” between Yale and Quinnipiac, the true purpose of the article was lost on the rest of the readers.

A comment that was posted on the Facebook group “Overheard at Yale” said, “Qpac girls are so stupid. Like, I bet you could ask one of them ‘Would you like to fornicate?’ and she just wouldn’t understand you at all.” “Qpac” is not a term that is positive in any sense. Qpac is synonymous with “slut” or “whore” or any degrading term you can think of for a woman. Based on this knowledge, my interpretation of this statement would be: “Slutty Quinnipiac girls are so stupid, you could easily take advantage of them and they would have no idea that it was happening.”

In lieu of the recent alleged sexual assault case between the Yale and Quinnipiac students, is this the type of message we want broadcasted? And furthermore, where is our voice in all of this? Why are we not protecting ourselves from what is truly a worse statement about the female Quinnipiac population but we are so quick to freak out about being called anti-intellectual? And let’s face it, that statement is not even a rational one given the fact that one cannot be anti-intellectual if they are a college student seeking to further their education.

Based on my own strong convictions, I took the initiative to meet with Wu this past weekend. She is nothing short of a lovely girl who is a budding social activist that doubles as a chemistry major. As for the quote that sparked a fire within her to write her own article, she had this to say, “You wouldn’t make a racist or a sexist joke, so why is this any different?”

When Wu initially discovered the term “Qpac girl” and that its definition was “a Quinnipiac slutty girl who barely wears any clothing to Toad’s,” she was perplexed for two reasons. First, Yale girls dress similarly to Quinnipiac girls at Toad’s; and secondly, who goes to Toad’s to be a good person? (As she puts it – you have to laugh at the truth of that statement.)

Though the original post on the Facebook group “Overheard at Yale” about the “stupid Qpac girls” received a lot of negative feedback from Yalies, we both couldn’t help but wonder if the tragedy of a sexual assault between the schools never had happened, would there have been any negative feedback? And on my end, I could not help but wonder was it just rape culture that prevented us from reacting, or had the Yale/Quinnipiac rivalry clouded our sense of decency?

I often think about the victim in the alleged sexual assault case and if they read the article counting on our support. I often think about my sisters, especially the ones who have three years left of going into New Haven, wondering what kind of crude, undeserving comments may be thrown their way. For a group of educated young women and men, we have let a rivalry (that should have remained on the ice), cloud our judgment and cause us to say some not-so-nice things about people we barely know.

There was a time, three years ago, when I was walking past the Yale University campus with my friends on a Saturday night. A group of men called out “Qpac! Look at those Qpac girls!” followed by a lot of snickering and leering. No one said anything. Today, almost four years later, something is being said in the hopes, that this “rivalry” can be put to bed and that the term “Qpac” can be eliminated from everyone’s vocabulary before someone else gets hurt.

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