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February 26, 1999: Group addresses hate crimes on campus
Some students are uniting to work toward changing the campus policy concerning hate-motivated crimes.
Although a Crimes Task Force already exists on campus, students are concerned because hate crimes are not included in the task force's focus, Jimel Beckett, co-coordinator of the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Outreach (LGBO), said.
The unofficial Hate Crimes Task Force, which began to organize last semester, is not an organization recognized by the university. It has chosen to remain unrecognized because its goal is that the university incorporate hate crimes into any existing crime task force policy, Beckett, Chesapeake, Ohio senior, said.
"The goal is unity, not separation," she said.
"We (the Hate Crimes Task Force) are a panel of concerned students, of student representatives from several student groups."
The College Democrats, Alpha Kappa Delta, Lambda Society and People Reaching Out with Love are some of the groups represented in the Hate Crimes Task force. The NAACP, although not affiliated with Marshall, has also expressed an interest in being involved, Beckett said.
The group is preparing recommendations that will be presented April 30, National Erase the Hate Day. University President J. Wade Gilley and other relevant campus offices will receive the recommendations, Raymie White, co-coordinator of the LGBO and president of Lambda, said.
"I would hope he (Gilley) will take it serious now, considering all the groups and students involved," White, Clendenin senior political science major, said. "All the bases are being covered.
"His (Gilley's) not taking it serious now would mean he is a president who is ignoring student concerns," White said.
Part of the recommendation will include a subcommittee or task force to focus specifically on hate crimes, he said.
Crimes regarding all races, religion, sexual orientation, disability, national origin, gender, ethnicity and political affiliation are part of the group's focus. The group is aware that hate crimes can occur toward white students as well as other more obvious groups, White said.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, West Virginia does not include sexual orientation and disability in any hate crime legislation. On the national level, statistics for sexual orientation and disability
related crimes are kept but are not included in legislation.
Dr. Betty J. Cleckley, vice president for multicultural affairs and international programs, said any type of discrimination should not be tolerated on campus, which should be one of support and love for all students. Sexual orientation, among other racial, ethnic and cultural differences are recognized in the multicultural affairs' mission statement, she said.
"The atmosphere on campus is a major concern," Beckett said. "We are addressing all that is hate motivated, whether it be direct acts or more indirect things such as gestures, graffiti, etc...
"I could never understand the apathy surrounding this issue," she said. "It's not a gay rights issue ... it's a human rights issue."
More information is available by contacting the LGBO at 696-4801 or 696-6623. The office is located in Prichard Hall, Room 137.
March 19, 1999: Diversity explored by slate of speakers for Pride Week
Pride Week, which begins Monday, will be a chance for homosexuals and bisexuals to celebrate their identities and be proud of themselves.
"Pride and unity in the 21st Century," is the theme of Pride Week, which is sponsored by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Outreach (LGBO) office, the Lambda Society and Multicultural and International Affairs Office.
"It's important to be proud of who you are, whether gays or straight people," said Raymie White, LGBO coordinator and Lambda Society president.
"And it's also important that we work with other minorities whether those differences are based on races or sexual orientation," he said. "We should work together to improve all of our stations and human rights, not only focusing on gay issues."
He said he hopes to raise awareness of gay and lesbian issues on campus, help teach those who are not gays and try to illustrate to heterosexual people what is like to be gays through the Pride Week.
Jimel Beckett, LGBO coordinator and Lambda Society treasurer, said visibility is an important issue.
"That's where the pride comes into," she said. "Based on the idea of not being ashamed of yourselves, and proclaim your identity. The Pride Week gives us a chance to do something positive, not only for ourselves, but also for the community."
During the week, there will be two presentations on various topics daily at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
White said the first presentations on each day will be workshop activities, while the second presentations will be lectures.
Many of the presentations relate to American and world history, Beckett.
"They are the part of the literature that you will not possibly find in your normal literature classes, especially in the secondary level," she said.
"We hope to help educate not only people who are not gay, but also those who are gay but don't know about the history."
Laura Johnston, who refounded the Lambda Society, will present the lecture entitled, "Where are the Women?" March 26.
Dr. Richard Garnett, assistant professor of sociology and anthropology, will present a lecture March 22 entitled "Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals," which deals with its causes and effects.
Garnett said Pride Week is a chance to celebrate campus diversity. He said it is also an opportunity for gays and lesbians to feel pride in who they are and express themselves more openly, despite the discrimination and prejudice they encounter. Beckett said Pride Week is supposed to be a celebration. "It is time for us to educate ourselves to celebrate who we are, to reaffirm ourselves," she said.
"The presentations will be inspirational not just to gays and lesbians but to everyone on campus," White said. "Straight persons who haven't have contact with gays and lesbians should come at least to listen to what they say to get another point of view."
March 25, 1999: Rally conducted despite rainy weather
by CONNIE NICHOLS , reporter
Despite rain and low attendance, speakers gathered and focused on hate crimes and related issues.
As part of Pride Week, "Unity and Diversity in the 21st Century," sponsored by the Lambda Society and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Out-reach office, a Hate Crimes Awareness Rally was sponsored Wednesday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at the Memorial Student Center.
The rally was planned for the plaza but was moved inside to the Alumni Lounge because of rain.
The rally's format varied throughout its duration. It alternated between a round table discussion and a speaker and audience format because the attendance ranged from as few as 10 participants to as many as 50 at times.
Speakers included students, faculty and administration, as well as various community representatives.
"People need to understand that hate crimes are real," Sally Lind, executive director of Huntington's Human Relations Commission, said. "They are happening everywhere, even in Huntington, West Virginia."
The commission's definition of a hate crime is a crime directed toward someone because of race, religion or national origin, Lind said. The crime does not have to be violent.
Attempts have been made to add sexual orientation to the current hate crime laws, Lind said. Huntington, along with West Virginia, continues to be behind with such changes, she said. Although statistics are being kept for such crimes, she said, laws have not been amended.
Dr. Donnalee Cockrille, dean of student affairs, said, "It is encouraging that we are talking about it nationally."
"Diversity enriches the educational experience," Cockrille, who spoke on behalf of the administration, said.
"It's in our mission statement," she said. "Respect is the bottom line and the administration embraces that, but we've yet to make that real."
While discussing many things listed in the mission statement, such as respect, diversity and addressing student concerns, Cockrille followed each time with the statement, "We say that. Now we need to make it real."
The LGBO office welcomes anyone who has been discriminated against, Ramey White, co-coordinator of the LGBO office and president of Lambda, said.
Its goal is to offer a place for international, race and all minority issues as well as to educate people regarding lesbian, gay and bisexual issues, he said.
Dr. David Wucher, rabbi of the B'nai Sholom congregation and part-time religious studies professor, shared scriptures, humorous anecdotes and hate-crime related stories at the rally.
"Discrimination in our society affects all of us, not just those being discriminated against," he said.
"When I hear the Pledge of Allegiance," he said. " I hope for a country where we are what we pledge to be ... a nation with justice."
Additional information is available by contacting the LGBO at 696-4801 or 696-6623. The office is located in Room 137 of Prichard Hall.
October 6, 1999: Gay History Month under way
by AMANDA M. TULLY
October is here and so is the first Gay History Month at Marshall.
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Outreach Office is sponsoring activities and events throughout the month as part of the national celebration and to give students the opportunity to participate and learn about issues concerning the gay community.
Raymie White, coordinator of the LGBO program and president of the Lambda Society, said it was difficult to incorporate much of the history of the gay community into one designated month.
"We were actually confined on which issues we could look at," White said.
"I think that any oppressed group needs to take time to remember its history," said Okey Napier, faculty advisor for the Lambda Society. "That is our common bond and what ties us together."
One of the events planned this month is the showing of William Friedkin's 1970 film "The Boys in the Band."
The film is a depiction of life in the gay community.
"(The film) shows the dynamics of the (masculine) gay man and the feminine gay man, and how they operate together," White said.
The film will be shown at 7 p.m. Oct. 14 in the Memorial Student Center 2E13.
Another event planned is a drag show Oct. 21.
White said there is a lot more intricacy in the drag community than people may think. This is an opportunity for anyone curious to experience what a drag show actually embraces.
All students are welcome and tickets are free.
All events sponsored by the LGBO for Gay History Month are intended to increase awareness pertaining to gay issues in the community and on campus.
"We can't ignore racism and sexism and act like we're depicting reality," White said.
More information may be obtained by calling the LGBO Office at 696-6623 or visiting Prichard Hall 134.
October 6, 1999: History of gays important to all
By Editorial Staff
Like women and blacks before them, homosexuals form a minority group that has long been oppressed by others who disagree with their lifestyles.
They have been unfairly stereotyped, ridiculed and even killed because of their sexual preferences. Although the millennium is less than 100 days away, they still are not accepted totally.
Their history of oppression cannot be ignored any longer. That is why the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Outreach Office (LGBO) is observing October as Gay History Month, bringing the national celebration to campus for the first time in school history.
The LGBO Office has organized a series of events during the month to raise awareness of issues that affect the gay community.
We applaud the office for its effort. Gay History Month is as important as Black History Month in February and Women's History Month in March.
Those specialized months inform others about groups who were - and still are - minorities. They celebrate their cultures and document their struggles. They allow us to learn about the histories of those oppressed groups. And they raise awareness to the problems those groups face.
We think it would be beneficial for everyone - homosexual or heterosexual, man or woman, young or old - to participate in the events of Gay History Month. It would give them opportunities to learn about the history of an oppressed group.
Let our gay students know they do not have to be ashamed of their lifestyles. Let them know they do not have to worry about experiencing the fear University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard felt just before his killers murdered him because he was a homosexual.
Support them. Do not shun them.
Remember, people are people. And people should not live in fear or be oppressed for being themselves.
We think participating in Gay History Month is worth your time and effort, even if you are not homosexual, bisexual or transsexual. It may open your eyes and broaden your views.
And an open mind never hurt anyone.
October 10, 1999: Thumbs Up to LGBO
Thumbs up to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Outreach Office for observing October as Gay History Month on campus. It is the first time the national celebration has been observed at Marshall. Despite the possibility of backlash and opposition, the LGBO Office has organized a month of events to raise public awareness of issues gays face. We hope Gay History Month will open the eyes and expand the views of those in the Marshall community. But even if it does not, the organizers deserve praise for having the courage to be themselves and reveal parts of their lives to an entire campus.
October 25, 1999: LGBO discussion to address book about lesbians under Nazi regime
by AMANDA M. TULLY
A roundtable discussion on a book about two lesbians falling in love under the Nazi regime will take place in the Memorial Student Center 2E10 today at 7 p.m.
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Outreach office (LGBO) is offering the discussion to the public.
The Erica Fischer book "Aimee & Jaguar: A Love Story, Berlin 1943," a Lambda Literary Award winner, will be the topic of discussion.
"We want to educate the gay community as well as the general community about the factions of groups idolizing Hitler," said Jimel Beckett, co-coordinator of the LGBO Office.
"Gay people are often the target of many Neo-Nazi groups. It is important to discuss these issues as part of gay history."
The discussion will allow people to present their opinion on various aspects of the book, which is based on a true story.
Beckett said there are many issues surrounding the story that are worthy of being discussed. The conservative and radical views will be compared.
"Aimee" and "Jaguar" are the main characters who battle being in love under nearly impossible conditions. "Aimee" is married to a man who supports the Nazis, and "Jaguar" is a Jewish woman. They are involved in continual conflicts as they try to pursue a relationship. As the story unfolds, vital issues that are important to the gay community.
"This is a superb opportunity to explore the literary stance of what took place between two lesbians during World War II," said Okey Napier, graduate student and faculty adviser for the Lambda Society.
More information on the discussion is available by calling the LGBO Office at 696-6623 or stopping by Prichard Hall 134.
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