Monday, February 8, 2010

QNOC Digest 2010.02.07

Queer News On Campus [QNOC] Articles Digest
For the week ending 2010.02.07

Brought to you by the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals.

Archives of the QNOC Digest can be found at

Reminder: If you come across articles that should be included in the digest, please email a link to the article to

1. news - UO Campus Police Continue Investigation into Swastika Vandalism
2. - Swastika painted on carpet of UO group's office
3. Oregon Daily Emerald - ASUO opposes Forum
4. - Events planned to support LGBTQA
5. Inside Higher Ed - Quick Takes: Vanderbilt Clarifies Ties to Muslim Chaplain
6. The Stanford Daily - Editorial: In the face of hatred, the campus comes together
7. Central Michigan Life - Straight Ally Week kicks off
8. Central Michigan Life - Gay/lesbian programs director opening opportunities for LGBT community
9. University of California, San Francisco - UCSF to Celebrate Release of First Lesbian Health Textbook
10. Pensacola News Journal - UWF policy includes transgender students

1. news, February 2, 2010
P.O. Box 7009, Eugene, OR 97401
UO Campus Police Continue Investigation into Swastika Vandalism
By Gia Vang

EUGENE, Ore. -- News of a swastika being spray-painted on the carpet of a University of Oregon office is more proof for some that the campus environment is changing and some people blame the development on a free speech group.

Some people who spoke to KEZI 9 News say the mere presence of the Pacifica Forum has contributed to a growing list of hateful acts around campus.

The latest is the vandalism at the offices of the LGBTQA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Alliance). Members of the alliance say there's no doubt the weekly forum meetings have something to do with fostering hateful acts. But they aren't the only ones wanting answers. The university president and the Pacifica Forum members do, too.

"Whether it concurred someone to do this or whether this was an act unassociated, we just don't know," said UO President Richard Lariviere.

"Not only myself but everyone I've talked to at Pacifica was totally agast at it, we thought it was a terrible thing for anyone to do," said Pacifica Forum member Billy Rojas.

The vandal or vandals also spray-painted two computer monitors black. There were no signs of forced entry, and nothing in the room was taken, leaving members to wonder what the motivation might have been.

Campus police say they're still investigating and do not have any suspects. Members of the alliance say this most recent incident has actually had a positive effect too. The campus community is now standing together. They're holding a vigil at the EMU starting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.

2., February 2, 2010
4575 Blanton Road, Eugene, OR 97405
Swastika painted on carpet of UO group's office
By staff

EUGENE, Ore. -- Vandals painted a large black swastika on the carpet of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer Alliance office at the University of Oregon over the weekend.

A custodian discovered the damage to the carpet, along with two computer monitors painted black, at the office in the Erb Memorial Union Monday morning.

The carpet has now been removed and replaced with a sign of support from other student groups.

"To know someone came in here and threatened the safety of our space and our students here, that's frightening to me, and disheartening," said Kelsey Jarone, LGBTQA outreach coordinator.

UO President Richard Lariviere sent a letter to students denouncing the vandalism.

"When one group is targeted, it threatens all of us and must be addressed directly and swiftly," he wrote.

Jarone said student leaders believe the attack is somehow connected to an effort to ban the Pacifica Forum from meeting on the campus of the UO, although police have not named any suspects.

The student senate voted last week to allow the group meet on campus.

3. Oregon Daily Emerald, February 4, 2010
1222 E. 13th Ave. #300, Eugene, OR 97403
ASUO opposes Forum
By Alex Tomchak Scott

The ASUO Senate will vote at its Feb. 10 meeting on a new resolution aimed at opposing the Pacifica Forum.

The resolution, discussed Wednesday night, was sent to a vote by a margin of 17 for, one against, one abstaining.

It doesn’t call for the Forum to leave campus, which some senators said they would not support because they felt doing so would imply a restriction on the controversial organization’s First Amendment rights. Instead, the resolution supports the University administration’s decision to remove the Forum from the EMU and pledges support to the students who have rallied against the group.

The Senate voted down a resolution asking the group to leave campus entirely at its Jan. 27 meeting. However, senators spent the ensuing week hammering out a resolution that would garner enough votes for passage. Many also said the urgency surrounding the issue increased when a swastika was spray-painted onto the floor of the campus LGBTQA sometime between Friday and Monday morning.

The Senate’s rules do not allow it to pass a resolution in the meeting where it is first proposed. Instead, the Senate must send the resolution for review to its rules committee before approving it. That means the resolution is not yet sure to pass: At its Jan. 20 meeting, the Senate voted unanimously to send the last Pacifica Forum resolution to its rules committee, only to vote the same document down the next week.

However, Senators said the likelihood of the resolution’s passage on Feb. 10 is much higher because of the deliberation it has undergone. The resolution’s sponsors also took pains to encourage senators to vote against the resolution on Wednesday night if they opposed it.

“If you can’t support it now, let’s vote it down now and send it back to the drawing board,” Sen. Nick Schultz, one of the resolution’s authors, said.

The Senate’s discussion on the new resolution was calmer than it had been at the Jan. 27 meeting. At that meeting, audience members jeered many senators who questioned the resolution.

The resolution’s sponsors, however, said the Pacifica Forum’s student opponents had since agreed not to interrupt senators.

Many of the Jan. 27 resolution’s supporters of said they would have rather voted for a stronger resolution, but said compromise was necessary if the Senate was to approve any resolution against the group.

“I have a feeling neither side will be perfectly happy,” Sen. Chris Bocchicchio said.
The only senator who voted against passing the resolution on to the Senate’s rules committee was Tyler Griffin, who had previously said he would oppose any resolution that mentioned the Forum by name.

Griffin, along with Sen. Max Barkley, pushed for the inclusion of language from the Supreme Court’s Brandenburg v. Ohioruling, which created a legal definition for speech that is not protected by the First Amendment. Resolution supporters rejected the change, saying they did not want free speech to be the main point of debate.

Students have criticized the Pacifica Forum for inviting speakers who hold white supremacist beliefs and deny that the Holocaust happened. Critics say the Forum’s presence on campus creates an atmosphere in which non-white students fear violence and discrimination. University administrators and student leaders called the Pacifica Forum’s rhetoric partly responsible for the incident in the LGBTQA.

Others have defended the group, saying removing it from campus would implicitly violate its First Amendment rights. University officials have said that, for that reason, removing the group could leave the University open to a lawsuit.

The group is allowed to meet on campus because its founder, Orval Etter, is a former University professor, and University policy allows former professors to meet on campus free of charge.

The Jan. 27 resolution’s defeat was unpopular and many Forum opponents criticized the ASUO for it, especially in the wake of Sunday’s incident in the LGBTQA office.

Schultz said over an e-mail to the Senate that he intends to resign in the wake of a dispute with Senate President Nick Gower over the meeting’s speakers’ list.

4., February 3, 2010
3825 International Court, Springfield, Oregon 97477
Events planned to support LGBTQA

Eugene (KMTR) – A series of community events are planned this week following a hate crime at the University of Oregon's gay and lesbian resource center.

Tuesday night, hundreds gathered for a candle light vigil, and then marchers walked around the block in what they called "intentional silence."

Organizers of the march say they're overwhelmed by the support the group has gotten since the discovery of vandalism. Over the weekend, someone spray-painted a swastika on the floor of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgendered Questioning and Allies (LGBTQA) office.

LGBTQA member Kevin Belanger said “It’s great to see all these people out here supporting us because it's insane to think that hate still exists today, and all these people are showing that it's not welcome on our campus."

The wall outside the center's headquarters in Erb Memorial Union now a support wall with dozens of supportive messages from student groups and individuals.

Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to noon, a solidarity march from is planned from the U. of O. Bookstore, followed by a rally at the EMU amphitheater. Those attending will have a chance to use speech and art to express their thoughts.

On Thursday, February 4, an anti-hate forum is planned for the Ben Linder Room in the EMU from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Friday, February 5, a “Breaking Bigotry protest and rally is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. outside Johnson Hall on campus.

5. Inside Higher Ed, February 2, 2010
1320 18th Street NW, 5th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20036
Quick Takes: Vanderbilt Clarifies Ties to Muslim Chaplain

A panel commissioned by Emerson College issued a highly critical report about race at the institution -- while also not finding overt bias against black faculty members, The Boston Globe reported. "There are to be found at Emerson unexamined and powerful assumptions and biases about the superiority, preferability, and normativeness of European-American culture, intellectual pursuits, academic discourse, leadership, and so on," the report said. The biases result in "disproportionate undervaluing of African Americans and the disproportionate overvaluing of European Americans," it added. The report was commissioned amid complaints that only four of Emerson's 117 tenured and tenure-track faculty are black. Of the three who are tenured, two were promoted only after they sued.

6. The Stanford Daily, February 2, 2010
456 Panama Mall, Stanford, CA 94305
Editorial: In the face of hatred, the campus comes together
By Editorial Board

Friday morning at 8 a.m., at a time when you would usually be hard-pressed to find many students awake on campus, over a hundred students, faculty and community members gathered on the front lawn at Hillel to make a united stand for tolerance. When word first reached campus that the gay-hating, Jew-hating, America-hating zealots of Fred Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church were coming here to protest, there was an immediate sense that Stanford must come together to counter their hatred. And counter is exactly what we did–in such great force that the handful of Westboro protesters looked even more pathetic by contrast.
In our first statement of the new editorial volume, the Editorial Board would like to commend all of those who came together on Friday to show that diversity and tolerance are among Stanford’s highest values. In the face of the Phelps clan’s animosity, the different segments of the Stanford community–gay and straight, Catholic and Protestant, Jew and Gentile, etc.–came together to reinforce the unity of the University. And in traditional Stanford style, we met hatred not with additional hatred, but with camaraderie, song and positive celebration. It was a proud moment for the campus.
Even now, it is unclear exactly what the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) was thinking in coming to campus in the first place. Perhaps they sincerely thought that they could have an effect on students’ thinking and round up a few converts. Or maybe they just hoped that they could incite the campus to impede on their rights, thus allowing them to file a lawsuit to raise money for future protests. Whatever the case, their efforts failed to attract any new support and instead backfired to such a degree that members of the LGBT community were brought together in solidarity with representatives of campus religious groups. The outcome of the protest was one of the most positive expressions of commonality we’ve seen on campus since we upset USC.
The term “commonality” can be accurately used in reference to the Stanford community, not to be confused with “conformity,” the ideal which the WBC flock seems to hold up as the will of God. It makes sense, really, that a place like Stanford should attract the ire of an organization like WBC–whereas Stanford, like many universities, works hard to embrace diversity of belief, thought and lifestyle, Fred Phelps and the rest of WBC see this kind of diversity as an affront to their absolutist worldview. Their hatred is born out of the belief that they have a perfect understanding of what God wants, and thus how the world should be. It is a view that stands in philosophical opposition to the principles of a modern university, in which ideas and ideals alike are evaluated with open skepticism, and in which there is often no single correct answer. In standing up against the zealotry and rigidness of the WBC clan, the Stanford community showed the world that, though we may often disagree with each other, we can still come together for each other.

7. Central Michigan Life, February 1, 2010
436 Moore Hall, Mount Pleasant, MI 48859
Straight Ally Week kicks off
By Annie Harrison

The Office of Gay and Lesbian Programs and the Gay Straight Alliance will sponsor several events today through Friday in honor of Straight Ally Week.
“We need to recognize straight allies as a part of the LGBT community,” said Holt senior and GSA co-president Matt Darling. “The LGBT community can’t do it alone. They need the support of straight allies.”
The GSA will kick off the week’s events with a presentation titled, “LGBTA: Where Does the ‘A’ Fit?” The program starts at 7 p.m. Monday in Bovee University Center’s Lake St. Clair Room.
Howell graduate student and GSA Pride co-chair Stasi Russell said straight allies are going to explain what it means to be an ally and how students can help in the LGBT community. The presentation also will include a question-and-answer session.
“Hopefully, through Straight Ally Week, we can get more allies,” Darling said.
On Tuesday, the GSA will set up tables and a button-making machine in the lower floor of the Bovee University Center for people to make their own ally buttons and give donations. The buttons are free and anyone can participate.
The GSA will show a movie at 8 p.m. Wednesday in the Multicultural Education Center. Russell said the movie will be a comedy and have a straight ally theme, but could not elaborate further due to copyright issues.
On Thursday, the organization will present “Here is Your Inspiration… You’re Gay… Action” at 7 p.m. in the Calkins Terrace Lounge.
“We’re going to discuss professional straight actors who play gay characters, such as Sean Penn, who played Harvey Milk (in ‘Milk’),” Russell said.
An open mind
Russell said she believes Straight Ally Week is important for the campus because it educates students outside the LGBT community about equal rights. She is passionate about the issue because she has friends in the LGBT community and wants them to have the same rights she does.
“I’ve been actively fighting for this cause since I was 14,” she said. “My best friend in high school came out to me, and I knew I had to be there for him.”
Straight Ally Week allows students to become more involved, Darling said.
“This is something people can do right now,” he said. “Students that don’t get family support can get support on campus.”
Russell said the ultimate goal of Straight Ally Week is to open people’s minds and educate them about LGBT issues.
“This isn’t just a gay issue — it’s an equality issue,” she said.

8. Central Michigan Life, February 3, 2010
436 Moore Hall, Mount Pleasant, MI 48859
Gay/lesbian programs director opening opportunities for LGBT community
By Amelia Eramya

Nervous. Anxious. Excited.
Those were the emotions rushing through Shannon Jolliff before she came out to her friends and family.
“I started questioning if I was a lesbian around the age 14,” Jolliff said.
Since meeting her partner almost 3 years ago, Jolliff, the director of gay and lesbian programs at Central Michigan University, has become more comfortable talking about her feelings with those close to her. Her biggest fear was coming out to her parents because of their religious beliefs and because they are pastors. Religiously, Jolliff’s parents disagreed with her lifestyle, but still loved her for who she was.
“I feel like my coming-out process is never-ending,” she said. “It is a continual process.”
Jolliff’s coming-out process led to the creation of several programs for the LGBT community at Central Michigan University since she accepted her position in October 2008.
“I think she has made a huge impact,” said Stasi Russell, a Howell graduate student.
Russell, also the Pride Co-Chair for Gay Straight Alliance, said it has been a complete joy to work with Jolliff.
LGBT programs
Started in January 2009, the coming-out support group has been a successful program for those involved. Jolliff holds meetings once a week for ten weeks.
“We talk about coming out to family,” she said.
Jolliff said from research, students trying to come out without support have high risks of alcohol abuse, suicide and dropping out of college.
“I don’t want any student at CMU to face those types of issues,” she said.
Jolliff also created a safe zone program. Resident assistants, multicultural assistants and several volunteer students have gone through training and signed a contract to be a “safe zone” for those in need of a go-to person.
In addition, she started a running group and a lunch group in August 2009. It gave those part of the LGBT community a chance to network with those who can relate to each other’s situations.
Russell especially enjoys the running group.
“It’s such a comfortable environment,” she said.
Jolliff said it is these new programs and the students they’ve supported over the last few months that are most memorable of her first year in the position.
“The majority of my time is dedicated to the LGBT community,” she said.
Jolliff said her office, in Room 125 of the Bovee University Center, is open to anyone. Students do not have to be a part of the LGBT community to receive support.
“Whatever students need, I’m more than happy to provide that,” she said.

9. University of California, San Francisco, February 4, 2010
The University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143
UCSF to Celebrate Release of First Lesbian Health Textbook
By Lisa Cisneros

The UCSF community is invited to join the Lesbian Health & Research Center (LHRC) on Monday, Feb. 8 for a special symposium to celebrate the release of the first comprehensive lesbian health textbook ever published.

The book titled, “Lesbian Health 101: A Clinician’s Guide,” is edited by LHRC Founding Co-Directors Suzanne Dibble, RN, DNSc, professor emerita in the Institute for Health & Aging, and Patricia Robertson, MD, professor and Endowed Chair in Obstetric and Gynecology Education, and is published by the UCSF School of Nursing Press.

The symposium, which runs from 2 to 5 p.m. in Health Sciences West, room 300, on the UCSF Parnassus campus, will feature many of the chapter authors, leading lesbian researchers and clinicians in their field, who will share their expertise in a panel discussion. An evening reception and book signing will follow from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Lange Room of the Kalmanovitz Library on the Parnassus campus.

This book represents a milestone in academic medicine as it is the only textbook of its kind to contain the latest research and knowledge about lesbian health, which will be useful to clinicians and students, as well as lesbians themselves. Some health issues for lesbians are different from those of heterosexual women, and clinicians need to be aware of these differences to provide culturally appropriate care to their female patients, at least 5 percent of whom are lesbian.

“It’s thrilling to know that we now have a tool to help educate both clinicians and patients about lesbian health,” says Ellen Haller, MD, professor of clinical psychiatry and director of the General Adult Residency Training Program. “Up until now, even if a patient did tell her clinician that she was a lesbian, there often was a lack of knowledge about her unique health needs. This comprehensive textbook changes that paradigm of ignorance and lack of information. Lesbians do have some differences in their health care needs, and ‘Lesbian Health 101’ sets the bar higher so that these women can receive appropriate and informed health care.”

The book also provides insight into women’s health in general, covering a wide range of topics, such as health screenings, substance abuse, reproduction, domestic abuse and disabilities.

Major Achievement
The book is an important achievement for UCSF’s LHRC, which was formed in September 1999 following the release of an Institute of Medicine (IOM) report that found that additional data is required to determine if lesbians may be at higher risk for certain health problems and that research on lesbian health will help advance scientific knowledge that will benefit other population groups.

The US Department of Health and Human Services confirmed the need to focus on lesbian health in 2000 when it released “‘Healthy people 2010,” a 10-year plan which identified lesbian and gay Americans as one of six groups affected by health disparities.

UCSF’s Institute for Health & Aging and School of Nursing created the LHRC specifically to initiate and support research projects that can be used to educate both providers and lesbians, bisexuals and transgender women on their unique health issues and provide culturally appropriate care and outreach. The center also works to debunk misconceptions about lesbian, bisexual and transgender women’s health.

By leading the way in lesbian health and research, UCSF is realizing its strategic plan, unveiled in June 2007. The plan calls for serving the local, regional and global communities and eliminating health disparities by leveraging UCSF’s research expertise, modeling best practices in clinical care and integrating content on health disparities throughout the continuum of learning.

In addition, UCSF is striving to nurture diversity in part by establishing a campus culture that celebrates the many differences, including sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity and gender.

10. Pensacola News Journal, February 6, 2010
101 East Romana Street, Pensacola, FL 32502
UWF policy includes transgender students
By Rebekah Allen

The University of West Florida has made it loud and clear: equality for transgender students and staff.

President Judy Bense attended a Student Government Association meeting Friday afternoon to deliver the announcement to students, after denying the request last week.

Effective immediately, she said, the university's harassment and nondiscrimination policy will be updated to include "gender identity."

"If there is one student who is transgender on this campus, then this is all worth it," said Stephen Loveless, 24, Gay-Straight Alliance president. "If it affects one of us, it affects all of us."

The student organization, which has about 65 members, gathered 1,000 signatures on a petition to support the language change, and with the support of SGA, requested that UWF add the more inclusive wording.

Bense said she denied the request because the policy protects "gender," which would include transgender students.

The policy last was updated four years ago, when the word "gender" replaced "sex," and "sexual orientation" was added.

Bense said after talking with concerned students, she realized the wording was too vague, so the policy will now include a clarification.

"We'll put it in writing — that gender includes sex and gender identity," Bense said. "It always did in our minds, it always will and I'll shout it out."

It's unclear if there are transgender students at UWF because the university does not track them.

After the request was denied last week, students reached out to equality organizations asking them to write letters urging Bense to change her mind.

Loveless said more than 50 letters were written to Bense.

"I think this is a victory for the entire student body, not just (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) students, because we stood up and said we wanted something done and the administration listened to us," said Liz Southworth, 19, criminal justice sophomore.

There are 282 colleges and universities that include language protecting transgender people, and UWF is the second in Florida to make the distinction.

"It's something that's happening all over the country. It's a movement," Bense said. "I can relate to a movement. I burned my bra, I wore pants when I wasn't supposed to. I get it. This is the way we do things in our country when we want change. We speak out."

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