On Friday afternoon, a group of Louisiana Tech students involved in Prism, the organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students and their allies on campus, were alerted to the fact that the university would honor Phil Robertson from the popular reality TV show Duck Dynasty at the commencement ceremony held on Saturday.
Students only found out about Robertson’s role in commencement from faculty members, who also found out about the award the day before the ceremony.
Only a few months ago, Robertson came under fire for anti-LGBT comments in his interview with GQ Magazine. As soon as they found out about the recognition of the reality TV star, Prism members and other students at LA Tech began organizing a social media action to let the university know they did not support the university’s actions.
Students, faculty, and people across the state posted Facebook statuses and tweeted at Louisiana Tech using the hashtag #NoHonorInBigotry to send a message to the university.
Hannah Ellsworth, President of Prism, said, “We wanted to make a statement displaying our disapproval of the honoring, and for several reasons, including the minimal time we were given to react, a social media campaign was the best way to do this. Faculty, staff, and students didn’t have any time to give input since no one new until the day before.”
The social media campaign accompanied a walk-out by several faculty members during the commencement ceremony.
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