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Campus Life Spotlight: Coming Out Week educates all on campus

Posted on Oct 12, 2010
National Coming Out Day (NCOD) was Monday, October 11th but the Queer & Allied Student Union has a week of dedicated events to help bring education and empowerment to the UW-Superior campus.
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Campus Life Spotlight: Coming Out Week educates all on campus

National Coming Out Day started in 1987 after 500,000 lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender (LGBT) people marched on Washington, D.C. as a demonstration for gay rights and equality.  20+ years later, NCOD events happen all over the United States on college campuses and in communities alike.  Here at UW-Superior, QASU & Gender Equity Programs have worked together to educate, empower, and enlighten our campus all week.  Throughout the week, educational tabling is occurring in the YU Atrium from 11am-1pm.  Students are staffing the booth with handouts, giveaways, and information about coming out and being LGBT on campus.

On Monday, QASU board members underwent Safe Zone training by a UWS faculty member.  The Safe Zone training allows the board members to further train other UWS students/faculty/staff about how to create comfortable and safe environments in the classroom, residence halls, and on campus in general related to LGBT issues.

On Wednesday night, there is an exciting and engaging two hour workshop planned from 6-8pm in the YU Great Room.  QASU will share what they are doing on campus, board members will share their own personal coming out stories, and there will be small group discussions about coming out myths, how to take action against hate, and what it means to be an ally.  There also will be a shortened Safe Zone session to give students/faculty/staff an opportunity to see what will be offered in the future.

Current events have shown us that our communities are far from being accepting of LGBT people.  Bullying, hate speech, negative political commentary, and continued legal inequities pervade our country. However, there is hope on the horizon.  In response to the many teen and college suicides and bullying, celebrated columnist Dan Savage and others founded the It Gets Better Project.  Founded last month, this website and YouTube forum hosts hundreds of videos from everyday citizens and national celebrities sharing their support for LGBT youth with the message of "it gets better".

QASU Board Director Aaron Wainman shares "our QASU isn't going to sit aside and blend in to the background on campus. We all want to be visible, to show that we're here, and that we don't want to stand for the hurtful things on campus. We want support. It is something that we have very strongly in some places but we lack in others."

QASU is open to ALL students, faculty, and staff….not just people who identify as LGBT.  Allies are an incredibly important to the community, and QASU encourages support from the heterosexual allied community on campus.  General meetings are Mondays at 5pm in YU 201. 

Look for the Campus Life Spotlight here each Tuesday and in the Staff Digest!

News Contact: Campus Life | campuslife{atuws}
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