Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hard Work Pays Off

I'm dedicating my blog post today to Zaneta, our QPSC here at the Women's Center, and all the others who have fought hard in the past week to make major changes on our campus for the queer community, and to make our campus feel safe for everyone. Not that these individuals aren't always working hard to improve the community but this past week has made me feel especially proud to be a part of such a wonderful organization. There was a recent incident on our campus in which two male students, who later identified as heterosexual, were targeted for holding hands with one another while walking through campus late on a Thursday night. After being called "faggots" repeatedly, the incident escalated from verbal to physical, resulting in the two students being punched in the face by the group who had been harassing them. After a few students heard what had happened and what had caused the incident, the word quickly spread and many of our students became angry. The administration had their hands tied for several reasons but after getting tired of waiting for something to be done, Zaneta and others decided to take matters into their own hands. On Wednesday, November 18th, the Women's Center celebrated Trans-Remembrance Day and invited 3 transgendered speakers to our campus to tell us about the lives that they lead, how being straight, transgendered males impacts the way they are treated, and to answer questions from our audience. After the event, nearly 100 students marched to observe Trans-Remembrance and to fight for the administration to send a campus-wide e-mail regarding the incident that had occurred the week prior. After a beautiful and very powerful march, the community got what it had so deservingly earned. Our college's President sent a brief e-mail on Friday afternoon explaining what had happened. An excerpt from this message reads :

"As President I deplore this hateful homophobic behavior and affirm that it will not be tolerated. No member of the College should have to fear that his or her personal characteristics or attributes will lead to being subject to any kind of abuse. Anyone found perpetrating such behavior can expect to be dealt with swiftly and severely and I ask anyone with knowledge of this particular incident to come forward if they have not done so."

To show further support, the President and both of the Associate Vice Presidents of Student Affairs attended our weekly Pride meeting yesterday and addressed the incident and what we can do on our campus to ensure that things like that do not go unnoticed or unreported to the administration.

So again, great work to all deserve to be praised for all of the amazing work that is done here on campus!

No comments:

Post a Comment