Celebrating Diversity on campus

IUS Horizon

The Gay Straight Alliance student organization at IU Southeast is planning several events in October to honor of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender history, and to help encourage tolerance among a diverse student body.

The United States first celebrated GLBT history month in 1994. October was selected because National Coming Out Day is Oct. 11.

Kelly Ryan, assistant professor of history, co-sponsored with GSA an event for the month’s celebration on Oct. 7.

The event was a discussion of gay and lesbian civil rights, and participants viewed a segment from the movie “If These Walls Could Talk II.”

Topics discussed covered the evolution of civil unions, marriage between GLBT people and the future of their civil rights.

Other events are planned to celebrate history month.  To promote these events the GSA will have a display case in the University Center, and there are timelines of GLBT achievements located in the lodges. GSA is also organizing events for National Coming Out Day and the following week.

“One of the goals of GSA to strive to create a more diverse campus,” Bradley Carver, president of Gay Straight Alliance, said.

He said the GSA would like to see a campus that is better for all attending.

GSA members have also been asked to participate in Safe Zone training, a campus program designed for GLBT students to express feelings in a comfortable setting.

“It is not as peaceful of an environment as people may think,” Carver said.
Campus Life is currently addressing an issue where the door of the GSA office was vandalized.

Kelly Newton, music technology junior, said GSA is welcoming to both GLBT and straight people of IU Southeast.

“GSA was formed to have an established alliance on campus in case students get discriminated against,” Newton said.

Newton also said most colleges just have GLBT groups.

“This is where IU Southeast differs,” Newton said.

Newton and Carver both said they encourage students of IU Southeast to attend the GSA meeting every Wednesday from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the University Center, room 122.

The meetings provide education, safe surroundings for all participants and student involvement. All meetings are on an anonymous basis, and no information is shared unwillingly.

“Gay and lesbian have a history to be proud of in the United States,” Ryan said. “With Stonewall we see a coming out push for people to no longer remain invisible.”

Stonewall, a popular gay bar in Greenwich Village in 1969, was raided by NYPD and beverage control to enforce an alcohol law that was not enforced in other bars. During this time raids, attacks and arrest for no real cause were common.

By MEAGAN SCOTT
Staff Writer
scottmn@ius.edu