Warning: Some Of The Following Content May Be Offensive. NOTRE DAME — Backlash is growing following the publication of a cartoon that makes a joke about violence against homosexuals. It appeared in Wednesday's edition of The Observer--the student-run newspaper at Notre Dame and Saint Mary's College. The daily, independent newspaper is produced on campus solely by students, without oversight by University or College personnel. Both the newspaper's editors and the cartoon's authors published apologies in Friday's edition of The Observer. But some say the damage is already done. "I was really just dumbfounded that this kind of stuff is still said," said Saint Mary's College Junior Laurel Javors, a social work major who also serves as Vice President of Saint Mary's Gay-Straight Alliance group. "There was anger," Javors continued. "But also,--how can I use this anger in a productive way, as opposed to just firing back equally hateful rhetoric? My own journey to acceptance was really hindered by hate. And, I just really want to eliminate that for other students." But, opening Wednesday's edition of The Observer, she realized she has a long road ahead in order to accomplish that goal. Inside, she found a cartoon entitled "The Mobile Party," drawn by three Notre Dame students. One character--who appears to be a hacksaw-- asks the other character: "What is the easiest way to turn a fruit into a vegetable?" "I don't know," replies the other. "A baseball bat," says the saw. "Fruit" is used as a derogatory term to describe a homosexual. "Vegetable" is used as slang for someone in a coma. The cartoon drew rolled eyes from some. "I could understand why some people would think that it promotes violence. Personally, I don't think of it that way," said Notre Dame freshman Philip Babb. Other students and even some faculty had a different reaction. "I find it a little bit offensive," said Notre Dame freshman Katie Gundrum. "I don't think it's right," agreed Notre Dame freshman Melody Alvarado. "I like the fact that they did apologize. But, it still wasn't right in the first place. It bothers me that people can have such disrespectful statements toward people just because of their sexual preference," said Notre Dame freshman Cedric Strickland. At least one national gay rights group is also now involved in the fray stemming from the cartoon's publication. "This promotes violence against gay people," Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Senior Media Analyst Adam Bass told WSBT by phone Friday. "This type of thing--this type of violence does happen. So, it's really not a laughing matter at all." Still, Bass says the first version of the cartoon that wasn't published was actually much worse. "I've been assured by the editor-in-chief that she wasn't on duty that night. But, there were, in-fact, staff members who viewed an earlier version of this cartoon that used AIDS as the punchline. That isn't funny at all. It's just as offensive," Bass said. "They apparently agreed that the baseball bat version was more--quote, unquote--lame. So, there was actually discussion about it not being appropriate at first. And, it's really disappointing that they came to the conclusion that this version was appropriate because it was viewed as lame," Bass continued. Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins, C.S.C. agreed. He released the following statement Friday: “The University denounces the implication that violence or expressions of hate toward any person or group of people is acceptable or a matter that should be taken lightly. In accordance with Notre Dame’s Spirit of Inclusion, a formal statement adopted by the officers of the University in 1997, at Notre Dame we prize the uniqueness of all persons as God’s creatures and welcome all people, regardless of color, gender, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, social or economic class, and nationality. Further, we value gay and lesbian members of this community as we value all members of this community. We condemn harassment of any kind and we consciously create an environment of mutual respect, hospitality and warmth in which none are strangers and all may flourish." The response was also swift from The Observer's editors and the comic's authors, who published written apologies in Friday's edition of the newspaper calling the comic "offensive and distasteful," and its publication "a grave error." Notre Dame's Core Council for Gay and Lesbian Students, which acts to advise University administrators about gay, lesbian and bi-sexual student needs, plans to release a statement on The Observer's editorial page on Monday. Observer Editor-in-Chief Jenn Metz declined WSBT's request for an on-camera interview Friday, but released the following statement: "The Observer staff is investigating how and why such offensive, hateful and inappropriate content made its way onto our pages. The violent and ignorant sentiment professed in "The Mobile Party" comic is not shared by the members of The Observer staff. We have talked to a representative from GLAAD and are working to contact groups in our community to begin to move forward and help to eliminate language of hate toward others on campus. We will be working over the next several days to publish revised policies, editing processes and staff changes, and hope that our community can accept our sincere and deepest apology." Javors hopes they will also accept something else: a challenge. "Even without the comic, people already think that it's OK to think and say these things," she said. "We live in a culture where use of homophobic language has become second nature. People will say something homophobic and not even realize it." "If anything good can come of this, it's that there will be more dialog," Javors continued. "I hope that they will take this to be a learning opportunity, and that they can bring forth a healthy dialog and turn this into a positive."