Queer News On Campus [QNOC] Articles Digest
For the week ending 2009.03.15
Brought to you by the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals. http://www.lgbtcampus.org
Archives of the QNOC Digest can be found at http://queernewsoncampus.blogspot.com
Reminder: If you come across articles that should be included in the digest, please email a link to the article to email@example.com
1. Chicago Pride - Police investigate attack on gay student at DePaul University
2. Chicago Flame (University of Illinois at Chicago) - UIC scores 'A' on higher-ed gay visibility report
3. The Cornell Daily Sun - Conference Explores New Field of Trans Studies
4. The Earth Times - Stanford Medical Students Want to Help Gay Patients Be Comfortably ‘Out’ in Doctor’s Office
5. The Maneater (University of Missouri – Columbia) - Letter to the Editor: Bowen discriminates against people who are transgender
6. SUNY Cortland News - Author Claudia Brenner, An Anti-Gay Violence Survivor, to Speak Here March 30
7. TCU Daily Skiff (Texas Christian University) - Students petition for LGBT resource center
8. The Spectator (Seattle University) - Catholic publications outraged by transgender week
9. The Spectator (Seattle University) - Hate crimes escalate near campus
10. TCU Daily Skiff (Texas Christian University) - LGBT dialogue beneficial to university
11. TheNews.org (Murray State) – Opinion: Does Senate Bill 68 target gay adoption? Yes
12. Tulsa World - Students spring into action
13. WMU News (Western Michigan U) - Gay rights activist and filmmaker at Fetzer Center
14. Daily Iowan - Reaching out to aid GLBT int’l students
15. The Mac Weekly (Macalester College) - As Is explores LGBT identity
16. Pioneer Log (Lewis & Clark College)- Transgender healthcare at LC
1. Chicago Pride, March 9, 2009
3712 North Broadway, Reception #471, Chicago, Illinois 60613
Police investigate attack on gay student at DePaul University
By Kevin Wayne
Chicago, IL — DePaul University officials are warning students of two recent hate crimes on the University campus, both having occurred in the last month. The Chicago Police Department's Hate Crime Division is investigating both incidents.
19-year-old Patrick Stewart, a student at DePaul University, says three men kicked him and beat him while calling him queer and spewing hateful things at him not far from the North Side campus last month. The Feb. 6 incident occurred in the 2100 Block of North Kenmore.
In the second incident on March 3, posters featuring a Palestinian guest speaker in the DePaul Student Center were defaced with racist and anti-Semitic graffiti. The graffiti included: "Go home N----," "Remember Hitler," "whites only" and images of swastikas.
"Racial and ethnic intimidation is not a college prank, it is a crime," University President the Rev. Dennis Holtschneider told students after the incident.
DePaul University spokesperson Denise Mattson told WBBM Radio the campus has been politically charged since late January when a new campus organization, the DePaul Conservative Alliance, conducted an "affirmative action bake sale" at which blacks were charged less than whites.
In response to the two incidents, students on campus are forming a hate-awareness group.
Stewart told CBS 2 Chicago he's grateful for the support but struggles to understand why someone would attack him.
Those with information about these crimes are asked to call the Chicago Police at 3-1-1 or the DePaul Public Safety Department at 773-325-7777.
2. Chicago Flame (University of Illinois at Chicago), March 9, 2009
222 S. Morgan, suite 3E, Chicago, IL 60607
UIC scores 'A' on higher-ed gay visibility report
By Gabriela Miankova
UIC was the sole institution in the state of Illinois to receive a grade A on the first statewide report on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) presence in teacher preparation and higher education.
According to Tom Koster, a third-year mathematics major and a member of the gay community on campus, the grade given to UIC "makes sense with all that is going on at UIC for queer people."
UIC has a few outlets where the presence of homosexuals can be made visible. There is the Gender and Sexuality Center, PRIDE - the official student organization for gays - and the Chancellor's Committee on the Status of LGBTQ Issues. All three have been working hard to make sure the University is more queer-inclusive.
As opposed to numerous other institutions in the state, UIC includes gender identity and sexual orientation in their anti-discrimination policies.
"Many schools don't have either, but even more so don't have gender identity," said Koster.
Given the fact that the University offers a Gender and Women's Studies (GWS) major and minor, evidently, there is an ample amount of faculty who would include gender and sexuality into their syllabi. Prof. Allan Kershaw of the classics department teaches about the subject matter as well in his Gender and Sexual Orientation in Greek and Roman Literature, which is cross-listed as a GWS course.
Kershaw says, "It is fundamental to Greek Literature. Plato makes a case for all orientations."
When asked about the attitude of the students regarding the subject, Kershaw said, "Climate is much more accepting [of gay issues]. Decade by decade, better and better."
Third-year Spanish major Brian McCan, a straight student, said, "I'm not bothered [by gays on campus]. Everyone chooses their identity."
Alexis Tierny, a gay student and treasurer of Pride, said her French 200 course, taught by Professor Ireland, has included homosexuality by reading a story by a gay author. However, the instructor chose to reveal that fact after reading the story. Tierny, a second-year political science major, explained that the teacher wanted to offer a "different perspective."
Of all 57 institutions that were looked over, 41 received a failing grade. Six received a D, eight a C and one a B. The grading rubric of the report includes University policies; student rights and responsibilities; college education, which is the conceptual framework or dispositions documents in the institutions' teacher preparation programs and/or departments; campus life; extra credit, for which points are allocated if the institution mentions LGBTQ and/or gender identity issues in any teacher education curricular material found online or if the website features a notable, recent University-wide "special event" includes LGBTQ issues.
Points are deducted if the institution has lifestyle statements, covenants or mission documents that actively discriminate, dehumanize and/or marginalize LGBTQ individuals and communities.
"I won't pretend UIC has it all," said Koster. "We have gone a long way and are ahead of some of the universities, but there is still more to be done. There are still times where I am astounded by people in different offices or departments who are closed-minded or just don't think of LGBTQ people. So while this is a landmark for UIC, it doesn't mean UIC should stop we should keep pushing forward. Just because we did better than a lot of schools doesn't mean we should stop."
3. The Cornell Daily Sun, March 9, 2009
139 West State Street, Ithaca, NY 14850
Conference Explores New Field of Trans Studies
By Alex Berg
On Friday afternoon, there was standing room only in the Goldwin Smith English Lounge as Prof. Masha Raskolnikov, English and feminist, gender, & sexuality studies introduced TransRhetorics, a conference exploring interdisciplinary approaches within the field of Transgender Studies and the rhetorics that represent transgender lives.
“… Trans studies remains a relatively new field, even if many of us can make the argument that transgender people have an ancient history in many if not all of the world’s cultures. The relative newness of transgender studies as an academic field means that we, here, are still figuring out what the field is going to look like and where it’s going to go,” said Raskolnikov, who is also the director of lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender studies program.
The conference that took place Friday through yesterday included two keynote speakers and seven thematically organized panels with topics ranging from the medical treatment of intersex bodies to the Employment Non-discrimination Act to Nietzsche and transphobia. Approximately 20 panelists from a wide array of disciplines and backgrounds came from across and beyond the country to present papers, including invited speakers Paisley Currah, Leah DeVun, Shannon Minter law ’93, Vic Muñoz, Matt Richardson, Gayle Salamon and Prof. Susan Stryker, gender studies at Indiana University.
Stryker, an Emmy-award winning director of “Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria,” gave the first keynote in Lewis Auditorium on Friday night. Stryker, whose talk was titled “We Who Are Sexy”: The Transsexual Whiteness of Christine Jorgensen in the (Post)Colonial Philippines,” showed clips of the Filipino film We Who Are Sexy, a 1960s movie about seven gender deviant effeminate brothers, and discussed a cameo made by Christine Jorgensen, a 1950s international transsexual celebrity, in the film.
'Katastrophic': Rocco Kayiatos, also known as “Katastrophe,” takes the stage in Lewis Auditorium on Saturday night as part of the “F to eMbody” show.
Stryker expounded on how Jorgensen’s Eurocentric transsexuality interacted with the local, Filipino transsexuality, and the implications of Eurocentric domination in a postcolonial context.
Minter, the lead counsel for the same-sex marriage case in the California Supreme Court and legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, presented the paper “Category Mistakes: Why Gender Theory Should Not Guide Transgender Advocacy” in the second keynote on Saturday evening.
Minter began by citing the Pope’s Christmas message in which Pope Benedict stated that man was created by God to transmit an innate message, preserving normative gender, and that marriage should only be between a man and a woman. The Pope also asserted that transgender theory brought transgender people into existence, a worrisome statement because of its potential to single out transgender people, Minter explained.
“Up until really recently, transgender people have been below the radar. Just in the last year, the antigay movement has discovered transgender issues in a big way… There has been for a long time now a lot of antigay rhetoric that’s just everywhere and it has so deeply affected how people think about lesbian, gay and bisexual people,” Minter said.
Minter also argued that gender theory is problematic in guiding transgender legal advocacy because it obligates transgender identity to challenge the gender binary in the courtroom, a setting where a transgender person has to identify as either male or female.
“[There’s] a peculiar assumption that trans people and advocates have the responsibility to challenge gender hegemony… [And an] assumption that trans people are targeted because they destabilize the binary,” Minter said.
The impetus to organize TransRhetorics came about last fall, when Raskolnikov wanted to change Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Studies to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies. At meetings about the name change, students and faculty expressed the need for programming to match the addition of the “T.”
“If we had transgender reflected in the name of our program, it had to be reflected in the program,” said Prof. Nick Salvato, english and theater, film and dance. who attended the meetings.
Salvato explained that he is trying to highlight transgender issues in the courses he’s teaching especially given the hiring hold, which stops LGBT Studies from hiring any new faculty to teach trans studies courses.
“If we really want to see this content in courses, we’re really going to have to pony up and do it,” Salvato said.
In response to the need for programming, Raskolnikov taught “Transgender and Transsexuality,” a cross-listed English and Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies course, and convened TransRhetorics with the aid of Hope Mandeville and Seth Pardo grad.
Raskolnikov and Pardo sought to make the conference as interdisciplinary as possible.
“I think for the future of trans studies it’s incredibly important that we combine real science -- real good science, empirically based work -- with the great minds and the great thinkers of the humanities,” Pardo said.
“I’m very proud of the FGSS and LGBT department. It’s an incredibly important and historical event that’s taking place this weekend,” Pardo added.
Raskolnikov also hoped to include a diverse group of panelists.
“One of my worries is that I really wanted the conference to be inclusive of trans people of color… I think trans people of color studies are really important, really crucial, I think that’s one of the ways the field is going,” Raskolnikov said.
Raskolnikov’s concerns were a topic that resonated at the conference, particularly in a roundtable discussion between conference attendees, panelists and invited speakers after the final panel.
“It’s not enough to just talk about trans people of color. I think trans people of color need to have our own spaces to do our own work,” Richardson said.
Stryker stressed that whiteness is often unmarked and the importance of examining the whiteness of the term “transgender,” and also noted that trans women need to have the same privileges as trans men.
“Nobody escapes certain privileges. Nobody escapes marginalities… How do you use your position to redirect; you have to try and engage to figure out how you can move the right way,” Stryker said.
“There has to be work like decolonizing transgender,” Stryker added.
Richardson further expounded on the topic, “You don’t have to sit in a room in a trans conference and have it be predominantly white.”
Raskolnikov left the closing remarks to Muñoz, who discussed the globalization of theory.
“Is the English language accessible… [or] colonizing other people through privileged language. I see our work as globalized,” Muñoz said.
Raskolnikov hoped that after the conference, attendees without prior knowledge of trans studies will “ask more question about how this minority lives, whether it is a minority, what is transformative about it.”
4. The Earth Times, March 10, 2009
Stanford Medical Students Want to Help Gay Patients Be Comfortably ‘Out’ in Doctor’s Office
STANFORD, Calif. - (Business Wire) Every time he goes to a new doctor, Mitchell Lunn faces the question anew: Should he tell his doctor he’s gay?
“The question always comes up,” said Lunn, 27, a medical student from North Dakota at the Stanford University School of Medicine. “Do I want to come out or not?” This hesitancy is common with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender patients when meeting with a doctor for the first time. Often they’re scared away by homophobic comments, or simply by a basic lack of knowledge on the part of their doctor as to their unique health care concerns.
“The fear of insensitivity from their doctor has driven many patients away,” Lunn said. “Sometimes never to return.”
In an effort to continue the ongoing struggle of LGBT health activists to get adequate training of medical students on the unique health care needs within their community, a group of four Stanford medical students including Lunn have organized their own on-campus research group, called the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Medical Education Research Group.
In the spring, the group will send out surveys to the deans of medical education at schools in the United States and Canada to determine what is being taught, before moving forward with recommended improvements.
“Right now, it’s just not known exactly what is being taught in medical schools,” Lunn said. “We have a little bit of content at Stanford, which is good. But nobody knows for sure about what other schools are teaching.”
Questions on the survey range from: “When learning how to conduct a sexual history, are students at your institution taught to obtain information about same-sex relations, e.g. asking ‘do you have sex with men, women, or both?’” To: “Is there a clinical clerkship site that is specifically designed to facilitate LGBT patient care?”
The survey also provides a glossary of terms such as, “Sex reassignment surgery: the genital alteration surgery that transgender individuals sometimes undergo ... previously referred to as ‘sex change operation.’” And: “Intersex: In which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t fit the typical definitions of female or male.”
A similar survey will next be sent out to all medical students.
The four students — Elizabeth Goldsmith, Leslie Stewart, Juno Obedin-Maliver and Lunn — became aware of the lack of research regarding LGBT content in medical schools on a national level and decided to form their research group after attending the 25th annual conference of the Gay & Lesbian Medical Association, or GLMA, in 2007.
An earlier survey of medical students in 1994 by the GLMA found that “overwhelmingly, medical students had a very negative attitudes toward the LGBT community,” said Tri Do, MD, assistant adjunct professor of medicine at the University of California-San Francisco and a leading LGBT health-care activist.
“Responses showed that many students believed people with HIV deserved what they got,” Do said. “This was 1994, before (the comedienne/actress) Ellen DeGeneres came out. It was very controversial. Physicians didn’t want to come out; they didn’t want to teach these things for fear of being branded.”
More than a decade later, social attitudes have begun to change, Do said, but there remains a general level of ignorance among health-care professionals as to the documented health disparities within the LGBT community. Health disparities — such as increased risk factors for breast cancer among lesbians, higher rates of depression and anxiety due to homophobic discrimination, and increased rates of hepatitis among gay men — just aren’t well-known.
“Many providers, even knowledgeable LGB ones, do not know how to address transgender health concerns or how to address racial disparities,” Do said.
The Stanford research group’s goal is to help battle this ignorance. “Our community faces significant barriers to accessing safe, appropriate and comprehensive medical care,” the research group wrote on its Web site. “These barriers may exacerbate compelling health problems that occur disproportionately among LGBT individuals such as increased rates of certain cancers, infections, chronic diseases.”
The group received a small contribution from Stanford including money from the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford to help launch its study, and the center’s director, Gabriel Garcia, MD, who is also the medical school’s associate dean for admissions and a professor of medicine, is an advisor to the students, along with other members of the faculty. “There is ample evidence that the LGBT community is poorly served by our health-care system,” he said. “This study will challenge all health-care workers to understand their biases and develop the skills and knowledge needed to provide good health care to this community. Stanford should take immense pride in the work that Lizzy, Leslie, Juno and Mitch are doing.”
Medical student involvement in updating curricula could be key to making changes to meet the needs of the LGBT community. Emily Ferrara, assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and two UMass colleagues — including a student — presented a workshop at the 2008 annual Association of American Medical Colleges meeting providing guidelines for medical schools on how to respond to the needs of LGBT students and patients. It was the first time the topic had been on the agenda, she said. At the University of Massachusetts, the medical school has been engaged in curriculum innovation on LGBT health for the past 10 years, and most recently added the topic of transgender health to the required ob/gyn clerkship curriculum.
“For the average faculty member and student, it’s really eye-opening to learn about the unique patient care needs from the transgender patient’s perspective,” Ferrara said. “But even here in Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage is legal, we have a long way to go to improve the care provided to all LGBT patients.”
Stanford medical student Obedin-Maliver, 30, from New York City, first became involved with helping to shape the LGBT curriculum at Stanford by helping organize the school’s spring “Queer Health and Medicine” course which meets once a week and features guest lecturers and panel discussions.
She knows first-hand just how important a sensitive and well-informed medical interview is to getting adequate care for LGBT people.
“I routinely get asked about birth control,” said Obedin-Maliver, discussing her experiences as a lesbian meeting with a new doctor. “I awkwardly stumble through explaining that that’s not necessary and why. But they don’t ask the necessary follow-up questions like, ‘Are you monogamous?’ ‘Have you been screened for sexually transmitted infections?’ ‘Are you practicing safe sex?’”
She added, “Taking a really comprehensive sexual history for any patient is essential. Medical students need to learn to ask these questions with absolutely every patient, from the 89-year-old grandmother to the 16-year-old wearing a rainbow T-shirt.”
But even more important than taking a sensitive history is providing accurate medical information.
“I’ve had friends and partners given the wrong information that has led to medical problems,” Obedin-Maliver said. “The idea that women can’t transmit sexually transmitted infections to one another, that’s not true. We need to know what is the HIV transmission rate between two women, what is the rate of sexually transmitted infections. You just don’t learn these things in medical school.”
More information on the research group is available at: http://med.stanford.edu/lgbt. Undergraduate students William White Jr. and Eric Tran are also contributing members of the group.
Stanford University Medical Center integrates research, medical education and patient care at its three institutions — Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford. For more information, please visit the Web site of the medical center’s Office of Communication & Public Affairs at http://mednews.stanford.edu.
Stanford University Medical Center
Tracie White, 650-723-7628 (Print Media)
M.A. Malone, 650-723-6912 (Broadcast Media)
5. The Maneater (University of Missouri – Columbia), March 10, 2009
372 McReynolds Hall, Columbia, MO 65211
Letter to the Editor: Bowen discriminates against people who are transgender
By Paul Phillips
Marcus Bowen, it is clear to me that you have no regard for the climate of your campus, nor do you even understand the point of obtaining a college education (“Students must mature for vote,” March 9). Institutions of higher education such as this one serve the sole purpose of expanding the bodies of knowledge of those who seek such an expansion. Colleges were not founded as a means to learn just "how to make money."
We are as much here to learn more about ourselves and about other people as we are to perfect the skills for our future trades. You assert that "no one deserves to be discriminated against," but in the same breath you call for such discrimination against transgender individuals.
As your picture gives me a decent feel for your demographics -- a white male, who, I am assuming, is heterosexual and has never had an ounce of confusion about your gender identity, as I doubt you would craft such strong opinions against the LGBTQ community should I be wrong.
I would assert that you have never confronted the dilemma faced by almost every transgender individual at some point in their lives: which restroom do I use? Given this decidedly thought-provoking fact about yourself, you have no right to state so boldly that, "The present accommodations are very reasonable." Sure, they may be for you and even for myself, Mr. Bowen, but they are not at all reasonable for everyone on this campus.
Which brings me to a question that I am dying to have answered: what difference does it make to you if our bathrooms are unisex? You will still have a place to do your business in any building on campus. The silver lining to this, however, is that so too will every other student who pays just as much to have his, her or hir body of knowledge broadened at this university.
My words may fall on your deaf ears, Marcus, but my point is this: there is truly no person in this world that should face discrimination.
6. SUNY Cortland News, March 10, 2009
P.O. Box 2000, Cortland, NY 13045
Author Claudia Brenner, An Anti-Gay Violence Survivor, to Speak Here March 30
Claudia Brenner, who barely lived to write the book Eight Bullets: One Woman's Story of Surviving Anti-Gay Violence, will lecture on Monday, March 30, at SUNY Cortland.
Brenner's presentation, which begins at 7 p.m. in Old Main Brown Auditorium, continues the College's Women's History Month series of events. The event is free and open to the public.
In May 1988, Brenner survived a gunman's attack while hiking with her partner on the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania. Her partner was killed. She walked four miles out of the woods with five gunshot wounds to get help. Brenner's account of her survival, as well as her views about the American criminal justice, health care and mental health systems and her commitment to social activism, are described in her 1995 book Eight Bullets, published by Firebrand Press of Ithaca.
"Anti-gay violence is much bigger than anyone admits," Brenner said. "It affects all sorts of people. And my story seems to have a huge impact on all people because it is so horrific and it doesn't leave room for a person to stay uncommitted. When you hear the story ⎯ two women, unarmed, innocent, shot ⎯ people don't stay neutral. They go to a place of compassion."
Lecture sponsors include the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Committee; the President's and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Offices; the Women's Studies Committee of the Center for Gender and Intercultural Studies, the Cortland Foundation and the Affirmative Action Committee.
For more information about the presentation, contact Judy Ouellette, associate professor of psychology, at (607) 753-4218 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Women's History Month, contact Mechthild Nagel, director of the College's Center for Gender and Intercultural Studies and interim Women's Studies coordinator, at (607) 753-2013 or email@example.com.
7. TCU Daily Skiff (Texas Christian University), March 12, 2009
Box 298050, Fort Worth, Texas 76129
Students petition for LGBT resource center
By Maricruz Salinas
If sophomore social work major Shelly Newkirk could speak freely, she would ask you to look her straight in the eye and tell her what 'educating individuals to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in the global community' means to you. Or at least that's one of the questions she asked in her video.
Newkirk posted a video on YouTube called "If I Could Speak Freely" about the frustration she feels with the lack of resources and support within the university for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender population.
Newkirk said she met with Chancellor Victor Boschini on Feb. 20 to discuss the possibility of the university's support in establishing an LGBT resource center that would offer counseling, a media library and a full-time director.
Boschini wrote in an e-mail that even though they did not agree on every issue, he appreciated hearing directly from Newkirk.
"I think we are actually doing much more than other places I have worked in that we are even discussing this issue in the office of the chancellor," he wrote.
Boschini wrote that a resource center is already in place for LGBT students in the Office of Inclusiveness & Intercultural Services, and before his meeting with Newkirk he spoke to the director, who confirmed that the office is ready to assist the gay population.
Darren Turner, director of the Office of Inclusiveness & Intercultural Services, said the office offers the LGBT population what it does to all students, which includes organizations, support and a place to come together.
He said that the need for a resource center depends on what the needs are to the population and looking at how to accommodate that with IIS or creating a new space.
Newkirk said she and Su Harz, a junior social work major, developed an initiative, the Iris Reaction, with the ultimate goal of establishing a resource center and a full-time administrative position dedicated to maintaining a welcoming environment for the LGBT community.
Harz and Newkirk named the initiative for the iris of the eye, which lets light into the eye, and is representative of their efforts to raise awareness, Newkirk said.
Jeff Ferrell, professor of sociology and informal supporter of the Iris Reaction, said he believes the university shows an unintentional lack of support for the LGBT community, mostly because of the lack of education and understanding on the issue.
"The LGBT civil rights movement is one of the last battles being fought," Ferrell said.
Newkirk said she has experienced some instances of discrimination, one being in a classroom where the topic of homosexuality came up last spring.
She said about one-third of the class began using homophobic slurs and said gay people were "gross" and that they all have AIDS.
Newkirk said she and two other gay students were in the class but none of them spoke up.
Other students in the class attempted to defend LGBT rights and stereotypes, but the students continued their commentary, she said.
"The homophobic voices were a lot louder than the [students'], but the professor did try to keep it under control," Newkirk said. "The professor stayed after class to make sure we were OK."
Lorna Runge, a sociology professor who calls herself "an on-staff lesbian" and active member of the LGBT rights movement on campus, said when university employees receive orientation on benefits, those looking for domestic partner benefits must stay after the meeting to find out information.
"There's this requirement that you have to out yourself as a gay or lesbian person to get information rather than having it available like everyone else," Runge said.
Tracy Thompson, human resources benefits manager, said the domestic partner affidavit is mentioned during orientation when benefits are presented to new employees, but in the interest of privacy new employees are given contact information for human resources if they need additional information.
Runge said that although the university claims to offer benefits for same-sex couples, the benefits are separate from those of heterosexual couples, which further isolates LGBT employees.
However, Thompson said there are no major differences when handling domestic partner and same-sex couple benefits except when handling taxes. The only real difference is that a domestic partner must sign an affidavit while a married person must show his or her marriage license, she said.
Jenny Cureton, TCU Leadership Center coordinator and Allies member, said the risk of neglecting LGBT students' can be that students end up leaving the university, dropping out of college or even taking their own lives.
Jamal King, a freshman education pre-major and openly gay student, said the addition of a LGBT resource center is necessary because it puts the university in a position to use its power and privilege to help the oppressed, like the Office of Inclusiveness and Intercultural Services is focused on ethnicity, religious and racial issues.
Newkirk's three-and-a-half minute video has received more than 600 views since it was uploaded Jan. 27.
Newkirk and Gay-Straight Alliance officers, an active group for gay and straight students, will have a follow-up meeting with Boschini at the end of the month.
8. The Spectator (Seattle University), March 11, 2009
901 12th Ave., P.O. Box 222000, Seattle, WA 98122-1090
Catholic publications outraged by transgender week
By Alex LaCasse
Produced by Seattle University's Trans and Allies Club, Transgender Awareness Week included everything from a Transgender Bible study to a day reserved for criss-cross dressing-encouraging students to dress in their best "gender bending outfits."
While the week itself was calm and uncontroversial on Seattle U's campus, national Catholic organizations have taken to the Web, expressing concerns over the awareness week and its place on a religious campus.
The Catholic News Agency, in a story published March 1, highlighted several Jesuit universities who have recently sponsored events described as "obscene events promoting sexual ideologies" by the news agency. Among those schools were Georgetown University, Loyola University of Chicago and Seattle University.
Cardinal Newman Society president Patrick J. Reilly, speaking with the news agency, said Catholic-identifying universities should be concerned for sponsoring such events.
"These obscene abuses of Catholic values come just as Christians begin a holy season of penance, fasting and almsgiving," Reilly said. "Faithful Catholics have good reason to be outraged and heartbroken."
The Cardinal Newman Society is a national nonprofit organization that, according to their Web site, is "dedicated to renewing and strengthening Catholic identity at America's 224 Catholic Colleges and universities."
Matthew Smith, ecumenical and multifaith minister at Seattle U, is disheartened with the suggestion that a transgender awareness week does not belong on a Jesuit campus.
"At Campus Ministry, we are really committed to serving students of all sexual orientations and gender identities," said Smith. "When we look at the lives of our transgender community, there is ample opportunity to see God. I very much see God in the experience of transgender students."
Reilly disagrees and stated to the news agency, "That Catholic universities would permit these events on their campuses at any time of the year is unthinkable."
The week was the brainchild of Seattle U senior Chris Burns. The event was not the first of its kind at Seattle U. However, it was the first time in two years there was a week devoted solely to transgender awareness. Burns decided to rejuvenate it in hopes of sparking discussion.
"In different ways I have experienced trans-phobia on campus," he said. "And I would have liked to see some way for people to be introduced to how to be a good ally, how to see trans people in history, etcetera."
He said programs on campus are limited in their support for transgendered men and women.
"The trans people I've known on campus have been unsupported and they have been closeted. I just think it is important to try and change that atmosphere," he said.
Upon hearing the comments made by Reilly and several Catholic organizations, Burns' immediate reaction was to laugh.
"Sometimes you have to laugh at trans phobia because it is so hilarious," Burns said. "I'm sure this is scary to a lot of people but it doesn't mean it isn't there. I do identify as a trans person of faith. I don't see any conflict between the two."
Burns meets with the Trans and Allies club every Thursday at 6 p.m. in the OMA lounge. He encourages people of various races, gender, orientation, religion and identification to attend.
"CAPS tried to create a transgender discussion group but not enough people came so it died. It is important to have a space to bring up these issues," he said.
Jodi O'Brien, sociology professor and department chair, has focused her recent research on the transgender community. She believes, as a Jesuit university, there is an increased responsibility to highlight transgendered students because it is an issue of social justice.
"While I can acknowledge the concerns of some Catholic organizations, I think it is misplaced in this case," O'Brien said. "I think that this week is consistent with SU's practice and dedicated history of activism that addresses all forms of social injustice."
O'Brien also cited the catechism as a defense against Reilly's statements.
"The catechism makes it clear that we are expected to educate ourselves and act with awareness toward people experiencing injustice or social exclusion," she said.
She said this would largely include the transgendered population.
"Any self-described good Christian who gets to know people who are marginalized learns quickly that these are people of God," O'Brien said.
Ryan Hamachek, program coordinator for the office of multicultural affairs, supported the event under the OMA umbrella. He stated that the week itself was successful and events were well-attended.
"Events like Transgender Awareness Week certainly create a culture for students who identify as transgender to feel more comfortable," Hamachek said, "It is important for people to express their lived identities."
"We are glad events like Transgender Awareness Week are happening," said Jolie Harris, assistant director of Multicultural Affairs. "Supporting and advocating for all of our marginalized students is social justice."
9. The Spectator (Seattle University), March 11, 2009
901 12th Ave., P.O. Box 222000, Seattle, WA 98122-1090
Hate crimes escalate near campus
By Katie Farden
Forty-one year old Jerry Knight was on his way home from a party around 1:30 a.m. Sunday Feb. 2 when two men attacked him on the corner of 13th and E Columbia. Just two blocks from Campion Hall, where many Seattle U students were nestling into their extra-long twin dorm beds or placing finishing touches on papers due Monday, Knight's attackers punched his body and head repeatedly.
The assailants, whom Knight identified to the police as two white males in their twenties smelling of marijuana, yelled derogatory remarks regarding Knight's sexuality when he passed them on the street. Knight, who was dressed in a sailor suit, ignored the comments and continued walking. The men then attacked him from behind.
When Knight began to fight back in defense, the men ran away.
The assault is one of six hate crimes reported to Public Safety over the past two and a half months on Capitol Hill, said Mike Sletten, Seattle U's director of Public Safety.
Eleven owners of gay bars in Seattle received letters from an anonymous sender threatening to target their venues with ricin, a deadly poison, on Jan. 6.
A woman on Broadway was assaulted Jan.15 after her attacker yelled at her, "I'll kill you, lesbian." In February two other gay men were attacked on Capitol Hill while walking home.
"We haven't necessarily seen violence increase there, but we're in a period of time when we have seen the increase of hate as a motivator in many crimes," Sletten said.
Public safety received confirmation of the assault from the Seattle Police-who reported the attack as a Simple Assault Bias Crime-over the weekend of Feb. 27 to March 1. Public Safety immediately forwarded the notice to University Communications, Sletten said.
On March 2, University Communications sent a campus-wide e-mail to inform Seattle U of the incident.
Many students and faculty expressed concern over an attack so close to Seattle U's campus.
"These things seem to be happening more often around the edges of the university," said Mark Cohan, associate professor of sociology. "I walk to and from campus all the time. I'm concerned."
Matisse Fletcher, a junior international studies, said Seattle U should take a stand in light of Knight's assault.
"I really think the school should do something," Fletcher said. "That description [of the assailants] fits some of our students. It's just something to think about."
Some thought the assault reflected a continuing trend of violence directed at the LGBTQ community on Capitol Hill.
"It is very unfortunate, and another indication, even in liberal Seattle, that people are not willing to accept people who are different from them," Cohan said. "I see it reflecting a lot of homophobia, a lot of fear of people with different sexual orientations."
Some students expressed views similar to Cohan.
"The fact is that it did happen right here in Seattle is a reminder that it [violence directed at minorities] is not over, that this is happening all the time," Kelly Hammer, a sophomore photography major, said.
Gary Perry, associate professor of sociology, said the changing demographics of Capitol Hill may be one factor contributing to more hate crimes directed at the neighborhood's LGBTQ population.
"There are more people moving back to the hub of cities, bringing with them values and worldviews that are interfacing with a fairly established gay community," he said. "The clashing of these values has led to the occurrence of hate crimes."
Some said the police categorizing the attack on Knight as a 'bias crime' rather than a 'hate crime' detracted from the severity of the assault.
"I'm curious if there is some intentionality behind the use of the term 'bias crime,' said Gary Perry, associate professor of sociology. "It doesn't have the same sting to it as 'hate crime' does."
Cohan said terming the incident a 'bias crime' seemed to minimize the incident.
"One wonders if it isn't a deliberate decision," he said. "If it is reported that crimes of hate are occurring on or around Seattle U, that is contrary to the image we want to portray of the campus."
"We have to look to safety and protection first, and our image second," he added.
Fletcher said she was surprised with the police's categorization of the crime.
"'Bias crime' was such a light term for it," Fletcher said. "It was a bashing."
Perry said the larger problem perpetuating attacks-like the Feb. 22 assault on Knight-was society's underlying culture of violence.
"Violence existed in this community prior to gentrification," he said. "We sometimes we run the risk of losing sight of the fact that the culture of violence is so pervasive in our society. We need to have a place to have healthy conversations about how our institutions and individuals allow violence to exist."
Perry was the overseeing faculty member for "Break the Silence," a day-long conference held on March 7 to address violence in our community.
Hammer and Fletcher, who attended "Break the Silence," in light of the recent attack on Knight said the conference raised especially relevant issues for students.
"It is things like these I think we don't look into deeply enough," Hammer said. "That's why I'm here, to talk about it out in the open."
Fletcher added hoped students attending "Break the Silence" would apply what they had learned at the conference in their daily interactions with others.
"This conference is especially important," she said. "Hopefully students can take what they get here to their neighborhoods."
10. TCU Daily Skiff (Texas Christian University), March 12, 2009
Box 298050, Fort Worth, Texas 76129
LGBT dialogue beneficial to university
By Katie Martinez
Equal rights for LGBT people is a hot topic that evokes strong emotions on both sides of the issue. But regardless of which side of the fence one is on, it is a good thing that dialogues are taking place at the highest levels of the university.
An on-campus survey completed in 2008 found that five of the five openly gay students who were examined for the research exhibited levels of cautiousness and discomfort attributed to the "campus atmosphere."
Being different can be difficult, and discrimination exists everywhere whether it is based on race, gender or sexual orientation. It is good that there are campus organizations to support these students who may feel added pressure because of their sexuality on top of all the other stresses imposed on students during their college years. Two such groups on campus are the Gay-Straight Alliance and the newly formed Iris Reaction, which ultimately hopes to establish a resource center and create a full-time administrative staff position dedicated to creating a welcoming environment for members of the LGBT community.
These are great for long-term goals, but given the current economic situation and the difficulty posed by attempting to assimilate official numbers to show how many students on campus are part of the LGBT community, the Iris Reaction may have better success if it first aims to create a student-held position to meet this need. Then, a better estimation of the need can be assessed without the university having to pony up an annual salary with limited evidence of demand.
The university has a diverse campus and the wide range of cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds that are represented here add to the learning experience. Getting to know LGBT people and break through the stereotypes is also an important part of that experience. But there are so many niche groups on campus, we can't afford to create administrative staff positions to address the needs of each group. Utilizing existing organizations and resources is a far safer bet and a clearly obtainable goal.
Opinion editor Katie Martinez for the editorial board.
11. TheNews.org (Murray State), March 11, 2009
2609 University Station, 111 Wilson Hall, Murray, KY 42071-3301
Opinion: Does Senate Bill 68 target gay adoption? Yes
By Jody Cofer
Flash back to 2004.
Proponents of a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage repeatedly claimed it would not be used to further curtail the rights of Kentucky’s gay and lesbian citizens. Yet, those same people have done just that. Taking advantage of the granddaddy of all catch-22’s, they have attempted to push an anti-gay agenda by restricting equal access to healthcare and now adoption and foster care by unmarried couples.
Make no mistake - the push to ban unmarried co-habitating adults from foster care and adoption is targeted at gays and lesbians who, by law, cannot marry in the state of Kentucky. Not unlike the tuna fisherman who catches a stray dolphin in his widely-cast net, the Family Foundation of Kentucky is willing to snag an opposite-sex couple or two in its quest to proclaim gays and lesbians as second-class citizens, unworthy of having families. It’s all in a day’s work.
There’s absolutely no credible evidence to support restriction of foster care and adoption by gays and lesbians. The evidence indicates, in fact, children would be best served by expanding the pool of available families by continuing to evaluate all interested adults based on their ability to provide safe and loving homes.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association, American Psychological Association and National Association of Social Workers, among many other professional medical, legal and social service organizations, agree children of gays and lesbians do just as well as children raised by opposite-sex parents. The body of research on the matter is quite extensive.
The reality is children in the adoption and foster care system are likely to have special needs and as a group, gays and lesbians are willing to adopt these special needs children. The odds are already stacked against these children, even in an ideal situation.
Sadly, every year tens of thousands of children “age-out” of foster care and are likely to suffer long-term emotional problems.
If the Family Foundation were truly interested in the well-being of Kentucky’s foster children and those waiting to be adopted, they would be using their significant resources to broaden the pool of potential families for these children instead of narrowing it.
We’ve heard this song before. In 2004, they were “simply defending marriage.” In 2006, they were “simply defending the Constitution.” Now, in 2009, they are “simply defending children.” What they are really doing is oppressing Kentucky’s gay and lesbian citizens at any cost. The biggest losers have been Kentucky families. Denying anyone the right to marry hurts families. Denying equal access to healthcare hurts families. Denying adoptions to people based on sexual orientation or marital status hurts families.
If the Family Foundation is successful in forcing this bill through the Legislature, the affect on the most vulnerable of Kentucky’s children could be devastating.
What has been particularly bothersome in the past is that the Family Foundation has been largely successful at claiming the moral high ground in its attack on the well-being of Kentucky’s families.
Using children as pawns in their hateful tirade against gays and lesbians however, is certainly not the high ground.
12. Tulsa World, March 13, 2009
315 S. Boulder Ave., Tulsa, OK 74103
Students spring into action
By Andrea Eger
Tulsa might not be a spring break hot spot, but it was the destination of choice for a dozen students from Boston University.
The students paid their own way and took turns driving during their 32-hour trek from Massachusetts just to do community service projects for Street School and the Open Arms Youth Project.
"I've never been to the Midwest, so I got to see four or five states I had never been to, and I'm also interested in GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender) issues, HIV/AIDS awareness and what gay life is like in a different part of the country," said Alex Shuck, a sophomore majoring in public relations.
The group of students spent Monday and Tuesday painting interior walls and visiting with students at Street School, and they will be completing painting, tiling, and cleanup projects through Friday at Open Arms, a nonprofit organization serving gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youths and their friends in the Tulsa area.
Tim Gillean, the board president at Open Arms, said: "We have had a group from Boston in for the last three years for spring break. When they finish this week, they will have completed tiling our facility and will have painted almost every wall in our facility.
"These are kids who spend their spring break helping us instead of doing something else or going to the beach," he said. "It's a great way for our kids who are mostly in high school to get encouragement to go to college."
Boston University has been dispatching students for community service projects throughout the U.S. since 1987 when its Alternative Spring Breaks program was established. Other destinations this year included Maine, Illinois, Nebraska, and Louisiana.
Dan Solworth, assistant to the dean of students, was the chaperone for this year's Tulsa trip.
"We do reflections every night and overwhelmingly, everyone said it was refreshing to see a school where every single person really believes in the mission of the program," Solworth said of Tulsa's Street School.
Shuck said the group's interactions with Tulsa teenagers have been the most gratifying parts of the trip.
"On the last day at Street School, we split up into groups and visited with students about college. The group was very inquisitive. It was neat to relate to them in that way because no matter what school you're in, it's a rocky transition from high school to college," he said. "Tonight (Thursday) at Open Arms, we will be cooking dinner for the support group meeting they have every week."
Some of Shuck's college friends are "doing the whole Mexico, Bahamas, Dominican Republic thing," but he thinks his spring break in Tulsa is being well spent, too.
"I've even heard from a few of them, and I'm sure they're having a lot of fun, too," he said with a laugh.
13. WMU News (Western Michigan U), March 13, 2009
Office of University Relations, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433
Gay rights activist and filmmaker at Fetzer Center
KALAMAZOO--Gay rights activist Erin Davies, creator of the documentary "Fagbug," will discuss and present her film in Kirsch Auditorium at Western Michigan University from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, March 20. The presentation and a reception afterward are open to the public free of charge.
The much-traveled Davies has told her story across the country on university campuses and in interviews with local and national media, including NPR. Davies' presentation at WMU will include screening of an 86-minute preview version of the documentary followed by a question and answer session.
On National Day of Silence in 2007--a day intended to protest hate crimes--Davies was the victim of a hate crime in Albany, N.Y. Presumably because she had a rainbow sticker on her Volkswagen Beetle, her car was vandalized, with the words "fag" and "u r gay" painted on the hood and driver side window.
Rather than remove the offensive words from her car, the 30-year-old Davies took the "fagbug" on a 58-day tour of the United States and Canada, filming her experiences as she traveled. The resulting documentary will officially premiere in April and is being submitted for consideration at several film festivals.
WMU's Office of Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay and Transgender Student Services is sponsoring Davies' presentation. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Media contact: Thom Myers, (269) 387-8400, email@example.com
14. Daily Iowan, March 13, 2009
E131 Adler Journalism Building, 140 W. Washington Street, Iowa City, IA
Reaching out to aid GLBT int’l students
By Lini Ge
Two young men walking down the street on the UI campus with their arms linked will mostly likely be seen as homosexuals. But it is a common behavior elsewhere in the world, including India.
“If you are looking at these through U.S. norms, you definitely can misread what is being said,” said Scott King, the director of the UI Office of International Students and Scholars.
He used the example to explain how culture may affect concepts of sexual identity and orientation during a Thursday workshop addressing issues and concerns of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender international students.
Roughly 25 faculty and staff from different areas on campus attended the workshop, which presented significant issues encountered by international students who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender and offered suggestions for advising these students and providing them with support and resources.
“International students already face many cultural adjustment issues throughout their experiences at the University of Iowa. Adding to this adjustment are possible issues of sexual orientation and gender identity,” said Julie Pollock, an international students and scholars adviser.
“It is important for staff and faculty to know of campus and community resources available to assist international students, should they need advice, support, or advocacy,” she said.
Monica Madura, an academic counselor for the undergraduate program in the communication-studies department, said she volunteered to come to the workshop.
“I work with a lot of students from different background,” she said. “I want to be sure to understand the diversity to assist them the best way I can.”
To assist the international students, it is crucial to understand the challenges they may face when they decide to come out, King said, citing the possibility of being rejected by their own cultural groups.
“You become an outsider within your own culture, and you know you’re not white. It’s like you don’t exist, you don’t know where you belong,” said Christian Roldan Santos, an academic adviser in the UI Academic Advising Center, who identifies himself as gay.
His own life experience actually helps when advising students, said Santos, who is from Puerto Rico.
“I can say, ‘I went through this, too,’ then the student can relate to you and won’t feel so lonely because there is someone else out there,” he said.
Besides discussions and case studies, the attendees were also provided with a list of related resources including campus and community organizations and allies, and health care and wellness providers open to individuals who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning.
They were encouraged to seek help from those resources when international students raise such issues and also to promote awareness of the resources among international students who may need them.
“We are talking about ways to increase visibility of the center to international students,” said Elizabeth Krause, manager of the UI Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Center. “Hopefully, in the coming year there will be some special programming.”
15. The Mac Weekly (Macalester College), March 13, 2009
1600 Grand Ave., St. Paul, MN 55105
As Is explores LGBT identity
By April DeJarlais
Macalester was among 2007 Advocate College Guide's "100 Best Campuses for LGBT [Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender] Students", but the school is not content to just kick back and admire the ranking.
Started up last spring, the As Is program takes another step toward improving the college's environment for LGBT students. Program founders Dean of Students Jim Hoppe, Lilly Program Associate Eily Marlow '97 and Mental Health Counselor Don DeBoer envisioned a support group for LGBT students that would also help to handle their sexuality in areas of their lives other than Macalester.
Before coming to Macalester in 2004, Hoppe started a program similar to As Is at the University of Puget Sound. The group became an important part of the LGBT community there, and the founders hope it will have the same effect at Macalester.
The group differentiates itself from the LGBT activism group Queer Union, and is more helpful to those who are still exploring their sexuality and wondering how to come out to their parents, much less wanting to wave a banner in a parade.
"Coming out is disorienting even if you are in a safe place," Marlow said.
Advertising for As Is this semester began in February and meetings have been small gatherings of six or seven students so far, Marlow said. Students can share personal stories or listen to others' coming out experiences, and are welcome to come once or be a regular attendee.
Because of Macalester's reputation for being LGBT-friendly, "many people think As Is is unnecessary," Sustainability Associate and As Is mentor Justin Lee '08 said. "[Coming out] can be so difficult, and not something you can do in your daily life."
Lee was involved with As Is last year, which he credits as being "hugely helpful" for him. He is now the youngest of four group mentors, who work on advertising, offer their own experiences to students and are available to meet with outside of meetings.
The group welcomes students with established sexualities along with those who are still exploring. Questioning students can learn how being LGBT works with jobs or internships, friends and family.
Marlow said she does not doubt that students have those types of conversations outside of group settings, but sees As Is as providing a regular group to which students can always turn. As someone who came out during her time at Macalester, Marlow wishes she had had the connections that As Is can provide to students.
"It's a great opportunity to have an extended conversation within a community," she said.
The group is considering opening up to other ACTC schools and to students that may not have the support that Macalester provides, and hopes to grow in numbers this year.
"[As Is] is for students who need a place to tell their story," Marlow said.
16. Pioneer News (Lewis & Clark College), March 13, 2009
Transgender healthcare at LC
By Maisha Foster-O'Neal
Lewis & Clark College likes to wave its “We Are Progressive” banner. We have a functioning antidiscrimination policy, we have an active gay-straight alliance (United Sexualities, a.k.a. Unisex), and we have comprehensive health care available to all students. Well, to all students except transgender-identified ones.
The current LC health care plan through Aetna states that it “neither covers nor provides benefits for … expenses incurred for, or related to, sex change surgery or to any treatment of gender identity disorders” No other group is explicitly excluded like this in our health care plan.
However, there is a new policy on the table this year that proposes to “add coverage for medically necessary gender reassignment care (hormones, surgery) to the benefit plan. This would add about $9 to the per-semester premium” per student. A $9 increase is nearly negligible when compared to next year’s projected cost of the health plan ($670) and cost of tuition (more than $33,000). If the proposition passes, it will allow transgender students access to medical treatments that would otherwise cost them a minimum of $20,000. The proposition will be put to the vote on March 15. “[If this proposition passes, it will mean] that L&C is actually living up to its non-discrimination pledge,” said a transgender-identified student who wished to remain anonymous.
It is often very difficult for transgender students to receive health insurance coverage. Insurance companies do not want to take a risk on a member of a population that has suicidal ideation rates as high as 64% and suicide attempt rates ranging from 16% to 37%. It is a vicious cycle: denying transgender individuals access to appropriate and necessary medical care is one of the factors contributing to such exorbitant rates of anxiety and depression. Furthermore, many transgender students are estranged from their families, and therefore do not have access to health insurance through their parents. For some students, the College’s health insurance plan is their only viable option.
Because sexual reassignment treatments can be so expensive, transgender students may be forced to choose between paying for tuition and paying for treatments. “I’ve personally had to dip into my college savings to cover things that my insurance company wouldn’t pay, and will probably have to do so again,” said Andrew Janeba (’11), a female-to-male transgender student. It is unfair for transgender individuals to be denied what psychological and medical experts consider medically necessary treatments simply because students are on a tight budget. “I’d prefer no one have to make the choice between getting a college education and having the simple level of comfort that comes with one’s body matching one’s basic identity,” said Janeba.
Students on all three of LC’s campuses are mobilizing to change our health care policy to include transgender health care. An electronic poll was administered to L&C students last week to gauge interest. The poll results, although unscientific, are telling: out of more than 200 students, 82% reported supporting the proposal to add transgender care to the student health care plan, and 12% wanted more information before making a decision. In addition, over 160 students who participated in the poll registered their names in support of the proposal.
“Fundamentally, this is a student issue: students pay the premiums, and students use the benefits. While some in the Administration might argue that we have to pick and choose between who and what to cover, there’s no reason we can’t implement transgender care in concert with other options offered [this year],” said Robyn Smith (’10), a male-to-female transgender student from the Law campus. One of the options, which would raise the student premium by $18 for a per-semester total of $688, combines the transgender care option and an option for routine STI (Sexually Transmitted Infections) testing.
Passing the transgender health care proposal will catapult Lewis & Clark onto the forefront of the transgender rights movement. A few other college campuses have already successfully passed similar proposals. Passing this proposal is not only beneficial to current transgender students and their allies; it will also project a positive message to prospective students, attracting exactly the kind of diverse and forward-thinking student body that sets us apart from other colleges. “If nothing else it will be a great comfort for incoming trans[gender] students to know that this college accepts them and understands their needs. And in all likelihood it will make the difference for trans[gender] individuals deciding whether or not they can afford to come to college,” said Janeba.
We should be proud to attend Lewis & Clark College. But we still have work to do if we want to truly be worthy of calling ourselves progressive. Reconciling the antidiscrimination policy and the discriminatory health care plan by granting transgender students equal rights is one step on the path towards positive, student-initiated change.
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