Queer News On Campus [QNOC] Articles Digest
For the week ending 2009.04.26
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
1. The Dartmouth - Prof. discusses Bryant, 1970s anti-gay activist
2. The Daily Texan - UT ‘Peers for Pride’ students present GLBT monologues
3. The Daily Texan - Scope of 'born gay' claim debated
4. The Kentucky Kernel - Event marks two years on campus
5. North By Northwestern - Wallace: NU’s housing policy pushes transgender students off-campus
6. Star Tribune - Anti-gay graffiti mars Hamline University
7. Gay and Lesbian Times - Campus Pride hosts GLBT-friendly college fair
8. The Cornell Daily Sun - Alleged Homophobia Causes Outcry
9. San Diego State University - Gender-Neutral Housing
10. Yale Daily News - Yale offers LGBT outreach
11. The Maneater - Students, staff gather for Day of Silence
12. The Daily Pennsylvanian - Allies have day of silence to promote LGBT awareness
13. The Harvard Crimson - Panel Discusses ROTC Challenges
14. South Florida Sun Sentinel - FAU students create petition seeking gay, transgendered protections
1. The Dartmouth, April 20, 2009
6175 Robinson Hall, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03755
Prof. discusses Bryant, 1970s anti-gay activist
By Nicole Newman
Beauty-queen-turned-evangelist Anita Bryant gave the religious right its anti-homosexual voice in the late 1970s, Mark Jordan, a Harvard University Divinity School professor, told an audience gathered in the Rockefeller Center on Friday. Jordan examined Bryant’s rhetoric in his lecture, “Christian Moms Beat Homosexual Recruiters Again and Again,” which also featured a panel discussion.
Referring to Bryant as “the Sarah Palin of her day,” Marie Griffin, a Princeton University professor and member of the panel, said Bryant was “part beauty queen, part soccer mom and part politician.”
Bryant, who was also a singer from Oklahoma, gained national attention as an anti-gay rights activist in 1977 when she campaigned to overturn a local anti-discriminatory ordinance in Florida. The campaign quickly led to a national fight between gay activists and religious organizations.
Bryant portrayed gay people as a domestic threat to traditional family life, Jordan said, defining a homosexual in her autobiography as a “communist-resembling militant” who she might “as well feed garbage to.”
Bryant said she believed that gay people could influence children’s sexuality and argued that children required protection, Jordan said.
“It is not difficult to understand why she preconceived young people as victims in the hands of the militant homosexual,” Dartmouth women and gender studies professor Michael Bronski, a member of the panel, said.
Jordan said Bryant’s role as an anti-gay activist was largely an act, arguing that she did not actually believe what she was saying. He claimed, for example, that Bryant did not write her published autobiography, “The Anita Bryant Story.”
The story’s seemingly incoherent narrative surprisingly “emphasizes her lack of prejudice against homosexuals,” Jordan said.
Bryant’s anti-gay “play” was a mechanism to mask her own marital problems, Griffin said.
Society needs to mock Bryant to counter her message, Jordan said.
“Some drag queens can do Anita better than Anita can,” he said.
Bryant’s rhetoric continues to dominate the language of the religious right, panel member and Dartmouth religion professor Ronald Green said, explaining that her rhetoric helped shape the pro-life movement.
“She taught political activism to the religious right,” Green said. “Baptist churches, at first, welcomed Roe v. Wade.”
This attitude ended after Bryant’s campaign, he said.
2. The Daily Texan, April 10, 2009
P.O. Box D, Austin, TX 78713
UT ‘Peers for Pride’ students present GLBT monologues
By Priscilla Totiyapungprasert
Nine students presented monologues on different identities within the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community Thursday evening at the Will C. Hogg Building.
The students are participating in a new two-semester course called “Peers for Pride,” which allows students to interact with an audience about GLBT-related current events and cultural topics.
“[The students] learn about identity, what’s it like to be gay in America, what’s hard to talk about and how to talk about it,” said Shane Whalley, the program’s director and course
The idea came to Whalley after government senior Linda Dominguez presented her monologue as a final project in Whalley’s social-work class two semesters ago.
“It’s similar to ‘The Vagina Monologues,’ except I wrote it for the LGBTQ community to raise awareness for other groups of people,” Dominguez said.
Whalley required participants to submit an application and go through an interview before they are accepted to the course. The six-credit-hour class counts in both the social work and women’s and gender studies programs.
The program also trains students to lead campus workshops, where they present the five- to eight-minute monologues for a final project. Students encourage audience interaction at the workshops, allowing the crowd to ask them questions while they portray the identities represented.
The workshops have nurtured the creative side of the mind, said government senior Jessie Beal, who performed at the presentation.
During the course, students follow issues in the news, including same-sex marriage, hate crimes and popular culture. They have also discussed whether characters and stereotypes presented by mass media — such as the reality TV show ”RuPaul’s Drag Race” — help or hurt the GLBT community, Whalley said.
Students in the program also learn how to respond to arguments and handle situations that stem from misconceptions.
“People would ask triggering questions and have misunderstandings, but now I can see where they’re coming from, and I know how to answer,” said humanities senior Lizzy Dupont.
3. The Daily Texan, April 9, 2009
P.O. Box D, Austin, TX 78713
Scope of 'born gay' claim debated
By Samantha Deavin
As the issue of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights gains momentum and attention in political and legal circles, the biological argument that one is “born gay” has come into question.
Kenyon Farrow, a policy institute fellow at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, said when he spoke at UT as part of the Campus Progress’ Queer Tour on Wednesday that the biological argument is problematic.
“Sexuality can feel inherent to you without it being biological and genetic,” Farrow said. “No queer benefits from the biological argument, even if political campaigns are won.”
The “born gay” argument for equality bases the gay community’s claims for equal rights on the authority of biology — one is born that way and therefore should be recognized as a minority and protected from discrimination.
Farrow, however, said this argument is problematic because it precludes the possibility that homosexuality can be a choice and that it excludes bisexuals and transgender individuals from the conversation.
“By staying away from the issues of bisexuals and queers, the biological argument only leads us in one direction,” Farrow said. “The issue gets reduced to the idea that gay men have more genetic traits like women, and gay women have more genetic traits like men.”
Ryan Yezak — a radio-television-film senior and co-founder and vice president of UT’s first gay fraternity, Delta Lambda Phi — defended the biological argument. He said he didn’t know he was gay until he came to college. Yezak believes he came out so late because of a lack of understanding.
“It wasn’t that I didn’t know I was gay all my life, it’s just that I didn’t know it was an option,” he said. “I think the way we work right now in our country is that being gay isn’t spoken about enough and people don’t know what being gay is. It’s hard to know what you are if you don’t know what it is.”
Ixchel Rosal, director of UT’s Gender and Sexuality Center, said she is not dismissive of the biological argument but that she believes arguing over the cause of homosexuality is reductive.
“Focusing on the root causes of homophobia is much more important than focusing on the roots of homosexuality,” Rosal said. “In terms of liberation and civil rights and creating change, we have to improve education and awareness of the issues.”
Rosal said sexuality should be understood in the same way as religion.
“People are not born Christian or Jewish, but we don’t stand for discrimination between the two,” she said.
Farrow reiterated this idea, concluding his address by asserting that there are different ways to think of sexuality beyond the biological argument.
“It is a deeply personal choice worthy of political protection,” he said.
4. The Kentucky Kernel, April 21, 2009
026 Grehan Journalism Bldg., Lexington, Kentucky 40506-0042
Event marks two years on campus
By Megan Hurt
A spotlight lit up center stage in the Cats Den as two performers came out. Dressed in white high heels, a curly blonde wig and a short skirt was Erik Bentley, a psychology freshman; the other performer, dressed in a white tank top and baggy jeans, was Melissa Gross, an arts administration and art history sophomore.
They danced around the stage and entertained the crowd by lip-syncing to “Toxic” by Britney Spears under the stage names of “Dolly Blueheels” and “Ben Dover.”
Their “Toxic” performance was the last of five acts by drag queens as part of GAYLA, held on Tuesday night. The GAYLA was an event to celebrate the second anniversary of OUTsource on UK’s campus.
“We were working on planning our second anniversary and we thought about a gala, and we thought, ‘GAY-la. Oh my God, that would be so much fun,’ ” said Cole Mitchell, an elementary education junior and member of the executive board of OUTsource.
OUTsource started two years ago when students, professors and members of the community started working on creating an organization on campus to represent the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered students at UK.
The event also acted as a fundraiser with a silent art auction to help benefit the organization.
“OUTsource doesn’t have professional staff or school funding. Everything in OUTsource is donated money,” said Ryan Murrell, a political science junior, and member of the executive board for OUTsource.
The event was scheduled to start at 6 p.m., but didn’t begin until 7, at which point Murrell introduced the event by saying, “Sorry for starting late. We are on ‘gay time.’ ”
Members of OUTsource performed a short skit showing what it was like to hang out in the office of their organization, followed by performances of three of Lexington’s professional drag queens.
Drag queen Rayan Starr, who calls herself “The Ghetto Goddess,” was the first performer of the night and has been performing in Lexington since the early 90s.
“I love doing performances,” she said. “I love entertaining crowds. As long as they are happy, I’m doing my job.”
After the performances, Gross and Bentley, who organized the drag show, performed for their first time as drag king and queen.
“I felt that doing drag would be a fun experience,” Bentley said. “I was nervous before the show, then I got up there and I was ecstatic, then afterward I thought, ‘Wow, I just did that!’ ”
Bentley said he decided to sing Britney Spears’ song “Toxic” after seeing Gross’ outfit.
“I saw what she was wearing, and I immediately thought of K-Fed, and I knew I had to do a Britney Spears song,” he said.
More than 80 people attended the event and the Cats Den was standing room only. Some of the attendees said they came to support what they believe is a worthy organization on campus.
“I thought the event was really good,” said Andrew Kerby, a political science junior.
“OUTsource is wonderful. It’s a great resource to have on campus, to have a resource for the gay community on campus. Hopefully there will be more events like this.”
At the end of the evening, Mitchell said she was happy with the number of people who had attended an OUTsource event.
“I think the event went well,” she said. “I am very pleased with the response. It’s always very validating to see the faces in the crowd.
“We will always have something to celebrate and we would like to see something like this again.”
5. North By Northwestern, April 22, 2009
Wallace: NU’s housing policy pushes transgender students off-campus
By Letters, Lewis Wallace
To The Editors:
I am writing with regard to Mugsie Pike’s recent editorial about housing options for gender-variant students. I am a transsexual student who lives off-campus. I’m not trying to give anyone a sob story here, but I left high school at age 17 unwilling to even consider returning to school again. One of the most squarely unappealing things to me about seeking higher education was dealing with the issue of gender-segregated housing, as well as gendered bathrooms and the regular gender discrimination and harassment that I receive as an out transsexual.
What do I mean by “out transsexual”? In my case, I mean you have probably seen me on campus and wondered whether I am a boy or a girl. You have probably looked me up and down in a bathroom, or been uncomfortable as you tried to figure out what my anatomy is. Forced to choose, you would probably not know whether to put me in a men’s dorm or a women’s dorm — and I think we’d agree that it would be easier if I didn’t have to choose, and I could simply share space with other human beings! That is the real-life situation that Mugsie Pike is talking about.
I waited five years to go to college, and I am lucky to have had the financial privilege and family support to make that decision. I consider myself an exception, as most transgender people I know regularly struggle to access education, housing, and jobs. Policies such as Northwestern’s that refuse to accommodate gender-variant students are absolutely discriminatory and ultimately have the effect of pushing transgender students out of higher education. This is real life stuff, Northwestern; we are real people. I hope the administration decides to get some common sense and abide by its own non-discrimination policy.
6. Star Tribune, April 23, 2009
P.O. Box 9166, Minneapolis, MN 55480-9166
Anti-gay graffiti mars Hamline University
By Anthony Lonetree and Paul Walsh
To Hamline University President Linda Hanson, the words and graphic images found spray-painted across the St. Paul campus early Wednesday were an assault on the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.
To make matters worse, she said, the actions came during Rainbow Week, "a week of solidarity and celebration" with GLBT people.
But to Kale Anderson, a junior living at Theta Chi fraternity house, where "U R GAY" was written on the steps outside, the vandalism was more about "childishness" than intolerance, he said.
Both agree, however, that the incident was out of place at Hamline University, which prides itself on its diversity.
The message at the university, says first-year student Rachel Anderson, is: "Be who you are and be proud of it."
Sometime early Wednesday, school spokeswoman JacQui Getty said, vandals "blazed a trail" through the grounds of the university, spray-painting images of male genitalia on buildings, landscape and sidewalks, plus a vulgar message on the back wall of the Admissions House building at Snelling and Hewitt avenues.
In that message, the author expressed a fondness for the male genitalia.
In an e-mail to the campus community, Hanson said the acts were "intended to be hurtful and to undermine our values as an inclusive and honorable community." Officials, she wrote, will "pursue every avenue to discover the perpetrators of this vandalism."
Alex Suskovic, administrative chairman for Hamline University Spectrum, a student-led GLBT group, said Thursday that he felt very safe at Hamline. And if he didn't, he added, he knew that "the administration here would back me up 110 percent."
At Theta Chi, next door to the Admissions House, Kale Anderson, 20, said he didn't view the messages and images as an anti-gay attack. He noted, for example, that an eagle outside the Admissions House also had been spray-painted with a reference to Earth Day, suggesting a lack of consistency in the vandals' intent.
"It must have been drunk people -- or just people screwing around," he said. That it occurred during Rainbow Week, Anderson said, was a coincidence, in his view.
Asked for his take on the vandalism, St. Paul police spokesman Peter Panos, whose department has no part in the investigation, said "those kind of statements, written like that, are usually made by younger boys." Hate crime? "No, those are stupid statements by little kids," Panos said.
Getty said that the university, however, was of the view that the graffiti targeted the GLBT community. But until the suspect or suspects were found, she acknowledged, no one could know for sure.
"That's part of the investigation," Getty said. "Who did it and why?"
Anyone with information about the vandalism is asked to contact Shirleen Hoffman, director of safety and security at 651-523-2100.
Anthony Lonetree • 612-673-4109
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482
7. Gay and Lesbian Times, April 23, 2009
P.O. Box 34624, San Diego, CA 92163
Campus Pride hosts GLBT-friendly college fair
By Rick Braatz
The hall is alive with college representatives. Tables are draped with banners labeled with college letters and insignia. Pamphlets, pencils and business cards are on display. A projector screens a profile on GLBT-friendly colleges across a stage. But there is one thing missing: the students.
Campus Pride, a national nonprofit organization that seeks to create safer, more GLBT-friendly college and university environments, hosted its second annual West Coast LGBT-Friendly College Fair at the San Diego LGBT Community Center, last Saturday.
“We really worked hard to let youth in the area know about this fair. Last year, the fair was hosted on the campus of UCSD, and we had about 50 youth and their families attend. Obviously, today, we do not have the 50 youth or their families, unless they’re waiting for the last hour to show up, which, who knows, given ‘gay people time,’” said Campus Pride Executive Director Shane Windmeyer.
More than 30 universities participated in the event – from national ivy leagues Yale and Princeton to our local San Diego State University and University of California, San Diego.
Based on feedback from last year’s event, organizers decided to move this year’s fair to a Saturday and host it at a community center.
“We took feedback from last year, when we did it on a Friday. And everyone said, ‘Don’t do it on a Friday. Do it on a Saturday.’ And they also said, ‘Don’t do it on a college campus. Do it in the community.’ So we said, ‘OK.’ So that was the feedback from students. So, we did all that, and here we are,” said University of California, San Diego’s LGBT Resource Center Director Shaun Travers, who, with Windmeyer, organized each fair.
Both were hoping to double last year’s attendance, but this year only about 12 students turned out.
For the students and parents who did attend, however, it was an unusual opportunity to meet and speak at length with representatives from a wide selection of universities.
“It was informative. It helped open my mind to new schools, schools that we sort of thought about but, you know, kind of put under the radar,” Danny Barry, 16, said. Barry and his mother, Mara Barry, both from Chicago, heard about the fair on Campus Pride’s Web site, www.campuspride.org, and since they were already visiting the area, decided to attend.
“While my son’s got to find a place that works for him, you know academically and in life, as a parent, I feel like it’s my responsibility to find a place that’s safe for him,” Mara Barry said.
Sam Roecker, 17, and his mother Deborah Stone, who also heard about the event on the Web site, flew from their hometown of Boulder, Colorado to attend.
“We flew in today, and we’re going back today,” Stone said.
“It was a lower than expected turnout, but it was great to see the range, and the wide variety of schools, from public to private, small to large,” Roecker said.
“But I can’t imagine I would want to do that if I was one of the colleges or universities,” Stone added.
With two to three students in attendance per hour, college representatives used the down time to mingle. I spoke with several of them.
“I love doing the Campus Pride. I can’t support it enough. It think it’s like a fabulous idea,” said Columbia College, Chicago’s Associate Director of Admissions Recruitment Sherry Anton.
Anton stayed positive about the low attendance
“I suppose it’s to be expected. It’s a Saturday. It might be kind of rough for even prospective students to consider college,” she said.
Other college representatives, who asked not to be identified, had harsher words.
“I think it’s pretty awful. It’s a terrible turnout. I think we’ve had 10 students show up today. I only had two or three students come to my table,” one said.
“The organizers said they were hoping for 100. Don’t get me wrong; we are happy to be here. But we’re also concerned. Like, what advertising did they do?” another said.
Windmeyer and Travers said they increased their marketing for this year’s event, working with both national and local GLBT organizations, including: the Gay-Straight Alliance; Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays; Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network and local high schools and colleges.
Poway resident Vladimir Staples, 19, had not heard about the fair, but he was happy to walk in as he passed by.
“Actually, I was bored. I wanted to see what was going on at The Center. I just came here and looked around,” Staples said.
A student at Palomar College, Staples had wanted to transfer to another community college. But, after walking through the fair, he now wants to apply to several four-year universities.
“Oh yeah. Right now I want to apply to, what’s it called, the Columbia College of Art and Design, I think. I also want to maybe apply to this place,” Staples said, holding up a brochure for the University of Southern California.
Rene Moraida, 23, a student at San Diego City College, did not hear about the event until the day before, after picking up a copy of the Gay & Lesbian Times. At the fair, Moraida was surprised.
“I didn’t expect a lot of the Ivy league schools to come out here. There is someone from Yale, a local alumni from Princeton, even our own four-year schools are here,” he said.
8. The Cornell Daily Sun, April 23, 2009
139 West State Street, Ithaca, NY 14850
Alleged Homophobia Causes Outcry
By Alex Berg
A campus Christian group that receives funding from the student activity fee is coming under scrutiny after a student was asked by advisors to step down from its leadership team when he told them that he had openly accepted his homosexuality. This incident is also raising questions about the effectiveness of campus mechanisms for addressing instances of discrimination.
Chris Donohoe ’09, who joined the Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship when he was a freshman, said he had been openly struggling to reconcile his sexuality with his faith in Chi Alpha before he was asked to step down from the leadership team by Matt and Tracy Herman, the organization’s pastors. The Hermans, both members of Chi Alpha at Missouri State University before graduating in 2002, became Cornell Chi Alpha’s campus pastors in 2006.
The leadership team consists of 12 or 13 especially dedicated students who lead bible studies, teach and are “good examples,” according to Danielle D’Ambrosio ’10, Chi Alpha’s president. The leadership team differs from titled leadership positions because students do not have to apply to be part of the team.
Before joining the leadership team, Donohoe was vice president during his junior year. To enter a titled position in Chi Alpha, students must apply through the Hermans and demonstrate that they uphold certain values, including not engaging in premarital sex, and refraining from drinking alcohol and taking drugs, according to Donohoe.
“I thought it would be an awesome opportunity to be an openly gay man in a Christian organization,” Donohoe said.
After Donohoe finished his term as vice president, he was going to be on the leadership team last fall. The Hermans told Donohoe that they were comfortable with his position as long as he did not engage in a relationship. However, after Donohoe met his boyfriend last summer and affirmed his acceptance of his sexuality, the Hermans asked him to step down from the team without consulting the rest of the organization.
“I told them I’ve thought about [my sexuality] and I’m 100 percent OK with my sexuality. … I wanted the opportunity to show them I love god and I’m gay and it’s OK,” Donohoe said.
D’Ambrosio explained that Donohoe was asked to step down because he no longer believed his sexuality was a sin and stopped actively working to overcome it, disregarding the Bible.
“The decision to ask Chris to step down was not that he did something wrong in having homosexual tendencies. [It was because] he no longer thought it was wrong. … I support the decision fully,” D’Ambrosio said.
Because Chi Alpha is an independent student organization registered with Cornell’s Student Activities Office, the situation has provoked a reaction from Cornell administrators.
“We are very concerned with what happened and we want to make sure this is a campus that does not discriminate in this way,” Dean of Students Kent Hubbell ’67 said.
Independent student organizations at Cornell are prohibited from discriminating membership on the basis of race, religion, gender and sexual orientation, according to the Student Activities Offices Independent Organization Contract. The anti-discrimination policy, however, does not extend to the leadership of independent student organizations.
While registered as an “independent” student organization, Chi Alpha still receives a share of the student activity fee, distributed by the Student Assembly Finance Commission.
This Spring, the SAFC allocated Chi Alpha upwards of $700, according to a source who asked to remain anonymous because he is not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
Yuliya Neverova ’10, co-chair of the SAFC, explained that the SAFC does not investigate the specific goals or actions of groups as it allocates funds to different campus organizations.
Instead, the SAFC relies on the Student Activities Office to determine which groups are in “good standing.”
According to the SAO website, organizations are obligated to “operate in a manner consistent with the goals and standards of the [University],” which include a prohibition on denying a person admission to an activity on the basis of sexual orientation.
She said that the SAO and the SAFC may investigate the situation, though she conceded that there was little recent SAFC precedent to follow for handling these circumstances.
“We haven’t had to deal with this issue before,” she said.
Donohoe has a long-standing relationship with the Chi Alpha leadership and the decision to ask him to step down was made over a substantial period of time.
“The leadership of Chi Alpha and Chris have had a relationship and very in-depth now have been grappling with this particular situation, so this was not just an arbitrary sort of circumstance,” Kenneth I. Clarke, Sr., D. Min, Cornell United Religious Work director, said.
After he was asked to step down, Donohoe remained in the organization but sought to create a dialogue with Chi Alpha, to both hold the organization accountable for asking him to step down due to his sexuality and to educate instead of punish.
“There was a consequence for my belief — that it’s OK [to] be a homosexual. … I believe you should be held responsible and accountable to your beliefs so that Chi Alpha is answering to everyone to the community,” Donohoe said.
Donohoe contacted Mary Beth Grant, the judicial administrator, to pursue an outlet. Grant informed Donohoe that no legal action could be taken through the J.A. since Donohoe was permitted to remain in the organization, Donohoe explained. Donohoe filed a bias report a month ago and contacted Dean Hubbell and Rev. Clarke.
Grant could not be reached for comment.
Donohoe met with Hubbell and Clarke to find the best avenue to pursue action, by addressing the issue as it relates to students rights — why outsiders are coming into a student organization and limiting students meeting with the Hermans and/or changing the campus code, Donohoe said.
“Student organizations are supposed to be by and for students. There are systems of having advisors, but they advise, they don’t supervise,” Hubbell said. “The students are the ones who make the final decisions.”
Since Chi Alpha is a part of CURW, the organization is held to a CURW covenant that permits religious organizations to make decisions based on doctrinal convictions, but also prohibits organizations from excluding members based on their sexual orientation.
“Certainly we do not support … discrimination of any sort. On the other hand, what makes this complex is the fact that according to the CURW covenant, organizations may be able to make decisions based on doctrinal convictions,” Clarke said.
Hubbell and Clarke have communicated the University’s position to the Hermans and the next step will be a meeting between all parties involved.
In the meantime, the controversy has spread across various campus listservs, and the Student Assembly will discuss on Thursday a resolution about the future of Chi Alpha.
“It is unfortunate that both a registered student organization and an SAFC-funded organization has mistreated its members and leaders in such an egregious manner. A resolution regarding the group’s current funding and funding eligibility in the future will be discussed at [Thursday’s] Student Assembly meeting,” Ryan Lavin ’09, S.A. president, said yesterday.
A vigil will take place Friday on the Arts Quad outside of Chi Alpha’s meeting.
“This is more than a slap in the face to one individual, this is a slap in the face to the entire LGBT community, especially those of faith,” Donohoe said. “Chi Alpha is basically saying that my sexuality — along with the sexualities of every other LGBT community member — is not legitimate in the eyes of god. Chi Alpha must recognize that this belief is hurtful and discriminatory. It’s time for Chi Alpha to face the Cornell community and own up.”
Homosexuality is considered a sin, which is “biblically based,” according to Jessica Longoria ’09, former president of Chi Alpha.
“If you’re committing sins you will not enter the kingdom of god,” Longoria said.
“My personal belief is that … I don’t believe it is a genetic thing,” D’Ambrosio said.
But despite these beliefs the situation has been difficult for all involved.
“I’m still friends with [Chris], I know a lot of people in Chi Alpha are friends with him. … Just to say that this is a really difficult situation for all of us. … I think we’re all struggling,” Longoria said.
Likewise, D’Ambrosio affirmed Chi Alpha’s relationship with Donohoe.
“I think that a lot of times Christian organizations do get a bad name for taking a stance against homosexuality because it looks like we are condemning a person but I want to make it clear that we have nothing against Chris or another person for choosing to be a homosexual,” D’Ambrosio said.
Matt and Tracy Herman declined to comment for this story until a meeting is held between all parties.
9. San Diego State University, April 2009
Consistent with University policy and practice, the Office of Housing Administration (OHA) and Residential Education Office (REO) responds to student needs and works to develop a nurturing community atmosphere that values diversity, social justice and promotes the dignity of all people.
In keeping with the overall mission of San Diego State University (SDSU), OHA/REO strives to provide safe and supportive on-campus lifestyle and living learning communities where diverse students are challenged to develop holistically; as scholars, citizens and leaders.
In keeping with this mission and California Law, which includes “gender identity” in the fair housing non-discrimination statement, a student driven pilot program for Gender-Neutral Housing will occur in the SDSU residence halls during the 2009-2010 academic year.
Residents must self-select the Gender-Neutral Housing option. Gender-Neutral Housing will never be forced upon a student. Residents must be an undergraduate student, at least 18 years of age, and eligible for University housing.
A limited number of spaces will be available to returning students who seek a more independent style of living.
In order to provide support to students who, for whatever reason, need or request special accommodations due to gender identity/expression, OHA/REO needs to know that a student requires such accommodations. Returning residents with concerns of any kind relating to their gender identity/expression are urged to contact OHA/REO, and an appropriate housing assignment will be made. OHA/REO will not ask for any more information than is required to meet students’ housing needs and, by law, all disclosed information will be kept strictly confidential.
Incoming first year students are not eligible to participate during their first two semesters. First year students who want a Gender-Neutral Housing assignment should contact OHA, and an appropriate housing assignment will be made.
Roommate pairings will not be based on gender identity, therefore Gender-Neutral Housing allows roommate pairings regardless of the gender with which a student does or does not identify. Thus, residents of Gender-Neutral Housing may request any roommate. Gender-Neutral Housing placement priority will be given to students who notify OHA/REO in a timely manner that they request accommodations based on their gender identity or gender expression. Students can also provide a preferred roommate, with REO approval, when they apply to the program, otherwise students will be notified of their hall assignment in late July and their roommate(s) in early August.
The University discourages all students in romantic relationships from living together in a residence hall, although we do not question the student’s motives for wanting to live in a Gender-Neutral Housing option.
If OHA/REO is able to accommodate a student request, we will do so. In meeting the needs of students, OHA/REO consistently recognizes and respects the gender identity that the student has identified. Recognizing that students are not all alike and have different needs and desires, OHA/REO will address these concerns on a case-by-case basis. If Gender-Neutral Housing is not available, you may request information regarding other housing options available.
For information or questions concerning Gender-Neutral Housing please contact Kara Bauer at (619) 594-5742 or email at email@example.com.
10. Yale Daily News, April 20, 2009
202 York Street, New Haven, CT 06511
Yale offers LGBT outreach
By Raymond Carlson
For the second year in a row, the University is attending targeted college fairs to reach out to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students .
This Saturday, Yale sent local alumni to represent the University at the Campus Pride College Fair in San Diego, Calif., for the second year in a row. Yale often sends alums to represent the University at a variety of different college fairs, Dean of Admissions Jeff Brenzel said, noting that participation in the Campus Pride fair was coordinated by the Yale Admissions Office and supported by other offices such as the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Department and the Office of LGBTQ Resources.
Asked why Yale participates in the fair given the large, existing LGBT population on campus, Brenzel said such efforts demonstrate the University’s commitment to inclusiveness.
“We cooperate with outreach groups of many different kinds across the country that seek to send a message of inclusion,” Brenzel said in an e-mail. “Our objective is always the same: to help get the message out that Yale is open to talented students, regardless of matters related to personal identity or background.”
Brenzel said Yale does not track the names of students who attend any fairs in which the University participates, noting that such events are meant only to provide information.
Yale’s participation in such an event provides tangible proof that the school is inclusive of LGBT students, said Shane Windmeyer, director of non-profit Campus Pride, which organizes the fairs.
“[The fair] is taking an invisible minority like LGBT students and making them visible for schools like Yale,” he said.
The fair is one of three total Campus Pride college fairs nationwide aimed at LGBT students, the only such fairs of their kind. While Yale has not had consistent participation in the other two fairs, Maria Trumpler, director of the Office of LGBTQ Resources, said she is working with a member of the admissions office to try to send more Yale representatives in the future.
Some of Yale’s peer schools that have participated in the fair in the past include Stanford, Princeton and Columbia universities, as well as the University of Pennsylvania. At the fair this weekend, Yale was joined by fellow Ivy League schools Princeton and Penn, as well as about 25 other institutions.
While such fairs are well-attended by colleges, attendance by students is “fairly low,” at least at the Philadelphia fair, said Bob Schoeneberg, director of the LGBT Center at Penn, which has hosted the fair twice. As more institutions participate, he said, the fairs will expand their reputation and hopefully attract more high school students.
The fair shows important administrative support for outreach to LGBT students, who are an essential part of Yale’s student community, Rachel Schiff ’10, co-coordinator of Yale’s LGBT Cooperative, said.
“I think it is really important to have a really strong LGBT community to foster a diverse community at Yale to encourage professors and students alike to think outside the heteronormative box,” she said.
Still, despite this positive outreach, Schiff said, Yale could do more to support LGBT students on campus, pointing to the recent stall of the gender-neutral housing policy.
Yale does well to participate in the fairs, said Madeline Emery ’11, who said she was aware of LGBT life at colleges to which she applied.
“There’s no reason why Yale shouldn’t participate in LGBT college fairs, she said. “It can only help people.”
Over the next academic year, Campus Pride will host fairs in New York City, Atlanta, San Diego and Minneapolis, Windmeyer said.
11. The Maneater, April 20, 2009
372 McReynolds Hall, Columbia, MO 65211
Students, staff gather for Day of Silence
By Angela Case and Kelsey MacDonald
Campus was a little quieter Friday.
About 500 MU students and staff members participated in National Day of Silence, an annual event that aims to raise awareness of the bullying and harassment Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer and Questioning students suffer every day.
Participants could be seen throughout campus wearing T-shirts with a large "90%" on the front. The back of the shirts stated, "of transgender students experienced verbal harassment at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation and gender expression."
When they were asked what the 90 percent stood for or why they were being silent, many participants just pointed to the backs of their shirts. Others handed out small pieces of paper explaining Day of Silence is "a national youth movement bringing attention to the silence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies."
At noon at Speakers Circle, a silent chain of students, linked by hands and rainbow flags, formed a circle around Brother Jed Smock.
The students were protesting the evangelist after he verbally attacked a transgender student the previous day, making derogatory statements about genitalia directly to the student while they were sitting watching, senior Morgan Diehl said.
"I was sort of making fun of her," Smock said. "It's OK to make fun of gay people."
Most in attendance disagreed.
"We consider it to be hate speech," Gamma Rho Lambda President Yantézia Patrick said.
Gamma Rho Lambda was established as a social sorority for the LGBTQ community and allies.
Members of Triangle Coalition, Fluidity and Gamma Rho Lambda organized the event, which attracted spectators throughout its two-hour run.
"It's just ridiculous that a person can't walk to class without their identity being attacked, like I don't see how in any way that's building a safe environment," Triangle Coalition President Asher Kolieboi said.
Kolieboi said several organizations work together to make the university a safer place.
"We just wanted to do a non-violent silent protest to say 'you know, we are here, we are students, we matter, you know, this is our community,'" Kolieboi said. "It's great that we have so many allies here."
Philosophy graduate student Pete Abram was reading in Speakers Circle when the protest began and knew something interesting was going to happen.
"It's always nice to see people doing the right thing," Abram said. "Obviously I'm not talking about Brother Jed and Brother Cope."
Smock said he appreciated the protest because he said it added to his message by drawing more to the audience.
"A few of them could be touched by my message," Smock said. "You know, I haven't completely given up on homosexuals."
Smock said that though he wasn't aware Friday was the Day of Silence, he was aware of its existence and hails it.
"It's one of my favorite days of the year because homosexuals tend to be very mouthy and loud and noisy and boisterous in promoting their perversion, and so I welcome the one day of the year when they are silent," Smock said.
Some spectators seemed to say what the circle could not, expressing their furor and proclaiming the injustice of what Smock was teaching when Cope came into brusque physical contact with some students.
Diehl said the turnout showed the character of MU.
"I think it just made a really big statement about our campus unity," Diehl said.
Many participants were particularly inspired by the amount of support they received.
"We decided to come to the circle today and join hands as a united front to let people know that the circle should be a safe space," Patrick said.
Diehl has participated in Day of Silence in the past. She said she participates because she has several LGBTQ friends and family members.
"The issue needs to be put out there," she said.
Even though the Day of Silence was officially scheduled to last from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., many students chose not to remain silent the entire day.
"I was silent most of the day," said Jennifer Pierrot, a sophomore who promoted the event at Stephens College. "I broke the silence around people who were wearing the shirts and already aware of it, but around other people, I was silent so that they would ask why I was being quiet."
Although Stephens does not have its own LGBTQ support group, Pierrot took the initiative to mobilize the event at the college.
"It wasn't very organized," Pierrot said. "I just told a lot of people, 'Day of Silence is on Friday,' and I came to Mizzou and picked up a lot of T-shirts, and then just handed them out to people."
Pierrot said she was inspired by the amount of support she received.
"There was no negative feedback at all," she said.
The number of people who showed their support, specifically by wearing T-shirts, also inspired senior Ashley Price, one of the organizers of the event.
Price said she felt the protest reflected the purpose of Day of Silence as a whole.
"We need to make it clear that that kind of hate speech is not appropriate," she said.
12. The Daily Pennsylvanian, April 23, 2009
4015 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104
Allies have day of silence to promote LGBT awareness
Fifty-three Penn students took vows of silence yesterday in honor of the Day of Silence, a national day that aims to promote awareness of anti-Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender harassment in schools.
The day, according to College junior and Lambda Alliance chairman Dennie Zastrow, served as a reminder that "the LGBT community is still marginalized, and there are a lot of rights that everybody else has that LGBT people don't."
This year's Day of Silence was held in honor of a 12-year-old student who committed suicide because of anti-LGBT harassment, according to Eliza Chute, College junior and co-chairwoman of Allies, a group of LGBT and straight students alike dedicated to supporting LGBT issues and the group that organized the day.
The national Day of Silence - started in 1996 at the University of Virginia with approximately 150 participants - was held at schools around the country last Friday, but holding the Day of Silence on the first day of Spring Fling would have presented "some difficulty," said Tyler Ernst, Wharton and Engineering freshman and treasurer of Allies. As a result, Allies decided to hold Penn's Day of Silence yesterday.
In addition to bringing attention to anti-LGBT bullying, Chute said, the day is also an effort to show "support for people who don't feel as if they could come out."
"It makes a pretty powerful statement," said Ernst, who remained silent all day. "Everyone notices, and I think it's a very good way to bring attention to the issue."
Zastrow agreed. "It is a big commitment," he said, which showed the extent of participants' passion for promoting awareness of LGBT issues.
The day aimed to "get a lot of people talking," he added, "which is kind of ironic."
Zastrow pointed out that although Penn is a relatively safe environment for LGBT students, many other places are not. "Just because on Penn's campus, it seems like everything's okay, if you look at the big picture, it's still not," he said.
In addition to those who took vows of silence, Zastrow said, many students are supportive of the day's goals but can't make the commitment to stay silent all day.
The staff at the LGBT Center, for example, could not participate. "It's impossible for us to conduct important business without speaking, but we support the endeavor in principle," said LGBT Center director Bob Schoenberg.
After the day was over, speakers and non-speakers alike were invited to break the silence at the LGBT Center, where students were asked to share stories about their experiences staying silent all day.
The event also featured poetry readings from several students and a performance by the Excelano Project, a spoken-word poetry group.
13. The Harvard Crimson, April 24, 2009
14 Plympton Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
Panel Discusses ROTC Challenges
By Edward-Michael Dussom and Evan T. R. Rosenman
Six Harvard undergraduates—each a member of a Reserve Officer Training Corps branch—led a panel discussion last night on the challenges created by Harvard’s refusal to officially recognize their service, capping off a week of student activism on behalf of ROTC.
The Harvard Republican Club sponsored the campaign, which coincides with the fortieth anniversary of the ROTC’s 1969 expulsion from campus.
About 60 students attended the panel discussion, which was co-sponsored by the Harvard College Democrats and the Harvard Political Union as well as the HRC.
Harvard continues to bar ROTC participants from University funding and support for ROTC programs due to the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, enacted in 1993.
Citing the “current federal policy of excluding known lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals from admission to ROTC,” the University says that the exclusion in its Student Handbook is consistent with its policy against discrimination.
As a result, cadets and midshipmen are forced to trek to MIT several times a week in order to train, though they receive no credit for their classwork there. Moreover, several panelists said they had sometimes faced ostracism or even hostility from faculty and peers because of their participation in ROTC.
“It gets to the point where you don’t want to wear your uniform to class because you know you’re going to stand out,” said ROTC participant Shawna L. Sinnott ’10.
The students also cited several other concerns about Harvard’s refusal to recognize ROTC, including the fact that Harvard revokes the financial aid offers for students who accept ROTC scholarships. Panelist Christi E. Morrissey ’10 said that this policy has forced some students to leave ROTC due to financial considerations.
The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy was not mentioned often throughout the event, though some panelists expressed resentment about their perception that they have been exploited as part of Harvard’s stance against discrimination.
“I don’t think that we have to be the means for them to make that political statement,” said panelist Joseph M. Kristol ’09.
The event marked the end of the HRC’s week-long campaign for ROTC recognition, an effort which has included a rally outside the Science Center on Wednesday as well as a poll of student support for the program. The effort has also ignited lively debate on house lists and club email chains, with students on both sides expressing strong opinions on the issue.
HRC President Colin J. Motley ’10 said he believes that the College’s refusal to officially recognize ROTC represents a misguided—and unfair—protest against policies that were implemented by the federal government, rather than the U.S. military.
“If Harvard wants to change the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, they should be punishing the federal government,” Motley said.
On the other side of the issue, Harvard College Queer Students and Allies Co-Chair Marco Chan ’11 said that while he recognizes and values the service of ROTC students, he believes that Harvard cannot officially recognize ROTC without implicitly endorsing institutionalized military homophobia.
“As inconvenient as [Harvard’s policy] might be, the fact is that students at Harvard are still allowed to participate in ROTC,” Chan said. “The same cannot be said for queer students and the military.”
Prompted by the 1969 storming of University Hall by student activists, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences took a strong stand against the Corps that year, officially requesting that the University refuse to grant credit from all ROTC courses. The University’s current relationship with the Corps was solidified in 1976, after a Faculty vote allowed cadets’ cross-registration at MIT, but without the possibility of credit.
President Drew G. Faust has not taken a public stance on the issue of official recognition during her tenure. Although she has expressed her desire that Harvard support a larger population of cadets—saying at last year’s ROTC commissioning ceremony, “I wish that there were more of you”—Faust has also said that she wishes openly gay students had an equal opportunity to serve in the armed forces.
-Staff writer Edward-Michael Dussom can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
-Staff writer Evan T. R. Rosenman can be reached at email@example.com
14. South Florida Sun Sentinel, April 22, 2009
200 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
FAU students create petition seeking gay, transgendered protections
By Scott Travis
PALM BEACH COUNTY - Florida Atlantic University would become the latest state school to specifically protect gays and lesbians from harassment and discrimination, and one of the first to protect transgendered people, if a student plan succeeds.
Some students are collecting signatures for a petition that asks the university to add sexual orientation and gender identity to its nondiscrimination policy. So far, they've received about 1,000 signatures, with the hopes of collecting 3,000, said Amy Milin, 20, president of Lambda United, FAU's gay/straight alliance.
A bill is also making its way through student government. It has received support from the incoming and outgoing student government presidents and the House of Representatives on the Boca Raton campus, said House member Boris Bastidas, 20, of Tamarac, who sponsored the bill. The plan will now go to student government leaders on other FAU campuses.
FAU is one of only three public universities in the state not to specifically list sexual orientation in its nondiscrimination policy. The others are Florida State University and Florida A&M University, both in Tallahassee.
Only one state university, New College of Florida, protects transgendered people, according to the Gender Public Advocacy Coalition, a national group. Bastidas said it's important for FAU to include this group.
"If we're going to have protection for anyone, we need to have protection for everyone," he said.
FAU's current policy bans harassment and discrimination based on race, color, religion, age, disability, sex, national origin, marital status, veteran status and "any other basis protected by law."
That means FAU students and faculty already may be protected, since Palm Beach and Broward counties prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
"Florida Atlantic University's regulations requiring fair and equitable conduct toward all persons are all-inclusive, ensuring for each member of the university community all rights protected under federal and state law," FAU spokeswoman Kristine Gobbo said. "FAU will always maintain policies and practices that comply with federal and state law."
But the current policy has never been tested in court, and it doesn't give a message of inclusion, Milin said.
"I believe it's important to acknowledge our existence," she said.
FAU's faculty union and the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council unsuccessfully asked for specific language that would protect gay students and employees in 2006.
"When it comes from the faculty, it's more easy to discount it as a union issue," said Fred Fejes, a communications professor. "I think when it comes from students, it might garner more attention."
Scott Travis can be reached at stravis@SunSentinel.com or 561-243-6637.
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