A recent controversial article published by the Binghamton Review, Binghamton University’s student-run conservative monthly publication, has led various student groups to speak out against the publication, calling for the defunding of the organization and prompting a statement from the Student Association (SA) Executive Board.
On Feb. 21, the Binghamton Review published an article titled, “Standard Fuck Parties, Bug Chasing, and Homosexuality,” in which a writer under the pseudonym “Pino Che” reviewed a documentary centered around a subculture within the gay community.
The 2003 documentary, titled “The Gift,” highlights a community of men looking to contract HIV and engage in sexual relationships with no use of protection.
The writer went on to comment on the LGBTQ community in a manner many considered generalized and homophobic.
“This hyper-extensive, egotistical, nihilistic, self-destruction found within the homosexual community is disturbing for most Americans,” the article read.
Later in the article, the writer said those who identify as gay or transgender are too small of a percentage of the U.S. population to be garnering the attention they receive.
“This micro community has been forced into every aspect of life,” the article read. “One of our major political parties has officially taken up the cause of the .3% to force companies, schools both public and private, to allow this community to use whatever bathroom they want.”
The Binghamton Review has since taken down the issue and posted a statement on its Facebook page apologizing for the article. According to the statement, the writer will no longer be a contributor to the publication.
“We offer our sincere apologies to those negatively impacted by this article,” the statement read. “We never intend to distress our readers; the hope is that they will walk away with fresh perspectives.”
In response to the article, a group of students created an online petition to defund the publication. Chris Block, a senior double-majoring in sociology and psychology, helped advertise the petition and shared it to the Binghamton University Class of 2018 Facebook group.
“Organizations should not receive any funding if they encourage hate speech toward any community, regardless of personal opinion, and I would like to make this clear to the SA,” Block said. “There’s no issue with having a conservative viewpoint; however, hate speech is absolutely detrimental to many people both on and off campus and simply cannot be tolerated.”
At the SA Congress meeting on Monday, Sarah Samson, the president of SHADES and a junior majoring in human development, spoke out against the article.
According to the meeting’s minutes, representatives of SHADES, a BU organization that acts as a support group for people who identify as LGBTQIAP+ and are of color, demanded a statement from Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger to condemn the publication, and the de-chartering of the Binghamton Review.
SHADES was unavailable for comment.
According to Patrick McAuliffe, the editor-in-chief of the Binghamton Review and a junior double-majoring in philosophy and political science, the organization is aware of the petition and is currently doing legal research on the matter.
“We’ve looked into what can legally be done, under SA bylaws, about defunding or de-chartering an SA organization,” McAuliffe said. “We’ve also already contacted legal help with organizations outside the University to see whether it can be done under state or federal law, as Binghamton University is a state school.”
Free Press, a publication that shares an office with the Binghamton Review in the basement of the University Union, also spoke out against the article and publication in a statement on its Facebook page.
“While we respect other writers and publications’ right to express their opinions, we cannot remain compliant with The Review any longer,” the statement read.
On Tuesday, the SA E-Board sent out a response to the entire student body about the article, condemning the issue as well as another article about sexual assault published by the Binghamton Review.
“We are appalled this blatantly hateful content was produced on campus at the expense of students and community members who fall subject to such bigotry,” the statement said. “The aforementioned rhetoric contributes to a hostile environment for LGBTQIAP+ people as well as survivors of sexual assault.”
The Binghamton Review’s office bulletin board was vandalized around midnight Thursday. The comments included phrases like “no platform for fascists.”
According to SA President Jermel McClure Jr., a senior majoring in political science, a grievance has to be brought to the SA Judicial Board in order for a club to lose its charter.
“If they decide that a rule within our governing documents has been broken, they can choose the proper course of action in reprimanding the organization,” McClure wrote in an email.
McClure said the SA is also looking to facilitate educational discussions to avoid future situations.
“We also are working with organizations to ensure educational conversations regarding statements like the ones made in the article published by the Binghamton Review are occurring,” McClure wrote. “It is important that students understand why those sorts of comments are problematic.”