Queer News On Campus [QNOC] Articles Digest
For the week ending 2010.10.10
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 Battalion (Texas A&M) - NOH8 to have photo shoot on campus
2. Inside Higher Ed - Sexuality, Technology and Student Life
3. USA Today - Sidewalk chalk art conveys message of love
4. The Courier-Journal - University of Louisville students, faculty hold anti-bullying vigil
5. WTOL - BGSU senior says gay bullying a reality on campus
6. Inside Higher Ed - Transgender Athletes, College Teams
7. The Tufts Daily - Editorial: Stop pervasive homophobic speech
8. Asbury Park Press - Shore colleges take new look at bullying
9. CBS News - Tyler Clementi: Molly Wei's Lawyers Say She's Innocent
10. The Collegian (Saint Mary’s College of California) - 'Angels' welcomes dialogue on campus
11. Indiana Daily Student - Gay teen suicides: Bullying in high places
12. Indiana Daily Student - Gay teen suicides: The Greek perspective
13. The Chronicle of Higher Education - Queer Youth Not a Tragedy
14. The Record - Gay teens can find identity in college
15. CNN AC360 Blog - Targeted student: Given recent suicides, 'it's hard not to say something'
16. The Colorado Independent - In wake of gay suicides, DU leaders rally community against harassment
17. The Tufts Daily - Recent LGBT deaths spark dialogue at Tufts about bullying, harassment
18. The Tufts Daily - Love thy neighbor (if…)
19. The Star-Ledger - Rutgers University president speaks out on Tyler Clementi tragedy
20. South County Independent - Both sides happy with sit-in results
21. The Diamondback (University of Maryland) - The One Project unifies LGBT students
22. The Advocate - Rutgers Suicide Sparks Federal Legislation
23. Los Angeles Times - Gay archives, said to be nation's largest, to be given to USC
1. The Battalion (Texas A&M), September 30, 2010
The Grove (Building 8901), 1111 TAMU, College Station, Texas 77843-1111
NOH8 to have photo shoot on campus
By Connie Thompson
Everything is bigger in Texas: the food, the hair, the textbooks. What many do not know, however, is that Texas is the third largest support state for the national NOH8 campaign.
Texas A&M is the first university in the nation chosen for a NOH8 photo shoot. Many Aggies are anticipating the arrival of Bouska and the photo shoot.
Monday, the NOH8 campaign will be doing a photo shoot on the Texas A&M University campus, giving Texas supporters an opportunity to get involved in the campaign.
The NOH8 campaign, recently a nonprofit organization, was formed in response to the passage of Proposition 8 on Nov. 4, 2008 in California, which banned same-sex marriage in the state.
Celebrity photographer Adam Bouska started the silent protest with partner Jeff Parshley in response to the passage of Proposition 8.
Campaign photographs feature supporters covering their mouths with duct tape with "NOH8" painted on one cheek to symbolize the belief that they are being being silenced by Proposition 8 and similar legislation.
Supporters of the campaign include politicians, celebrities and military personnel. Since its beginning, the NOH8 campaign has grown to more than 5,500 photographs of supporters and continues to grow at an exponential rate.
The NOH8 campaign protests against the ban of same-sex marriage and all anti-discriminatory acts.
The significance of A&M being the first university in the nation to have a NOH8 photo shoot is "monumental and it's important for students to see that," said Karla Gonzalez, president of GLBT Aggies.
This year, The Princeton Review ranked Texas A&M as the 17th most homophobic university in the country.
"Hate is not an Aggie value," said Lowell Kane, program coordinator for the GLBT Resource Center.
The on campus photo shoot will help solidify the perception of A&M as a welcoming community and help combat negative stereotypes of the University, Kane said.
Umair Rafique, student assistant in the office of the vice president of student affairs, said the results of the national campaign will have a significant impact on the future of Texas A&M andthe country.
"[The NOH8 campaign] is going to affect the lives of children who are growing up right now and affect how they're going to live in the future," he said. "It's basically their freedom."
The NOH8 photo shoot is open to students and anyone who wants to participate. Donated funds are tax deductible and go to the national campaign.
Participants are asked to wear a plain white shirt to the photo shoot. Bouska will take five to 10 frames for each individual or group and will retouch the photo of his choice, to be made available through the campaign website, www.NOH8Campaign.com.
2. Inside Higher Ed, October 1, 2010
1320 18th Street NW, 5th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20036
Sexuality, Technology and Student Life
By Tracy Mitrano
How is the young man who was in the room with Mr. Clementi doing? Thankfully, for him, we don't know his name, nor am I curious. Only concerned. If Mr. Clementi felt profoundly rattled by events, one can only imagine how he feels. The media, having gotten ahold of this story, has expanded the scope and amplification of the private act between him and Mr. Clementi many orders of magnitude beyond the original publication on the Internet.
Scope and amplification are the reasons we revisit concepts of privacy originally prompted by technology and now transformed by this particular phenomenon of the Internet.
Photography is what motivated Brandeis and Warren to write their famous law review article in which they set the legal stage for four civil actions related to a "right of privacy," invasion of privacy being the most prominent today.
There are violations of privacy and violations of privacy. A man gossiping about his roommate's sexuality is nothing new. Yet it is still a violation of privacy. Surreptitiously pointing cameras operated by remote control on sexual activity and then posting that activity on the Internet is another matter. Does anyone disagree that it is a violation of privacy?
Does American society need an "Internet fraud" law? Like mail fraud, federal law that creates a separate violation for a criminal act propagated via postal mail, Internet fraud would make use of the Internet to perpetrate any criminal act its own separate transgression. Given scope and amplification, it is a concept at least worth discussing. We need more of what we apparently do not have: education about the appropriate use of technology beginning in the earliest grades, and laws in some cases that drive the point home.
It is perhaps also time to end the fallacy that youth neither have nor value privacy. That notion has been unthoughtful from the start, an adult's knee-jerk reaction. No more phone booths for Superman. The personal has indeed been made public as we signal arms over our head "TMI" in airports, buses and restrooms. But just try to grab your teenage son or daughter's cell phone from them and watch the reaction. Moreover, adolescence psychologists view the teenage years as a well-established developmental stage from childhood to adulthood. It is marked by the requirement that teenagers have secrets, physical and emotional space away from the roving eye of parents or even older siblings, in order for them to try out their identities without the gaze or constant comment of Mom and Dad.
Mr. Clementi's roommate violated that space. It would be wrong if it were an older brother in the family home with a video camera not posted. It is most certainly wrong -- legally and ethically -- to have done more, even to a complete stranger, which is who Mr. Clementi was to the roommate until only a few weeks ago when they were assigned together in a residence hall. Should a higher standard of care arise for roommates? Yes, because strangers in the most intimate of spaces, a bedroom, deserve privacy.
Reflecting back on my undergraduate experience, I can only say I was one of the lucky ones. My first roommate and I were never good friends. I cannot now even remember her name. But far more important than remembering her name is the fact that she never harassed me when I went down the hall to spend time with a woman whom I suspected might, like me, be attracted to women. I was not surveilled or photographed. If she gossiped about me, I never knew. The next year I became a resident adviser intentionally so that I could have my own room, but now with responsibilities. I would not have dreamed of bringing another woman into my room for fear of the perception of the label of being a lesbian.
By the next year I was over it. When some of the student leaders visited me in an apartment I garnered as an area adviser my junior year to ask me to run for student government my immediate response was, "Who is going to elect a lesbian?" They told me to never mind about that issue. I was the President of the Student Association at the University of Rochester academic year 1980-1981.
By then I was 21 years old. Three years from 18 and with enough time to have dated both men and women and to have considered my options. I thought then as I do now that if pressed to adopt a label bisexual would do, but I had the time and space to work it out for myself sufficient to the transverse from shame and confusion to at least a fledgling, if sometimes defensive, confidence about who I was.
In short, I had the privacy I needed to make that transition. And to this day I am very grateful for the opportunity to have gone to college to make that journey. It is no small piece of why I shortly thereafter decided to devote my career to higher education. College gave me to myself.
I am a mother. I have two sons. No parent wants their child to become a name or image on a poster. Still, if we who grieve with this family do not take the lessons from it we will all be the poorer and our children potential future victims. This case has renewed an understanding of the challenges that youth face in college, gay or straight, but especially gay. This case revives a conversation about the appropriate use of technology, especially communication technologies such as the Internet. And this case should remind us of what a right and privilege college is to each new generation for what is learned both in and outside of the classroom.
In every sense: physically, emotionally and intellectually, it is imperative to our children and to the kind of society that every day we aspire to achieve that the collegiate environment remain safe.
3. USA Today, October 5, 2010
7950 Jones Branch Drive, McLean, VA 22108-0605
Sidewalk chalk art conveys message of love
By Laura Bruno
MADISON, N.J. Students at Drew University woke up Monday morning to gray skies overhead but rainbow-colored messages of hope on the ground.
Joining students on more than 100 college campuses nationwide, they wrote and found simple messages of love and compassion in colored chalk on well-traveled paths, expressing sentiments such as "You are loved," "You are beautiful" and "Be yourself."
"It lifted my spirits," says Kelly Bronner, 18, a freshman from Ridgewood, N.J., who was studying for a morning exam. "Whatever someone is going through, it tells you to hang in there, it's going to get better."
For the second year, gay, lesbian and transgender campus support groups across the USA sought to raise awareness Monday about the high rate of attempted suicide in their community through the "You Are Loved Chalk Message" project.
Organizers say the project attracted greater attention this year because of the five male youths who committed suicide in September, including two college students: Raymond Chase, an openly gay sophomore at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, and Tyler Clementi, a freshman at New Jersey's Rutgers University.
"These tragedies are a wake-up call to society,' said Jen Dugan of Florham Park, N.J., who started the project as a junior at Drew in 2006. "Things are going to change because we are going to change them."
Anti-gay bullying is suspected to have played a role in at least four of the September suicides of males, ages 13 to 19, says Laura McGinnis, spokeswoman of the Trevor Project, a national, 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide hotline for gay and questioning youth, which she says has received 187,000 calls since 1998. The other suicides took place in Texas, Indiana and California, she says.
Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River nearly two weeks ago, three days after his roommate and another student used a webcam to broadcast on the Internet live images of Clementi having an intimate encounter with another man, prosecutors say.
Last year, Dugan took the chalk project national, getting students at 50 college campuses involved, including the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Roanoke College in Salem, Va., and the University of Illinois-Chicago.
This year, Dugan's project was supported by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and Active Minds, a college mental health awareness group, which helped spread the word further.
-At Texas A&M University, the chalk project was combined with the NOH8 silent photo protest against California's Proposition 8. Participants were bused in from all over Texas, says Lowell Kane, coordinator of the campus GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender) resource center.
-Students at the University of Maine chalked in the evening after a moment of silence, says Whitney Lee Kangas, graduate assistant for the campus counseling center.
-Students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln participated for the second consecutive year, writing messages outside the student union, says senior Jason Lucht, 21, of Gretna, Neb., who considered suicide as a gay high school student.
"When I was having problems, I tended to look down, so if I'd seen chalking on the ground, I would have seen that someone cared," Lucht says.
Gay youth are two to six times more likely to report having attempted suicide than their peers, said Ann Haas, director of prevention projects for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
There is no data available on the sexual orientations of people who commit suicide, she says.
"It's all too obvious in the past couple weeks how much negative reaction gay youth receive," Haas says. "To create visible messages using art and beauty to drive home positive messages can be a powerful input for young people."
4. The Courier-Journal, October 4, 2010
525 W. Broadway, P.O. Box 740031, Louisville, Ky., 40201-7431
University of Louisville students, faculty hold anti-bullying vigil
By Chris Quay
About 100 students and faculty gathered in front of the Red Barn on the University of Louisville’s Belknap Campus on Monday to show solidarity among the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender population at the school.
It was also a way to remember 18-year-old Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi — who took his own life last week after video footage of him with another male student was released.
U of L graduate student Jessica Morris, who spoke briefly at the vigil, called the national response in the wake of Clementi’s death “touching,” but she hopes the message against gay bashing doesn’t fade away.
She said she has had many friends who have been tormented and bullied because of their sexual preference.
Several students, some holding signs or rainbow flags, took turns at the microphone talking about their experiences with suicide attempts and living as a gay or lesbian person — many of their messages ended with a theme of “all you need is love.”
The university’s newly created Bias Incident Response Team was also introduced at the vigil. Sharon Larue, director of the school’s PEACC Program, said the team has four goals when handling reports of abuse: support, educate, promote, and refer.
“I’m glad we did it,” LaRue said of creating the team and holding Monday’s vigil. She said they should promote more fairness and reduce fear for members of the gay and lesbian population across campus and the community.
Brian Buford, director of the school’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Services, which also co-hosted Monday’s event, said it’s important to get the word out that there are people and programs to help gay and lesbians who feel forgotten or alone.
“It’s really an important time to speak out,” in light of Clementi’s death, he said.
Reporter Chris Quay can be reached at (502) 582-4241.
5. WTOL, October 4, 2010
730 North Summit Street, Toledo, OH 43604
BGSU senior says gay bullying a reality on campus
By Colleen Wells
BOWLING GREEN, OH (WTOL) - Students at Rutgers University are back in class after a weekend of events honoring the life of Tyler Clementi, committed suicide last week after video of his sexual encounter with another man was allegedly streamed online his roommates.
Both the University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University have anti-harassment policies in place, but students say it still happens.
Openly gay BGSU senior Aris Kaleps-Clark, who knows about bullying and harassment, says he learned to get a thick skin growing up.
Although Kaleps-Clark has not been harassed at the university, some of his friends have been bullied.
"I know several people who have been, even living in their dorms," said Kaleps-Clark. "Their roommates have harassed them, bullied them. And it's terrible to hear it and sit by and feel helpless when they are going through that."
BGSU Associate Dean of Students Michael Ginsburg says he investigates all harassment complaints seriously and says he sees bullying based on sexual orientation.
"I think it does happen at Bowling Green," said Ginsburg. "I think it is very underreported. I think it takes, it seems to take a lot to want to come forward, and I wish that was different."
The University is taking a proactive approach to try to prevent harassment of any kid and has even created a website where people can report harassment anonymously. The site, called Report It has been up and running for more than a year.
Ginsburg says punishment ranges from mandated educational counseling to expulsion and that if the harassment is biased-related, the penalties are even more severe.
"I think it comes down the basis, everyone deserves to be treated equally -- and everyone is their own person, and deserves to be respected as such."
Kaleps-Clark says the university is making great strides to stop harassing behavior. In fact, he is involved in several campus organizations that raise awareness about equal rights for everyone, because he says education is best way to prevent and stop bullying.
6. Inside Higher Ed, October 5, 2010
1320 18th Street NW, 5th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20036
Transgender Athletes, College Teams
By Scott Jaschik
Keelin Godsey was a National Collegiate Athletic Association champion hammer thrower and won All-America honors in hammer, weight and discus, while on the Bates College track team. The women's team, to be exact -- although Keelin identifies as a man.
Godsey graduated in 2006. From the time he was a freshman, and started to achieve athletic success, he also wanted to transition from being a woman to a man, but he was terrified of doing so -- in part because of fear of letting down the team. During his senior year, he started identifying as a man, began the process of changing his first name (which used to be a woman's name) and started having his teammates and others refer to him with male pronouns. He took no gender-transition medications, nor did he have any surgery -- and he continued to win for the women's team.
At Bates, coaches, faculty members and team members were enormously supportive, Godsey said in an interview Monday. But when he started the process, and in the years before he did so, he had no idea how he would be treated, and whether his spot on the team would be endangered by his identity. Godsey is one of the examples in a report, "On the Team," issued Monday by several advocacy groups that believe athletes like Godsey shouldn't have to worry about losing spots on the team. The report calls for a new national standard on when transgender athletes of various types should have the option of playing on men's teams, women's teams or either.
The NCAA is currently studying the issue -- and has had the policy of leaving decisions up to individual colleges, meaning that no national standard exists today. While NCAA rules about men's and women's teams were developed without a sense of a growing transgender population, the issue is starting to surface in college sports. The NCAA reports that its national office has received 30 inquiries in the last two years about how colleges should deal with transgender athletes. Those numbers could increase, given that more people than in the past are identifying themselves as transgender, more are doing so at younger ages than in the past, and a growing number of colleges have anti-bias policies that cover gender identity.
The report argues that in this environment, the lack of a national standard is unfair both to transgender students and to all athletes. The response by Bates was consistent with the guidelines in the new report, but Godsey said that this should be the norm, not the exception. "This is a really important issue," said Godsey. "We need to allow people to compete and be themselves at the same time, and to do that, you need to know that the coach will know what to do, and the athletic director will know what to do."
The report divides its recommendations for colleges into two categories of transgender students: those who are undergoing hormone treatments and those who are not. (And the report notes that many people who identify as transgender do not take medical steps.)
For those undergoing hormone treatments, the report recommends that a male-to-female transgender athlete should be able to participate on men's teams, but should complete one year of hormone treatments before competing on a women's team. The report recommends that a female-to-male transgender athlete, who is taking prescribed testosterone, should be allowed to compete on men's teams, but must seek an exemption to NCAA rules barring the use of testosterone.
For those not undergoing hormone treatments, the report recommends that transgender students should all have the option of competing on the teams consistent with birth gender, that female-to-male students be allowed to participate on either the men's or women's team, but that male-to-female transgender students not be permitted to compete on women's teams.
The report notes the concerns some have expressed about male-to-female athletes having an unfair advantage because of their pre-transition bodies. But the report says that its recommendations are based on scientific studies showing that after a year of hormone treatment, that advantage would be gone, and the recommendations are based on that time span.
Further, the report says that fears of people switching genders for the purpose of winning spots on women's college teams are simply unrealistic. "[T]he decision to transition from one gender to the other -- to align one’s external gender presentation with one’s internal sense of gender identity -- is a deeply significant and difficult choice that is made only after careful consideration and for the most compelling of reasons," the report says.
While the report addresses such practical issues, it argues strongly that the key issue is one of fairness. "Core values of equal opportunity and inclusion demand that educational leaders adopt thoughtful and effective policies that enable all students to participate fully in school athletic programs," it says.
"Over the course of many years, schools have learned and continue to appreciate the value and necessity of accommodating the sport participation interests of students of color, girls and women, students with disabilities, and lesbian, gay, and bisexual students. These are all issues of basic fairness and equity that demand the expansion of our thinking about equal opportunity in sports. The right of transgender students to participate in sports calls for similar considerations of fairness and equal access."
The report was written by Pat Griffin, former director of the It Takes A Team! Education Campaign for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues in Sport and professor emeritus of social justice education at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst; and Helen J. Carroll, director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights’ Sports Project. The report was co-sponsored by the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the Women's Sports Foundation and It Takes a Team! The sponsoring organizations held a meeting last year to gather experts -- including NCAA representatives -- to discuss these issues.
A spokeswoman for the NCAA said that the association doesn't have a formal policy on transgender athletes, but recommends to colleges that they follow the classifications on students' identification documents, such as driver's licenses or voter registration cards. But it is currently the college's right to designate an athlete as male or female. The spokeswoman said that while this system has worked, "the matter can become complicated because of the differences in identification documents among states."
Further, the issue can be important for the way teams are classified. A female on a male team does not change the designation of the team, but a male on a female team classifies the team as "mixed," making it ineligible for NCAA women's championships. Any classification of a team as "mixed" lasts for the rest of the academic year.
The NCAA is studying the report and working on its own review of the issue, the spokeswoman said, with the goal of making sure any policies developed "are in the best interest of student-athlete well-being."
7. The Tufts Daily, October 4, 2010
Curtis Hall, Tufts University, 474 Boston Ave., Medford, MA 02155
Editorial: Stop pervasive homophobic speech
The recent, tragic death by suicide of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi, one of five deaths by suicide among gay youths around the country reported in the last few weeks, has stirred up conversations about the importance of tolerance on college campuses. Homophobic bullying has played a prominent role in some of the deaths, which have left some scratching their heads, wondering how homophobia and bullying are still rampant when so much energy has been dedicated to eliminating them.
While we might think we're ready to put an end to these tragedies, our society has not yet eliminated the culture of insensitivity and hate that permits such bullying to take place.
The root of incidents such as these is not the social media websites where the bullying takes place or the parents who abhor homosexuality. On college and school campuses, we often use our words and cameras irresponsibly, forgetting just how out of control our actions can get.
Whether or not someone puts up a video or spreads a rumor out of vengeance or simple carelessness, our society's recklessness with words and ideas will remain toxic and even deadly until we internalize their potential for harm.
We can never know what will get to someone, so why take the risk? Whether it's spreading seemingly innocuous rumors or equating disgust or disdain with homosexuality by using the word "gay" as a synonym for stupid or "faggot" as a common insult, we must realize that our words are not only insensitive but also incredibly offensive to those about whom we do not necessarily think when we say them.
It is also appalling that in a society that devotes considerable attention to homophobia and other gay rights issues, we are not by now acutely aware of the potentially major harm our utterances can have on someone's life.
People have never been more exposed to the existence of gay rights issues than they are today; there is no longer an excuse for ignorance. Actions like those taken against Tyler Clementi last month must therefore be labeled as malicious so that people will be made to realize the injury they are capable of causing. Strong measures must be taken to deter further acts so that no one can make a claim of ignorance or social acceptability.
It might be convenient to blame the resurgence of teen suicides related to homophobia on social media sites, digital cameras and other technology that give bullies new methods to spread hate. But these are just modern tools that aid the spread of a problem that is not new.
Rather, we need to be cognizant of our own actions, fierce in our criticism of others' harmful words and devoted to establishing a counterculture to social carelessness and viciousness.
We need to ask ourselves not why these kids died by suicide there and then, but why it hasn't yet happened here. We must encourage ourselves, our peers and our university leaders to crack down on recklessness and insensitivity.
8. Asbury Park Press, October 5, 2010
120 Francis St #3, Keyport, NJ 07735-1363
Shore colleges take new look at bullying
By Erik Larsen and Carol Gorga Williams
The suicide of a Rutgers University student whose same-sex encounter was broadcast on the Internet has prompted officials at colleges and universities in Monmouth and Ocean counties to strengthen cyber-bullying penalties and educate the public about homophobia.
According to Mary Anne Nagy, vice president for student and community services at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, these kinds of conversations are likely happening at schools across the country after a series of incidents over the past several weeks, capped by the suicide of Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi.
Two students — including Clementi's roommate, Dharun Ravi — have been charged with invasion of privacy after Ravi posted on a website images of Clementi having sexual contact with another man in their room at Davidson Hall in Piscataway.
"It is relatively rare that we hear of situations where a student has been hassled or harassed about their sexual orientation," said Nagy, who indicated that cyber-bullying and harassment are handled under the university's disciplinary code and in courtrooms, if the incident has been found to have violated criminal law.
All Lifestyles Involved, a Monmouth University organization promoting awareness of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues, is having a vigil at 4 p.m. today in Clementi's memory.
Nagy noted that student volunteers and residential life employees have been briefed about upping their awareness of any conflicts in residential halls.
"We are entering completely new territory here," Nagy said. "The use of technology, or in some cases the misuse of technology, and criminal activity is somewhat foreign for a lot of folks now. There are going to be interesting conversations and debate about this."
Monmouth University already has a so-called SafeZone program in place that creates allies, support and resources for the university's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender students and staff as well as people currently questioning their sexuality.
SafeZone trainings are held annually and after completion, the participant receives a SafeZone decal to display, signaling others that it is a safe place to come and be heard, free of judgment.
Students at Brookdale Community College in Middletown can find a comfortable place in the Gay and Lesbian Club, which is changing its name to the Gay Straight Alliance, said its advisor, Keith Heimann, assistant professor of arts and communication.
"I can tell that with my students in the gay club, this has been an ongoing topic of conversation not just in the last month," Heimann said. "It is something we talk about almost on a weekly basis. There is almost always an issue of a student who felt in some way bullied. I am always shocked by the things these kids endure, in and out of school."
At Ocean County College in Toms River, a screening and follow-up discussion of the independent film "Dreams Deferred: the Sakia Gunn Project" was held Tuesday with producer-director Charles B. Brack. Gunn was a 15-year-old girl who was stabbed to death in Newark in 2003 after she rejected the advances of a man by identifying herself as a lesbian.
"I thought it was eye-opening to anyone who doesn't really understand the gay community, who doesn't really understand what we go through on daily basis or what people perceive about us," said Briana Moore, 17, of Jackson, a freshman at Ocean County College.
Moore said she was outed as a lesbian this past June by a friend's mother, who told her mother.
"(My mother) she wasn't thrilled about it, but she is trying to come to terms with it and I do understand that. . . . I know that she still loves me and I have to give her time. I'm not angry about anything. I don't think she's angry about anything."
Moore said one of the keys to preventing suicides like Clementi's is people who are gay must first come to terms with their own sexuality, become comfortable with it and find supportive family members and friends.
This is not the first time OCC has hosted speakers to discuss homophobia. In the spring, Det. Dave D'Amico, with the Bias Crime and Community Relations Unit of the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office, spoke about hate crimes to an audience of mostly criminal justice majors.
"Everywhere I go, I hear someone say . . . that class is so gay, that tie is so gay, you're such a —, and people laugh at it," D'Amico said. "People do nothing to stop it. So what is that telling me is? We're making those words acceptable behavior," D'Amico said.
"I know what it is like to walk in the victim's shoes," he told the students. "I myself have been the victim of hate. Now, you're looking at me and you're saying how? "You're white, you're a cop, you have a gun on your ankle. How do you know what it's like to be a victim of hate?' Well, I'm gay. And I'm openly gay."
D'Amico recalled that early in his law enforcement career when he was an Asbury Park policeman, two of his fellow officers refused to respond to his call for back-up when he got into a scuffle with a suspect while on patrol.
"I was screaming on my lapel mic for help," D'Amico said. "But the other cops didn't come . . . They said I was screaming like a — on the radio and they wanted to know if a — cop could fight just as good as a straight cop. Well, that night, in that locker room of the Asbury Park police headquarters, those two cops found out that a gay fist hurts just as much as a straight fist.
"I'm not going to advocate violence, but that's what happened and that's how we dealt with it. . . . They found out that day that just because I'm gay, doesn't mean I'm weak. . . . And the lesson is, don't judge a book by its cover. Treat everyone as you expect to be treated. Call people by their name and not what you think you are," D'Amico said.
9. CBS News, October 5, 2010
51 W. 52nd Street, New York, NY 10019-6188
Tyler Clementi: Molly Wei's Lawyers Say She's Innocent
Posted by Kevin Hayes
NEWARK, N.J. (CBS/AP) While prosecutors weigh additional charges against two Rutgers University students accused of broadcasting live images of fellow freshman Tyler Clementi in a gay sexual encounter, attorneys for Molly Wei, one of accused, say their client is innocent.
Wei's attorneys said in a statement Tuesday that she is "a wonderful, caring and talented young woman with a bright future." They claim that she has been maligned by unfounded attacks on her character.
After the online broadcast, Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge to his death.
Dharun Ravi, Clementi's roommate, was charged along with Wei with two counts of invasion of privacy last week. The state's Attorney General, Paula Dow, said investigators were exploring adding hate crime charges; however, the current New Jersey law may not adequately address the circumstances behind Clementi's death, according to CBS station WCBS.
Middlesex County prosecutors say the pair, both 18, used a webcam to secretly transmit a live image of Clementi having sex with a man on Sept. 19 and that Ravi tried to webcast a second encounter on Sept. 21, the day before Clementi's suicide.
"I'm unaware of any case in New Jersey where the homicide statutes have been used to hold somebody responsible for somebody else who chose to commit suicide," Middlesex Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan said. Kaplan said he would rather be "right" than "expedient" when asked whether there would be a specific timeline for bringing additional charges.
Under New Jersey's privacy law it is a crime to transmit or even view images that depict nudity or sexual contact with an individual without that person's consent, reports WCBS. Collecting or viewing sexual images without consent is a fourth-degree crime. Transmitting them is a third-degree crime with a maximum prison sentence of five years.
Both Ravi and Wei could face up to five years in prison if convicted.
10. The Collegian (Saint Mary’s College of California), October 5, 2010
'Angels' welcomes dialogue on campus
A low hum echoes throughout the chapel at Saint Mary's, as churchgoers settle in for prayer. Meanwhile, students bustle around the stage at LeFevre Theatre, preparing for their upcoming performance.
This year the Catholic campus of Saint Mary's College is putting on the production Angels in America, a script revolving around issues in the gay community.
"College is the place to express one's individuality and beliefs," said Saint Mary's alumnus Elizabeth Godinez, "along with being a place where 'taboo' subjects can be talked about in an openly fashion."
Other Catholic colleges in America are also having the subject of homosexuality brought up on campus. St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas has banned the gay support group Equality Texas from the volunteer fair, and Seton Hall University in New Jersey had a committee discussion about whether a course in same-sex marriage should be allowed in the curriculum. The course was allowed, regardless of active protestors.
But one of Saint Mary's own priests, Father John Morris OP, feels an academic setting is the place for a play of this nature. "A University should be a place for open dialogue and discussion."
Tony Kushner premiered the play in 1991 and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1993 for Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes. The plot deals with many concerns the gay community has to face such as religion, reputations, relationships, AIDS and closeted sexual orientation."
The Facebook group "Angels in America at SMC" updates its members about the production and welcomes comments from students who are eager to be a part of the show.
However, not all members of the community are excited about the upcoming production. Father Morris mentioned there are people who think it is inappropriate and could bring up problems with the donors and alumni. He sees the issue on both sides of the Catholic faith: "The teachings are liberal but the Church is conservative," although he notes, "Any college should never be hesitant to teach due to possible negative responses."
Two years ago, alumni and donors withdrew their support after Bill Ayers came to speak at the College. Students wonder if the same reaction can be expected.
"Homosexuality is not a subject that we can avoid in today's society," Godinez said. "I think it is great that a Catholic institution is allowing this type of production to go on."
The cast for the play has been selected and rehearsals are in session. The play is broken into two parts, both of which will debut at Saint Mary's starting November 11. The Facebook group anticipates that the production will be huge: "History is about to crack wide open."
11. Indiana Daily Student, October 4, 2010
940 E. 7th Street, 120 Ernie Pyle Hall, Bloomington, IN 47405-7108
Gay teen suicides: Bullying in high places
By Drew Anderson
Teenagers find themselves in an ever-evolving identity crisis and adding sexuality throws fuel into the fire. While adults categorize this as teenage angst, the recent Andrew Shirvell scandal in Michigan reveals the online homophobia existing in the corporate world.
Chris Armstrong currently serves as president of University of Michigan’s student body and is the first openly gay person to serve in the school’s history. Since being sworn in in March, he has been the target of Michigan’s Assistant Attorney General, Andrew Shirvell’s obsession.
Shirvell’s strategy to “expose Armstrong’s radical homosexual agenda” became clear during recent weeks and has received national coverage. He started a blog, Chris Armstrong Watch, detailing the day-to-day actions of the student leader. Shirvell went even further by harassing Armstrong’s friends and family members, videotaping him and describing his leadership as “Nazi-like.”
The absurdity is endless and yet, Shirvell still has his job. Michigan’s Attorney General, Mike Cox, has publicly criticized Shirvell’s actions to the local press, saying he was “clearly a bully” and his actions were “unbecoming.” But according to Cox, the obsession was not severe enough for employment termination because he was protected under his First Amendment rights.
The facts present a clear black and white case. Andrew Shirvell, a servant to the public, carries bigoted beliefs and an agenda to harass Armstrong until his presidential term is finished. Ethical boundaries are stretched and because Shirvell has not acted unlawfully, he continues this slanted monstrosity.
Federal action must be taken.
In early 2009, Representatives Linda Sanchez (D-CA) and Kenny Holshuf (R-MO) introduced The Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act, making any form of online harassment a federal crime. The bill has only reached the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security but in light of recent tragedies, a swift action must be established.
As for the Shirvell story, the assistant attorney general has since taken a paid personal leave of absence. Upon his return, Cox confirmed Shirvell will face a disciplinary hearing on his actions outside of the office. This hearing will not include his blog, but only the other attempts to “expose” Armstrong.
Cyberbullying’s effects goes unnoticed among older generations. The American youth has matured as a sort of “Viral Generation” where online communication carries as much weight as personal interaction. Kids cannot simply ignore incriminating messages because their peers carry these messages to reality. Teenagers cannot remove themselves from these worlds. Opportunities do not exist until graduation and for a 14-year-old, it’s a lifetime away.
12. Indiana Daily Student, October 4, 2010
940 E. 7th Street, 120 Ernie Pyle Hall, Bloomington, IN 47405-7108
Gay teen suicides: The Greek perspective
By Justin Kingsolver
While much progress has been made in the fight for equality for homosexuals, the struggle is far from over.
We, as college students, seldom think of ourselves as bigoted people, but for many of us (myself included), entrenched stereotypes can shape unfair opinions of people because of their sexual orientation.
These often lead to tragic results, as was seen in the heartrending case of 15-year-old Indiana high school student Billy Lucas, who recently committed suicide after being taunted about his sexuality by bullies at school.
As a straight member of the IU Greek community, this has become abundantly clear to me during my experience here. The terms “fag,” “homo” and “gay” are thrown around so carelessly and in such a derogatory manner that those students who struggle with their sexual identities retreat further into the closet for fear of social retribution for coming out.
Enter “IU Greek Project 10.” This organization seeks to support closeted gay, bisexual and lesbian members of the Greek community as they struggle with their true identity.
The introductory e-mail, sent to all members of the IU Greek system, states that Project 10 will provide connections to counseling services and an outlet to meet with other students enduring similar struggles in the Greek community. (If you would like to find more information about Project 10, the introductory e-mail encourages students to e-mail “email@example.com” for more information).
The students behind Project 10 are to be applauded, but this systemic intolerance is found across campus, not merely within the walls of fraternities and sororities.
Support groups like Project 10 are found throughout campus, from OUT at Kelley to the GLBT Student Support Services.
However, it takes more than student centers and support groups (though they are indubitably helpful) to combat this problem; we as a student body need to commit to changing our mindsets and our vocabulary to become more accepting.
Regardless of your viewpoints on gay marriage or your faith’s positions toward homosexuality, we must take a stand to promote equality.
I, as a conservative, Christian Republican, understand my political party and my religion’s disagreements with, or policy positions toward, homosexuality.
But this is not a matter of faith or of politics; it is a matter of how we, as individual humans, treat our fellow man.
Stand up against discrimination.
Eliminate “fag” and “homo” from your ammunition belt of insults.
Be accepting and supportive if one of your fraternity brothers, sorority sisters, family members or dorm floor mates decides to confide in you that he or she is gay, lesbian or bisexual. Small steps will overcome this endemic problem.
Students across our country — from a Rutgers University student to a high school student in Texas — have been dying at an unacceptable rate as a result of bullying or taunting because of sexual orientation.
If we all stand together, we can ensure a tragic story does not occur here in Bloomington.
13. The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 3, 2010
1255 Twenty-Third St, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20037
Queer Youth Not a Tragedy
By Laurie Essig
This past week, my inbox has been flooded with messages from colleagues about how "we must do something" to show our outrage at the five suicides of gay teens that have occurred in the past three weeks in this country.
That's right—five young gay people who killed themselves apparently in response to homophobic bullying and harassment by their classmates. By now the names of these five young men are etched into our collective consciousness. Asher Brown, 13, of Texas; Billy Lucas, 15, of Indiana; Seth Walsh, 13, of California; Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers student who threw himself off the George Washington Bridge; and now Raymond Chase, 19, a student in Rhode Island.
Ellen DeGeneres made a video calling these deaths a sign that teen bullying is an epidemic. Dan Savage decided to put a call out on YouTube to stop queer youth from killing themselves. The campaign, entitled It Will Get Better, invited queers and other outcasts to "talk" to suicidal teens through videos about how different life gets after high school. Video after video discusses how the idiots who bully you in high school grow up to be miserable nobodies while you can grow up to be as fabulous as you want to be. Many schools and universities are responding to the suicides with vigils, speak-outs, and other forums for marking this national tragedy.
But the sociologist in me keeps deleting all those urgent e-mails. After all, anti-queer violence and bullying is not "news" to me. But the e-mails tell me we must respond right now because five is an extraordinary number of gay teens killing themselves. Really? Five gay teens killing themselves is five too many, but ultimately it is the news media that has decided this is an unusually high number. Suicide among queer youth is quite high, with some estimates that queer youth are four times as likely to commit suicide as their straight peers.
So what makes this story "news" and why are we being urged to action rather than the thoughtfulness that these young men's lives deserve?
Perhaps it is because there is something powerful about narratives that posit an innocent victim pitted against evildoers. And even when the hero of our story dies, or perhaps especially because the hero of the story dies, we just can't wait to hear it over and over again.
But there's something else too that we like to hear. That there's something wrong with kids today—not the queers, but the bullies. They're meaner than we were. They have access to Twitter and other technologies of "cyber bullying." Pathologizing youth is a story we've been telling for a long time. Kids today, why can't they be like we were, accepting of sexual and gender diversity? Remember how fun junior high and high school were? Especially if you were queer in anyway? Yeah, right. Classic displacement. We were totally evil to anyone who was different in any way, so we conveniently forget that and panic over how awful kids are today.
Finally there's the other story, the one that has been told at least since earlier sexologists tried to save the sodomite from jail by marking him as "sick" and not "criminal." This is the story of the pity of those in power, the sexual elites, for the poor, sad sexual minorities who are such tragic figures. Pity them; do not punish them. The fact that way more than five queer teens had an amazing month, had their first love, their first encounter with the richness of queer culture—from drag to politics—is not a story we want to hear as a culture. The fact that hundreds or even thousands of queer kids stood up to a bully, injected queer consciousness into a classroom or a family dinner, and generally lived technicolor lives over the rainbow rather than locked down in some black and white Kansas is lost in the news cycle. We prefer our queers as victims. They're easier to support and much less scary that way.
So maybe I'm an incredibly hard and cold person to not want to jump on the "queers are more victimized than ever" bandwagon, but I just can't help thinking that there's a lot more going on for queer youth than bullying.
The fact that schools and universities are not enforcing anti-bullying laws and that this has fatal consequences is a tragedy. The fact that anti-queer rhetoric is so commonplace that "fag" practically means "Yo what's up" in some circles is a tragedy. The fact that the same news media that decides queer youth are a tragedy gives plenty of airtime to hate-spewing homophobes in politics and religion is a tragedy.
But the queer youth of today—out in middle school, showing up at their local queer youth center, making fabulous lives outside of heteronormativity—are not a tragedy. They're a triumph.
14. The Record, October 3, 2010
1 Garret Mountain Plaza, Woodland Park, NJ 07424
Gay teens can find identity in college
By Barbara Williams and Erik Shilling
Many college students who find it difficult to come out to family and friends wind up living double lives — gay at school and straight at home, experts say.
These young adults are already creating new identities at a place where no one knows them, so discovering or declaring their sexual preferences at the same time is fairly typical. They may live a gay lifestyle for years at college before telling family.
"Sometimes they have cultural or religious beliefs they are up against," said Amie MacMath, the program assistant for Montclair State University's Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Center. "This area of the country is better than a lot of other places but students are still sometimes thrown out of their homes when they tell their parents."
But college isn't necessarily easier for a gay person. Tyler Clementi, a Rutgers University student from Ridgewood, jumped off the George Washington Bridge on Sept. 22 after his roommate allegedly secretly taped Clementi in an intimate encounter with a man and broadcast it online. The roommate had also twittered about Clementi being gay.
"We need more education for heterosexuals," said Genevieve Weber, an assistant professor of counseling at Hofstra University and an author of a recent report about harassment of gays on college campuses. "In the Rutgers case, these two students thought they were pulling a prank. It wasn't a prank. It was a homophobic act."
The roommate and a female student are charged with invasion of privacy and may face additional charges.
Eleanor Davies, a 19-year-old Rutgers sophomore who went to high school with Clementi, said the accomplished violinist never made an issue of his sexuality and she didn't know before he took his life whether he was straight or gay. She said he looked her up when he first came to campus this year.
"He was a hopeful, slightly confused freshman, like the rest of us," Davies said. She described Rutgers as a generally open place for students of all types. "I feel like in Ridgewood it isn't as easy to come out and discover."
Peter Paterno, a Hackensack therapist who helps counsel many gay and lesbian clients, said that although the trend over the last couple of decades has been moving toward students coming out earlier in high school, many still wait until college.
"They are usually bullied and teased when they are younger and so they wait until people can see them as someone else," Paterno said. "But many really toil over how their families will react. There's a tremendous amount of guilt, anxiety and stress."
Paterno explained that much of identity formation occurs during adolescence and when a student comes out in college, "the identity formation has likely been on hold. When you're straight, many times you date in high school. But if you're gay, you might wait until college. It's just more for these students to have to deal with."
Despite New Jersey college campuses typically being more accepting than their home life, LGBT students, faculty and staff are still bullied or teased in colleges across the country, according to a national study released in September. The report, by Campus Pride, a non-profit that works to create safer, more inclusive campuses for LGBT students, showed that 23 percent of those identifying as LGBT has experienced harassment based on their sexual or gender identities. And a full one-third of the 6,000 interviewed said they seriously considered leaving the institution where they attended or worked because of that harassment.
In North Jersey, Rutgers and Montclair have LGBT centers and Ramapo College has Ramapo Pride, all offering support and education for both homosexuals and heterosexuals. But straight students who associate with the groups are often labeled "gay," said members.
Ali Melillo, a Ramapo College senior and president of Ramapo Pride, said though she hasn't personally experienced harassment, she still sees it online frequently.
"I see Facebook postings from kids from high school routinely using words like faggot," said Melillo, who came out when she was 13. "Ramapo is a very liberal campus and we have a lot of support from the administration and faculty, but some people still believe there is a negative connotation if you belong to Pride. Still, most times it's easier to come out at college than in high school."
Dr. Michael LaSala, clinical social worker and professor of social work at Rutgers, said Clementi's death was tragic and that he and his colleagues are still in shock.
LaSala said he, too, came out in a similar situation — in his teens in the 1970s — and had his first sexual experience a month into college. Now, among other work, he helps those dealing with the same issues.
"Even though we're in the back yard of a major metropolitan area, the birthplace of the gay rights movement, it still doesn't mean that people aren't struggling," LaSala said. "It's heartbreaking to me that he was in this situation and had no one to turn to."
Kevin Miller, a junior at Rutgers, knows all too well the stress of being gay.
"From experience, coming out is a long, difficult process," Miller said. "Coming in as a freshman, my biggest fear was being outed by a roommate I didn't know, to have my biggest secret broadcasted."
Miller said that what he wrote on the makeshift memorial site set up for Clementi, among other things, is that "people should not only mourn the death of Tyler, but the society [that allows] these things."
Logan Gray, a vice president of Phi Delta Theta, the fraternity that sponsored the memorial, said that while he never knew Tyler personally, he felt the memorial near the student center at the College Avenue campus was the right thing to do. The dozens of personal messages left by Rutgers students will eventually end up in the hands of Clementi's family, Gray said.
"We just want to support him," Gray said.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
15. CNN AC360 Blog, October 6, 2010
CNN Center, 190 Marietta St NW, Atlanta, GA
Targeted student: Given recent suicides, 'it's hard not to say something'
By Martina Stewart
Click link for video.
New York (CNN) - In an exclusive interview that will air Wednesday on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360°, college student Chris Armstrong said the recent rash of headlines about gay teens who have committed suicide has motivated him to break his silence about his own experience of being targeted online.
For months, Armstrong has been the subject of the blog “Chris Armstrong Watch” which is published by Andrew Shirvell, a lawyer in the Michigan attorney general’s office; Shirvell and Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox have both maintained that the blog is a personal project of Shirvell’s done during non-work hours and without any official resources.
Armstrong, a college senior, is University of Michigan’s first openly gay student body president, and Shirvell is an alum of the university who has taken issue with what Shirvell calls Armstrong’s “radical homosexual agenda.”
After his blog garnered national media attention in the past week, Shirvell placed it behind a privacy firewall, making it only available to invited readers. The lawyer, who is an assistant Michigan attorney general, has also taken a voluntary leave of absence from his state job, according to the Michigan AG’s office. Shirvell has also been barred from University of Michigan’s campus, and Armstrong is seeking a personal protection order against Shirvell.
In his first national interview about the situation, the college student told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that he did not ask to be the subject of Shirvell’s attention on- and offline. But Armstrong said he has decided to use the spotlight to try to reach other gay teens who may be going through something similar.
“Given what’s happened in the past week, and given the suicides that have happened in the past few weeks, it’s been, it’s been – it’s hard not to say something,” Armstrong explained.
He added, “I felt like it was important for me to speak out as well just because I think that it’s important for them to understand that things can get better. And it’s important to know you can reach out in your community, you can reach out to friends and they can support you.”
In his sit-down with Cooper, Armstrong also discusses whether he’d ever met Shirvell previously, how Armstrong feels about Shirvell’s efforts to target some of Armstrong’s friends and Armstrong’s reaction to being branded a radical activist by Shirvell.
16. The Colorado Independent, October 6, 2010
American Independent News Network, 1825 Connecticut Avenue, NW Suite 625, Washington, DC 20009
In wake of gay suicides, DU leaders rally community against harassment
By John Tomasic
In the wake of the recent spate of gay youth suicides prompted by harassment that have rocked the country, Chancellor Robert Coombe and Provost Gregg Kvistad at the University of Denver have issued a letter to the faculty, staff and students. The authors celebrate diversity and tolerance at the university and warns against discriminatory and bullying behavior. They also encourage members of the DU community to intervene in any such behavior they encounter.
“There is no place at DU for words or actions that disrespect, discriminate, harass, or otherwise diminish or endanger others. We therefore call on our entire campus community – DU students, faculty, staff, and administrators – to refrain from behavior that excludes or intimidates others whatever their identities, and to intervene to prevent such behavior if it threatens to occur.”
Six gay teens in high school and college have killed themselves in recent weeks after being harassed. The most widely reported of the deaths perhaps was that of 18-year-old Rutgers music student Tyler Clementi who jumped from the George Washington bridge after his roommate secretly videotaped him having a tryst in his dorm room and then loaded the video onto the internet.
The DU letter:
As has been reported in the national and local press, there have a spate of youth suicides in the past few weeks by people targeted with specific or ongoing anti-LGBT bullying and harassment. A just released national survey report in which DU students, staff and faculty participated (www.campuspride.org) sadly documents that the exclusion, intimidation, and devaluation of LGBTIQ classmates and colleagues is not occasional or uncommon at campuses across the United States.
The University of Denver is fully committed to an active engagement of all of our community members. Our diversity of perspectives, experiences, and identities is not just tolerated at DU, it is celebrated as creating the intellectual vibrancy that is fundamental to the University’s mission (see www.du.edu/chancellor/diversityStatement.html). There is no place at DU for words or actions that disrespect, discriminate, harass, or otherwise diminish or endanger others. We therefore call on our entire campus community – DU students, faculty, staff, and administrators – to refrain from behavior that excludes or intimidates others whatever their identities, and to intervene to prevent such behavior if it threatens to occur.
We do have resources at the University that are available for you or someone you know who needs support in the face of recent events, and we encourage you to use them. They include:
-The Center for Multicultural Excellence (CME) supports broad equity and LGBTIQ & Ally specific programs and campus organizations, including Queer & Ally (Q&A) trainings. Multicultural Center (Asbury & University), (303)871-4614; www.du.edu/lgbtiqa.
-DU’s Health & Counseling Center offers group and one-on-one counseling to address specific issues and/or improve the overall academic experience. Ritchie Center 3rd Fl North, (303)871-3853; www.du.edu/duhealth/counseling.
-GVESS provides prevention and response training and resources for those affected by interpersonal violence, including sexual assault. Nelson Hall 103, (303)871-2220, www.du.edu/studentlife/Sexual_Assault.
-The Office of the Chaplain is available to the entire DU community regardless of faith affiliation, or no affiliation at all. Driscoll South 29, (303)871-4488; www.du.edu/studentlife/religiouslife.
-Campus Safety partners with campus constituents to prevent and respond to situations that put the campus community at risk. In emergencies, dial 911 and then (303)841-3000. General inquiries (303)871-2334; www.du.edu/campussafety.
As the new academic year continues, we invite you to take advantage of these resources and the wide array of campus programs and activities to learn about the rich diversity of our University of Denver community.
The Campus Pride survey mentioned in the letter lists the disturbing trends it found in polling roughly 6,000 LGBT students, faculty, staff and administrators at universities across the country.
-Lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer (LGBQ) respondents experienced significantly greater harassment and discrimination than their heterosexual allies, and those who identified as transmasculine, transfeminine, and gender non-conforming (GNC) experienced significantly higher rates of harassment than men and women
-LGBQ students were more likely than heterosexual students to have seriously considered leaving their institution as a result of harassment and discrimination.
-LGBQ Respondents of Color were more likely than their LGBQ White counterparts to indicate race as the basis for harassment, and were significantly less likely than LGBQ White respondents to feel very comfortable or comfortable in their classes (60%, 65%, respectively).
-Respondents who identified as transmasculine, transfeminine, and gender non-conforming have more negative perceptions of campus climate when compared with those who identify within the gender binary.
The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network performed a similar study of roughly 7,000 middle and high school students and found that nearly nine out of ten LGBT students experienced harassment at school and nearly two-thirds felt unsafe there because of their sexual orientation.
-84.6% of LGBT students reported being verbally harassed, 40.1% reported being physically harassed and 18.8% reported being physically assaulted at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation.
-63.7% of LGBT students reported being verbally harassed, 27.2% reported being physically harassed and 12.5% reported being physically assaulted at school in the past year because of their gender expression.
-72.4% heard homophobic remarks, such as “faggot” or “dyke,” frequently or often at school.
-Nearly two-thirds (61.1%) of students reported that they felt unsafe in school because of their sexual orientation, and more than a third (39.9%) felt unsafe because of their gender expression.
-29.1% of LGBT students missed a class at least once and 30.0% missed at least one day of school in the past month because of safety concerns, compared to only 8.0% and 6.7%, respectively, of a national sample of secondary school students.
-The reported grade point average of students who were more frequently harassed because of their sexual orientation or gender expression was almost half a grade lower than for students who were less often harassed (2.7 vs. 3.1).
-Increased levels of victimization were related to increased levels of depression and anxiety and decreased levels of self-esteem.
-Being out in school had positive and negative repercussions for LGBT students - outness was related to higher levels of victimization, but also higher levels of psychological well-being.
Colorado Spring-based national Christian group Focus on the Family has called into question the results of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network survey. As recently as August, Focus representatives suggested the findings were slanted by the authors of the report in order to push a gay agenda in schools.
The conservative Christian group Focus on the Family is accusing national gay advocacy groups of using bullying-prevention initiatives at public schools to introduce the viewpoint that homosexuality is normal. Focus on the Family education expert Candi Cushman told The Denver Post in Saturday’s editions that the Christian group supports bullying prevention but that the issue “is being hijacked by activists.”
“We feel more and more that activists are being deceptive in using anti-bullying rhetoric to introduce their viewpoints, while the viewpoint of Christian students and parents are increasingly belittled,” Cushman said.
The Coalition that produced the survey and school booklet for Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network includes the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Counseling Association, American Association of School Administrators, American Federation of Teachers, American Psychological Association, American School Counselor Association, American School Health Association, Interfaith Alliance Foundation, National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Association of Social Workers, National Education Association, and School Social Work Association of America.
17. The Tufts Daily, October 7, 2010
Curtis Hall, Tufts University, 474 Boston Ave., Medford, MA 02155
Recent LGBT deaths spark dialogue at Tufts about bullying, harassment
By Corinne Segal
Students and administrators at Tufts have responded to a series of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)-related teen suicides across the country, attending vigils and discussions about anti-LGBT bullying.
A contingent of Tufts students on Tuesday evening joined a sizable crowd of Boston-area residents in solidarity in front of the Massachusetts State House, lighting candles in remembrance of gay individuals who recently committed suicide.
The vigil, organized by LGBT rights group Join the Impact Massachusetts, is a response to a number of LGBT teen suicides that have taken place in the past month.
LGBT Center Director Tom Bourdon said the suicides' impact has been felt at Tufts. "I've heard from a large number of students as well as faculty and staff who really feel a lot of hurt and sadness about the recent events," Bourdon said.
The LGBT Center hosted two community conversations on Tuesday and Wednesday to address the issue.
Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi's death has received media attention nationwide. Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge in New York on Sept. 22 after his roommate Dharun Ravi and classmate Molly Wei allegedly streamed his gay sexual encounter online.
Other recent cases include 15-year-old Billy Lucas, who killed himself on Sept. 9, and 13-year-old Seth Walsh, who hung himself on Sept. 19. Both had been suffering from harassment in their respective schools. Thirteen-year-old Asher Brown killed himself on Sept. 23, soon after coming out. Six days later, openly gay Johnson &' Wales University student Raymond Chase hung himself in his dorm room.
In an e-mail sent out by the grant team at Tufts Community Cares and the Department of Health and Wellness, University President Lawrence Bacow addressed Clementi's death.
"Tyler Clementi's suicide is an unspeakable tragedy and a senseless loss," Bacow was quoted as saying in the e-mail. "No one should have to put up with such treatment. It is important to me that LGBT students at Tufts feel safe and respected as members of our community."
Bourdon forwarded the e-mail that included Bacow's message to the Tufts LGBT community on Sept. 30.
But many students who attended a weekly Queer Straight Alliance (QSA) meeting on Monday had hoped for a greater response from the administration," according to QSA Co−president Martine Kaplan, a sophomore.
"There was a lot of feeling that the administration should have responded beyond the queer community, Kaplan said. "We know what's going on, but maybe everyone else doesn't, and they should."
Many college students are in the process of exploring their sexual identities and may feel alone in this, according to Shane Windmeyer, one of the founders and current executive director of national nonprofit Campus Pride. Campus Pride began in 2001 as an effort to improve LGBT life on college campuses.
"Some students are still very much in the closet when they come to college campuses and don't even call themselves gay because they haven't come out to themselves," he told the Daily. "Those, oftentimes, are the students who are the most isolated."
Harassment affects students beyond the LGBT community, Kaplan said. "This isn't just a gay issue," she said. "Bullying affects everyone, and it's something everyone needs to be aware of."
Bourdon echoed Kaplan's sentiments, pointing to the broader problem of bullying and intolerance.
"I do think the bigger issue is bullying in general, as well as a general lack of respect for other peoples' privacy and their identities," Bourdon said.
"It's not a new issue, and its not an issue that's going to go away when the media stops reporting about it," Kaplan said.
Windmeyer said that social media provide a new outlet for harassment. "Facebook and Twitter are just new hangouts where people are able to harass like they do anywhere else," he said.
Rutgers freshman Stephanie Siano said that the Rutgers campus has been shaken by Clementi's death.
"The media coverage is ridiculous," Siano told the Daily. "It's definitely having an impact on everyone. It's an extremely negative thing for Rutgers."
West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North, which Siano attended along with Ravi and Wei, has also been the target of hateful e-mails and phone calls following the incident, according to Siano.
"Our district has been taking a huge beating," she said. "I can't say I'm from West Windsor anymore."
Siano defended her university, emphasizing that the Rutgers environment was not responsible for the bullying. "This was not a Rutgers-induced occurrence," she said. "I'm actually shocked it would happen here. We're one of the most diverse campuses I've ever seen."
Since Clementi's death, a number of Facebook groups have been created, calling for Ravi and Wei's expulsion and imprisonment.
"It's sad in the sense that what's happening to them is the exact same thing they did to Tyler," Siano said. "It's cyber-bullying."
A recent Campus Pride study revealed that 23 percent of students, faculty and staff who self-identified as LGBT have experienced harassment or discrimination on their campus, according to Windmeyer.
Only seven percent of the country's accredited colleges and universities provide institutional support for LGBT students, Windmeyer said. Thirteen percent of colleges address sexual orientation in their non-discrimination policy, while less than six percent have protections for transgender students.
"In 2010, you'd think that colleges would have basic non-discrimination policies that include sexual orientation," Windmeyer said.
Windmeyer believes campuses should train resident assistants to address invasions of privacy and ensure that students feel safe in their environments.
"Colleges need to do a better job, during their summer orientation and during their new student orientation, of making sure that they send the signal that diversity is respected," he said.
Bourdon said that Tufts is a positive environment for LGBT students. "Tufts is a great place where there's tons of visibility for the queer community as well as support," he said.
Speakers at the vigil called for LGBT community members and allies to take social and political action to prevent discriminatory and hateful actions. "If you see something, say something," Tufts junior Chris Mason, co-founder of Join the Impact Massachusetts, told the crowd.
At the vigil, attendees held signs that read "Love is love" and "It's not who you love, it's how you love."
"We need to speak up if we hear something on a state level or a national level," Mason said at the event. "If you hear a politician speaking violence against our community, if you hear a preacher or a pundit speaking violence against our community, speak up. … It's not right. We cannot be used this way. Violence leads to death. That's what we're realizing here."
National Coming Out Day will be held this year on Oct. 11. Tufts will hold a rally in celebration of National Coming Out Day two days later on Oct. 13.
Kaplan advised students who feel isolated to seek help. "Reach out," she said. "There are multiple communities who are ready to embrace you no matter what you're going through and people who really want to help you. It can be really hard to take that first step, but it's worth it."
18. The Tufts Daily, October 4, 2010
Curtis Hall, Tufts University, 474 Boston Ave., Medford, MA 02155
Love thy neighbor (if…)
By Elizabeth McKay
The face staring up at me from my Internet homepage was not a celebrity. It belonged to a boy my age, barely out of high school, who should be enjoying his first month of college. Yet Tyler Clementi was not wandering his new campus. His body had just been dredged up from the bottom of a river. The Rutgers University freshman had killed himself after his roommate posted a video of Tyler's private sexual encounter with another male student online. Clementi is one of several gay students known to have committed suicide this month.
The article I read about his death included several links to memorial groups on Facebook. Their walls were cluttered with words of kindness and compassion for the bullied teen, support that could have done so much good a mere 24 hours prior. But right alongside the memorials, I found another group formed in support of Clementi's tormentors. One post on the page stuck out: "Nothing of value was lost."
Nothing of value was lost. A human being, a talented musician, a unique soul full of promise was nothing. In a country presided over by a black president, a gay college student is … nothing. In a culture where queer characters make up the starring cast of some of TV's most popular shows, a bullied gay boy is still … nothing.
This tragedy serves as another painful reminder that while gayness may be in vogue on TV, homophobia did not disappear with the birth of our generation. Tufts has always seemed to me to be a bastion of hope, a shining example of the spread of tolerance and understanding. On campus, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Center's "Guess the Straight Person" was so popular that interested audiences gladly hustled through the rain and sat on the auditorium floor just to watch. And yet, at a college a few states away, a gay student cannot find peace in his own dorm room.
Such disdain is difficult to understand. Even more so is the common connection between religion and homophobia. Religious justifications covered the anti−Clementi Facebook page. Religious groups are often the first to protest any increase in rights granted to gays. They point to the source of their anger in the Bible. To them I would point out that there is no asterisk next to "love thy neighbor."
LGBT students ask for tolerance. What they deserve is so much more than that. Tolerance demands only a lack of criticism. It entails no positive action. According to the response to this tragedy, it seems that most of Tyler Clementi's fellow students did not mock, or likely even know about, his sexual orientation. Yet that was not enough to stop the effects of the hate of one other person. What Tyler needed was support and love, not silence. Not tolerance.
Within the next four years, this student body will have left this idyllic campus to make its way in a world that we will define however we choose. Will we enter in silence? Or will we become active protectors of human dignity? It's our choice. We decide if we use the word "gay" as a metaphor for stupid and if we stand idly by while our friends do the same. We decide if we will prolong the lives of slurs like "fag" and "dyke." We decide if we will step in when we see harassment and humiliation. Action or silence. We decide.
For those who cannot believe in the rightness of gayness, believe in the rightness of love. One does not have to support a person's choices to support his or her dignity as a human being. Fighting for gay rights is not tantamount to advocating for homosexuality but rather to recognizing and respecting the rights of every person. Religion does not call upon us to be judges on this earth; it demands that we love equally. The Bible may call a gay woman a sinner, but the same title is given to the one who hates her.
No amount of grief or anger can right the wrongs against Tyler Clementi. All that is left for us to do is make his suicide the last. As students we can keep Tufts a sanctuary for all orientations, and as people we can make sure that the plague of homophobia preys on our country no longer. Let us be bastions of hope and love on this Hill.
Staring at Tyler Clementi's smiling face, I wondered if he would have met a better fate had he come to this campus instead. I decided that the answer was yes. I hope Tufts proves me right.
19. The Star-Ledger, October 7, 2010
1 Star Ledger Plaza, Newark, NJ 07102
Rutgers University president speaks out on Tyler Clementi tragedy
By Kelly Heyboer
NEW BRUNSWICK - Rutgers University did everything in its power to handle Tyler Clementi’s complaint that his roommate was spying on him with a webcam before the freshman committed suicide, the school’s president said today.
President Richard McCormick said he personally pored over Clementi’s student records after the teenager’s high-profile death to review how residence life officials dealt with the complaint.
"Based on everything I know, I believe that we did all we could and we did the right thing," he said.
McCormick declined to discuss what Clementi said in his complaint or how campus officials responded, citing federal student privacy laws. But proper procedure was followed, he said.
"I have studied the record carefully and I can’t say very much about it ... But I believe Rutgers responded appropriately to the information that we had," the president said.
McCormick answered questions about the case for the first time today, after a Rutgers Board of Governor’s meeting in Camden.
Clementi, 18, committed suicide last month after his roommate and a classmate allegedly used a webcam to watch the Ridgewood teen in an intimate encounter with another man in a dorm room on the Piscataway campus.
Freshmen Dharun Ravi, 18, of Plainsboro, and Molly Wei, 18, of West Windsor, were charged with invasion of privacy for the alleged internet voyeurism.
Wei’s attorneys released a statement earlier this week saying she is innocent. Ravi’s attorney said he is encouraged the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office is continuing its investigation to learn more about the complex case.
Prosecutors have subpoenaed Rutgers to obtain copies of the complaint Clementi filed with a resident assistant after he learned Ravi allegedly used a webcam to watch him in their room. It is unclear if anyone other than Ravi and Wei viewed the live video feed. But Ravi is accused of trying and failing to use the webcam to catch Clementi in a second sexual encounter a few days later.
Clementi appears to have sought advice on how to deal with his spying roommate on an internet forum for gay men using the screen name cit2mo. In a series of posts, the user does not use his school’s name. But he outlines a situation with identical dates and details to Clementi’s case.
The poster said he struggled with whether to get help from campus officials after he read on his roommate’s Twitter account that he used a webcam to watch the encounter. In his final post, on Sept. 22, the user said he filed a complaint with a campus resident assistant and two of the RA’s superiors. The RA seemed to be taking the matter seriously, the user wrote on the forum.
Clementi committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge later that day.
At today’s governing board meeting, McCormick said Rutgers will respond to Clementi’s death by stepping up efforts to teach civility, prevent student suicides and make its campuses more welcoming for gay students.
Earlier this week, McCormick met on the New Brunswick campus with more than 20 students from gay and lesbian groups. They discussed creating safe spaces in dormitories for gay students and adding "coming out" counseling services for students struggling with revealing their sexuality to their family, friends and fellow students.
"I learned a good deal," McCormick said. "It heightened my sorrow personally that Tyler Clementi was not able to avail himself of all those resources."
20. South County Independent, October 7, 2010
P.O. Box 5679, Wakefield, RI 02880
Both sides happy with sit-in results
By Liz Boardman
KINGSTON - The eight-day sit-in by student members of the Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Center and the Gay-Straight Alliance ended on Thursday, after university officials agreed to move forward with several of the students' demands.
"I want to acknowledge the courage and perseverance of the GLBT students," said President David M. Dooley in a statement. "The students were constructive throughout the week and did a magnificent job in educating the broader campus community about issues of mutual respect, difference and the true meaning of creating a campus community. Enhancing diversity, equity and community at URI is one of the premier goals for our institution, and one of the prominent goals of the university's new academic plan."
Brian Stack, president of the Gay-Straight Alliance, and other students began the sit-in on Sept. 23 to raise awareness of how GLBT students are treated on campus and to demand the administration do more to help them. Students are frequently called faggots and are harassed by straight roommates, Stack said. They report finding used condoms dropped at their doorsteps and slurs written on noteboards, among other offenses.
During the peaceful eight-day protest, the students made a number of demands, including a new, freestanding GLBT Center - the current one is housed on the first floor of Adams Hall; more resources for students who report incidents; mandatory training for resident assistants; increased funding for GLBT programs, and the creation of a new GLBT committee.
Last summer, Dooley's top budget request was the creation of an associate vice president for community, equity and diversity, said Thomas Dougan, vice president of student affairs.
The new position was to begin in July 2011, but university officials agreed to hire someone on an interim basis this year.
"When the students wanted the GLBT staff to report back to me, we agreed to do that with the understanding that they will ultimately report [to this new position]," Dougan said. "The interim appointment will work with the president and his team to finalize the job description."
The position exists at many other colleges and universities, Dougan said. At URI, the associate vice president will be responsible for the GLBT Center, Multicultural Center and the Women's Center, along with the affirmative action officers and perhaps campus disability services.
University officials also recommend moving the GLBT Center out of Adams Hall into Ruggles House on Upper College Road, following a renovation. The 3,900-square-foot building is owned by the university but is largely unoccupied.
"It has parking, room for meetings and offices and staff, and four to six rooms that could be rented to students for income, to offset staffing the programs," Dougan said.
Stack said students were still looking at other buildings on campus as well.
The school also will establish a new GLBT advisory commission to explore and advocate for GLBT issues and measure progress.
"It will be a combination of students, faculty and staff, though it has not been defined yet," Dougan said. "They will have representation on the Equity Council."
And officials revised protocols for the Bias Response Team, which was formed last spring, to ensure student confidentiality and increase visibility of reported incidents.
"Anonymous complaints will be given a case number, to trace them through the system," Dougan said. "That is important for students who are not out yet."
Dougan said he continues to thank students for taking the risk to bring the issues to the university.
"I feel really good about it," Dougan said. "The university responded positively and constructively."
"We are really happy," Stack said. "The demands were needed, and the university seems willing to do it."
Liz Boardman can be reached at Boardman@scindependent.com.
21. The Diamondback (University of Maryland), October 8, 2010
3150 South Campus Dining Hall, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742
The One Project unifies LGBT students
By Melissa Quijada
Yesterday, they talked about the suicides.
A dozen first-year students in the university's One Project - a specialized section of UNIV 100 offered to members or allies of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community - sat in a classroom yesterday afternoon, discussing the recent string of suicides among young people taunted about their perceived sexual orientations.
Now more than ever, organizers said, they wanted to make sure this university's students feel secure.
"The students were asked if they felt safe in their halls," said Dian Squire, assistant director of orientation and the One Project coordinator.
Squire developed the program with the help of other administrators and student groups such as Pride Alliance to address the special needs of students coming to terms with various aspects of their identities.
"Not only are they experiencing the transition to college, but also coming out again for the first time," Squire said. "The ultimate goal is to retain LGBT students who might not belong to an LGBT community. Once students feel like they belong, they are more likely to persist throughout by continuing to their academics and graduating."
The course is partnered with mentorship, various events and an alternative spring break trip.
One of the project's teaching assistants, junior kinesiology major Sam Mohen, said the program builds a solid academic and social foundation for freshman students to take full advantage of the university's resources, similar to the objectives of other UNIV 100 courses.
Each week Mohen reads the journals of students in her section. She said the entries are meant to encourage students to write about their individual identities and their first semester of college living.
This week, the students turned their attention to the suicide of Tyler Clementi, an 18-year-old Rutgers University freshman who committed suicide after his roommate filmed and broadcast online a sexual encounter between Clementi and another man.
"It's good to know that we have people here to talk to," freshman speech pathology major Colleen Tuohy said. "Obviously it's tragic that something like that would happen, especially someone as young as a college student."
Tuohy identified herself as an LGBT ally - an active supporter of LGBT issues - which she said stems from her experience with her best friend in high school, who is gay.
Next week, the students plan to take their activism and outrage one step further: They will collaborate to create a video to post on the It Gets Better Project's YouTube page - an outreach campaign, started by openly gay writer Dan Savage, that consists of a series of brief, personal messages assuring LGBT teenagers who are being teased that every life is worth living.
Jazz Jordan, a freshman letters and sciences major, said she looked forward to shooting the video with her classmates.
Students in the One Project also bond in events that promote vocal discussion on contentious topics. Monday, students will share their stories on National Coming Out Day at Stamp Student Union.
The formula seems to be working.
"I hate getting out of this class early! It feels like such a friendly atmosphere and I can say whatever I'm feeling," one student wrote on the course's midterm evaluation. "Everyone involved is so supportive. The One Project is my favorite thing about UMD so far."
quijada at umdbk dot com
22. The Advocate, October 7, 2010
P.O. Box 4371, Los Angeles, CA 90078
Rutgers Suicide Sparks Federal Legislation
By Julie Bolcer
U.S. senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey said Wednesday that he planned to introduce legislation that would require colleges and universities that receive federal funds to adopt policies that protect all students from harassment, including cyberbullying, in response to the suicide of Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi.
Lautenberg announced the draft legislation, which he intends to introduce when the Senate returns to session in November, at a town hall forum on the Rutgers campus in New Brunswick, where he told hundreds assembled that colleges have a responsibility to prevent the “terrible degradation of spirit and humanity” that led Clementi, 18, to jump from the George Washington Bridge last month after his roommate secretly filmed his intimate encounter with another man and live-streamed it over the Internet.
“Right now there is no federal law to require colleges to protect students from harassment and bullying and what I want to do is change that, and the bill I’m introducing will require that colleges and universities who are recipients of federal funds must adopt a code of conduct that prohibits harassment and bullying,” he said.
In addition, according to his office, the bill would require schools to have in place a policy to deal with complaints and incidents of harassment. The bill would also create a competitive grant program at the U.S. Department of Education for colleges and universities to establish programs that prevent harassment and bullying.
Lautenberg is a cosponsor of the Student Nondiscrimination Act introduced by Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota, which would expressly prohibit public elementary and secondary schools from discriminating against students based on sexual orientation and gender identity or ignoring harassment based on those characteristics. Schools found to violate the law could lose funding from federal departments and agencies.
In remarks to reporters, Lautenberg indicated that he wanted the legislation to honor the memory of Clementi, an idea he shared in a private phone call with the young man’s mother, Jane, earlier in the day. Joe and Jane Clementi have not spoken publicly since the tragedy except to issue a brief statement last week calling for compassion.
“I suggested that we would like to do something to commemorate his young life,” said Lautenberg. “I told her that I was going to write something to do that. I don’t want to go into whether or not she said she liked it or didn’t like it. That was the nature of the call.”
During the town hall, presented by Garden State Equality with help from national and local organizations, legislators including New Jersey’s junior senator, Robert Menendez, grappled with the convergence of old concerns and new elements presented by the Clementi case, which unfolded on social networking sites like Twitter. Many highlighted the need to strengthen existing state and federal laws.
“Tyler Clementi’s tragic death represents the destructive mix of technology and intolerance and how vulnerable we all are in the digital world,” said Menendez, who suggested that responses could include an attempt to strengthen the Matthew Shepard Act, the landmark hate crimes legislation signed by President Barack Obama last year.
“We have been thinking about how, since we already have the framework and the fundamentals of a law that exists, how can we enhance it to make it more powerful,” he said afterward.
Students and parents at the town hall relayed stories of harassment in New Jersey, where state assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini, a Republican from Ocean Township, plans to introduce a bipartisan anti-bullying and harassment bill on October 14 with state assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle, a Democrat from Bergen County. The state enacted an anti-bullying law in 2002, and added electronic communication in 2007.
“Basically, it puts teeth into the existing laws,” said Angelini of the new proposal. “This adaptation to that will really give clarity to what the original bill is all about, and it also puts the onus on the schools and the school administration for hopefully never letting a situation like we experienced happen ever, ever again.”
None of the speakers at the town hall was personally acquainted with Clementi, who had only attended Rutgers University for three weeks before taking his own life on September 23. Another forum Thursday night in his hometown of Ridgewood is expected to include perspectives from people who knew him.
23. Los Angeles Times, October 7, 2010
202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012
Gay archives, said to be nation's largest, to be given to USC
By Larry Gordon
The ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, which is said to be the nation’s largest collection of historic material and books related to homosexual and transgender life, is being donated to USC’s library system, officials announced Thursday. The collection has been housed rent-free in a USC-owned building near the Los Angeles campus on West Adams Boulevard for the last decade but had been considered an independent entity until now.
Joseph Hawkins, president of ONE’s directors, said his organization decided to give the collection to USC to ensure it a permanent home and take advantage of the university’s preservation resources. “This protects it in a way we couldn’t protect it ourselves,” he said. His group will continue to exist to sponsor exhibits, help raise funds and find new material for the archives, he said.
The ONE collection includes more than 23,000 books, 11,000 films and videos and 9,000 magazines and journals that trace the gay liberation movement, the AIDS crisis and the debate over homosexual marriage, among other subjects.
Catherine Quinlan, dean of the USC Libraries, said she was delighted with the donation. “It’s a world-class research collection,” she said, noting that it will attract scholars in such fields as sexuality, anthropology and history.
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