Thursday, March 5, 2015

UCSC hate crime rallies students seeking better support

A University of California, Santa Cruz student was attacked on February 7, 2015 in an alleged hate crime based on sexual orientation.

According to a student petition calling for action, "the victim had their wrist broken in three places, and shattered in one place, broken knuckles, a fractured jaw, a dislocated hip, and suffered a concussion."

UCSC Campus Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor Alison Galloway shared a campus-wide email on February 12 that named the attack as a possible hate crime but did not specify sexual orientation as the motivation:
The gravity of this incident is disturbing, and the allegation of a hate crime is particularly troubling. As a campus, we welcome students, staff, faculty, and guests of all races, religions, ethnic groups, nationalities, traditions, backgrounds, orientations, physical abilities, and cultures. Targeting a victim because of his or her perceived membership in a particular group is unacceptable—and illegal. I want to assure the campus community that we are investigating this hate-crime allegation with the seriousness it deserves. 
The Santa Cruz Sentinel reported students' belief that the attack was hate-motivated based on sexual orientation:
“It was very clear that it was a hate crime because people who were there heard the attackers screaming slurs and saying things along the lines of, ‘You better not be gay. That’s not OK,’” Epstein said.
Galloway's email and follow-up staff communications emphasized campus resources available to students impacted by the alleged hate crime. Campus community members were also urged to report hate/bias crimes and incidents to campus police or online at reporthate.ucsc.edu.

The student online petition includes four demands:

  1. multi-stall, all-gender restrooms within walking distance of all classrooms
  2. free self-defense workshops and classes available to all students
  3. mandatory University-wide workshops regarding "queer, trans, and gender non-conforming life, existence, terminology, and issues"
  4. hiring of multiple staff professionals, including a trans-specialist, to provide training, etc.

Of the 9 undergraduate UC  campuses, only UC Merced has less professional staffing to provide LGBTQ-focused campus services on campus. The Lionel CantĂș Queer Center is staffed by one full-time director, who is currently on medical leave.

On Facebook and other social media, UCSC students are speaking out about the hate crime, its impact, and the University response, especially in the context of other UCSC student protests against tuition increases. UCSC undergraduate student Avery's Facebook post has garnered peer support for expressing the emotional toll of the hate crime on students:
How f---ing long is it going to take for the violent hate crime at Kresge to gain a fraction of the public notice the six students protesting yesterday did? Already the petition to rally expulsion of these students has gained more signatures IN ONE DAY.
I hold so much pain and trauma on my back today, for myself and for the ones I love who are being told they don't matter. Through these consequences, we are told we don't matter. Our amount of money matters. Our bodies do not. Our obedience to the UC matters. Our pain and suffering does not. People of color do not matter. Queer people do not matter. Trans people do not matter. Those who suffer systemic, institutional physical/financial/gender/sexual violence do not matter.
THIS IS WHAT I AM LIVING WITH AND HOLDING IN MY BODY TODAY AND IT HURTS SO MUCH.
I am TIRED of trying to go on and function as a student, as a student leader, as a young adult trying to learn how to be responsible and successful in this world and PRETEND as if all of this bullsh-- weren't happening all around me! I am so tired and so heavy. I almost want someone to tell me what to do with this body that has been made to feel so useless, so insignificant. 
But I know I can't. Anger and pain is the only feeling I embody today. I feel anger out of love. Pain out of love. Love for myself and the people I love, because we deserve more out of this f---ing world than we are getting. I feel angry out of compassion because I want more for us than this violence! So I'm going to hold on to this anger. I don't know where it's going or what to do with it yet but my body will not forget.

Links:

Prevent Hate Crimes at Santa Cruz - blog for updates
https://preventhatecrimesatucsantacruz.wordpress.com

Change.org Petition

City On A Hill Press


Santa Cruz Sentinel

KION News Channel

ABC Channel 7 News



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

T*Camp and Asterisk Trans* Conference serve campus transgender community & allies in different ways



T*Camp - InterCampus Trans* Retreat by application only

Asterisk Trans* Conference - open to people of all gender identities & expressions


Two unique events serve trans* people and allies on campus in different ways this academic year. T*Camp and the Asterisk Trans* Conference both focus on gender identity and expression. However, their audiences, format, and registration differ significantly.

The 4th annual T*Camp - an intercampus retreat for transgender, genderqueer, and gender questioning college students - will be held January 9-11, 2015. College students must apply to attend the retreat by October 30th. Last year, over 100 students applied to attend and about 55 students were selected.

Held for three days at a camp facility, T*Camp creates an intentional and courageous space for participants via home groups, break-out sessions, and community-building activities  The $140 per person fee covers transportation to the camp from a southern Californian college campus; meals including Friday lunch through Sunday lunch; and cabins and other camp facilities. T*Camp is facilitated by campus LGBT center staff and T*Camp alums.

The inaugural Asterisk Trans* Conference will be held February 27-28, 2015 at UC Riverside. The conference is open to people of all gender identities and expressions. Friday's events are  free and open to the public. Saturday's events, including a keynote, lunch, workshops, and closing performance, require a $20 or $10 registration fee. Currently, 12 college campuses can send unlimited participants under a Group Registration. Online registration opens in late October, and the deadline to submit a program proposal is November 15.

The Asterisk Trans* Conference is organized by Asterisk of UCR student group and the LGBT Resource Center with major support from the California Endowment. Its mission is to build community for trans* people and allies, to address trans* health and well-being, and to provide education and resources for trans* youth advocates. Anyone may register to attend.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Directory of campus LGBTQ centers launches online



The Campus LGBTQ Centers Directory launched online today, providing a new tool for finding professionally staffed campus resources in the U.S. and Canada.

According to the site, "The Campus LGBTQ Centers Directory is a project to document staffed campus resources regarding sexual orientation and gender identity. The Directory's purpose is to connect people with the offices and to further research on the state of the profession providing LGBTQ resources in higher education."

The Directory includes both a visual map and a listing with information on the center and the campus. Visitors can search by keyword, or search by criteria such as location, type of institution, public v. private, enrollment, religiously-affiliated, etc.

Inclusion in the Directory follows a standard set by the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Directors, which hosted a similar directory in the past. Campus centers or offices must be staffed by a professional staff person or graduate student who works at least 20 hours a week providing LGBTQ services. Centers staffed by volunteers or undergraduate students are not included. Some exceptions are made for small enrollment campuses at which staff provide multiple functions.

The Directory was developed with support from the Calamus Foundation, and LGBTQ centers at The Pennsylvania State University, the University of Oregon, and the University of California, Riverside.

"Penn State has some of the most progressive policies and proceeudresfor the LGBTQA community in the country," says Allison Subasic, LGBTA Student Resource Center director. "We are supported by the administration 100% and we also wrote a grant which supports this project and the LGBTQArchitect."

Nancy Jean Tubbs, director of UC Riverside's LGBT Resource Center, currently maintains the online Directory. "It's always a work in progress," she says. "New centers open every year. Unfortunately, sometimes positions are eliminated, too. But since the Consortium was founded in 1997, the list has grown from 48 centers to over 240 campuses with professional LGBTQ services."

The Directory includes a history page listing the dates in which campuses first established professional LGBTQ services. However, 11 centers' dates of origin are unknown.

Based on the current Directory, 241 campuses are served by 233 centers in the U.S. and Canada. (One center serves 7 campus in Claremont, CA and one center serves 3 campuses in Denver, CO.) 150 or 64% are stand-alone LGBTQ centers, while 14 or 6% are located within a Women's or Gender Equity Center and 61 or 26% are located within a Cross Cultural Center or Diversity Office. Another 8 centers are housed elsewhere on campus.14 centers are directed by Graduate Assistants and 4 centers are affiliated with student governments.

The current institutional profile info is below.

Institutional Type
1 (less than 1%) = Community College
5 (2%) = Bachelor's Conferring / General
24 (10%) = Bachelor's Conferring / Liberal Arts
68 (28%) = Master's Conferring
143 (59%) = PhD Conferring / Research

Affiliation
85 (35% = private
156 (65%) = public

10 (4%) are religiously-affiliated

Enrollment
37 (15%) = Under 5,000
33 (14%) = 5,000 to 10,000
70 (29%) = 10,000 to 20,000
55 (23%) = 20,000 to 30,000
25 (10%) = 30,000 to 40,000
21 (9%) = More Than 40,000

Region
55 = Great Lakes
26 = Mid-Atlantic
12 = Midwest
44 = Northeast
11 = Northwest
7 = South Central
34 = South/Southeast
52 = Southwest

California has the most centers: 29 centers serving 35 institutions.

States with no centers: Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wyoming




Thursday, October 2, 2014

University of California system establishes permanent LGBT council and approves recommendations


The University of California Office of the President announced the formation of a permanent LGBT Advisory Council, as well as new support to include preferred names in student records and to mandate gender inclusive restrooms in new construction.

The actions by President Janet Napolitano follow a report from the Task Force & Implementation Team on LGBT Climate & Inclusion that included 8 recommendations regarding the collection of data on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression; name change policies in campus computer systems; gender-inclusive restroom policies and practices; support for the bisexual community; cultural competency training programs; community-based counselors; enhancement of academic initiatives on genders and sexualities; and tax equalization of domestic partner employee benefits.

The conversion of single-occupancy restrooms to gender inclusive signage has been, until the UCOP announcement, a campus-by-campus issue. Some UC campuses also have not addressed yet the need for including gender inclusive restrooms in new construction. Likewise, so far only UC Davis, UC irvine, and UC Santa Cruz have implemented preferred names in student records. A UC-wide mandate to address these issues will advance trans-inclusion for all UC students, staff, and faculty.

Members of the new LGBT Advisory Council, which met for the first time in September, include representatives from all 10 UC campuses as well as from organizations such as the Horizons Foundation, BiNet USA, the Williams Institute, and the San Francisco Human Rights Commission.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

All 10 University of California campuses offer LGBT services as UC Merced adds LGBT Coordinator position



The youngest University of California campus, UC Merced, announced a new open position for Women's Program and LGBT Coordinator. All 10 UC campuses now offer professionally staffed LGBT service offices.

According to the job description, "The Coordinator will have responsibility for the programmatic development, support, service, education, and advocacy for the program areas of Women’s Programs and LGBT Initiatives."

UC Riverside was the first California campus to open a professionally staffed LGBT center in 1993. The other 8 UC campuses opened offices between 1995 and 1999. UC Merced became the newest UC campus when it opened in 2005. UC Merced joins 35 other California campuses with professional or graduate assistant-level LGBT services positions in 2014.

Learn more about the UC Merced position, including how to apply, here.

UC Merced's LGBT Initiatives-related job duties include:
  • Develops resources and networks through campus/community partnerships in support of the UC Merced LGBT community. Efforts will include support, resource services, education, and advocacy to, for, and about the LGBT community. 
  • Advises students on gender and sexuality concerns/services, including women's, lesbian, bi-sexual, gay, and transgender issues.  
  • Develop LGBT and social justice related programs, trainings, workshops, and provide support and advocacy on issues of power, privilege, and intersecting identities such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, etc. and increase campus-wide dialogue and understanding on topics related to the LGBT Community.  
  • Develop, a workshop/film/lecture series promoting LGBT awareness and the understanding.  
  • Serve on a campus committee providing insight, feedback and recommendations to University administrators regarding the LGBT community. 
  • Provide advice, mediation, and support to student organizations and student leaders. 
  • Coordinate and facilitate large and small-scale annual programs, activities, workshops, mentor programs, and signature events. 
  • Chair work-group and collaborate with other departments to develop and maintain Safe Zone Project. • Develops and maintains relationships with internal and external campus stakeholders critical to program success.

UC Santa Barbara is also searching for a new Director of the Resource Center for Sexual & Gender Diversity.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Job openings roundup for June 2014


Several California campus LGBT centers are hiring professional staff. In addition to the positions below, UC Santa Barbara will be recruiting a new Director of the UCSB Resource Center for Sexual & Gender Diversity soon. Recruitments for Cal Poly Pomona's Pride Center Coordinator and UCLA's LGBT Campus Resource Center Program Coordinator have closed already.

The Queer Resource Center of Pomona College, serving all the Claremont Colleges, is hiring a Program Coordinator. Visit the Pomona College Staff Jobs web side for more information. Job Summary:
Reporting directly to the Director, Queer Resource Center, the QRC Program Coordinator will provide support, encouragement, resources and education to meet the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, and allied (LGBTQQIAA) students, faculty, and staff for the Claremont Colleges.  The QRC Program Coordinator will stay abreast of issues pertinent to the LGBTQQIA community and aligns QRC programming and events according to the community’s current needs. The QRC Coordinator will coordinate QRC student support programs for The Claremont Colleges including Pomona College, Claremont Graduate University, Scripps – The Women’s College, Claremont McKenna College, Harvey Mudd College, Pitzer College, and the Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences. This position will support, empower and encourage student development of QRC Student Interns and LGBTQQIA students and allies, support students doing intersectional programming, facilitate LGBTQQIA and ally student discussion groups that provide a safe space for peer support, provide support and tools for LGBTQIA and Ally students to develop skills needed to facilitate regular dialogues around LGBTQIA issues, supervise QRC Project Teams, and plan and organize around annual events such as Gaypril, Pride Month Celebration, Queer Prom, and Lavender Graduation. This position will also coordinate and plan weekly QRC staff meetings, collaborate on planning staff retreat, programming and training schedule for fall and spring semesters, coordinate weekly meetings with Director and bi-weekly meetings with Director and Graduate Assistant, and assist with the supervision of QRC Interns.
The LGBTQIA Resource Center of UC Davis is hiring an Assistant Director. The final filing date is June 23rd. This position reports to the Director of the center. Visit the UC Davis Job Listings web site for more information. Job summary:
Under general supervision of the Director, serves the entire campus community with a focus on those who are underrepresented, underserved, and marginalized. The Assistant Director will work as a part of a leadership team to oversee the daily operations of the department and services for the campus community and is independently responsible for directing the LGBTQIA Resource Center's educational programs and events on topics related to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, Two-Spirit, Same Gender Loving, and Questioning people, students of color, and the many intersecting social group identities that LGBTQIA people hold. The Assistant Director oversees the development of the Peer Education Program and Queer Mentorship program as well as other key educational initiatives and collaborates with other campus departments and student organizations to meet the needs of the broader campus community.



Friday, May 30, 2014

New Consortium southwest regional representatives take office



Dr. Adriana di Bartolo and Steve Willich are the new Consortium regional representatives for the Southwest Region, which includes Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawai'i, Nevada, and Utah.

Adriana is currently the Director of the Queer Resource Center serving the seven Claremont Colleges. Steve is the Director for GLBT Student Services at Auraria, which serves three institutions: Metropolitan State University of Denver, the Community College of Denver, and the University of Colorado, Denver. Steve is also the GLBT Knowledge Community Representative for NASPA Region IV-W.

Both Adriana and Steve believe their new Consortium positions are a way to give back to a professional organization that has supported them. Regional representatives work to ensure member and non-member institutions have access to continuing professional development, education, advocacy, and support resources.

"During my time as QRC Director, I've come to understand the importance of support, colleagueship, and friends who do LGBTQ work on college campuses," says Adriana. "In times of need, it is to those colleagues I turn to navigate difficult situations. I am grateful to be that support to others in the field."

"The Consortium and the colleagues that I have met through the organization have given me so much inspiration, advice, information, and hope as I work to support and educate the students on my campus and in my community," agrees Steve. "Serving as a Regional Representative allows me to make further connections within my region, increasing the level support for all of us." 

The Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals's mission is "to critically transform higher education environments so that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students, faculty, administrators, staff, and alumni/ae have equity in every respect." Currently, over 30 college and university member institutions are located in the Southwest Region.