June 9, 1997

Issues in Progress

President's Commission on

Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual Concerns

At the commission's May 5 meeting, chair Kevin Gelé welcomed new members, who will begin their terms in September. They include faculty representatives Douglas Lowery, assistant professor, surgery/emergency medicine, and Jack Zupko, assistant professor, philosophy; staff representative Fred Westbrook, director of biomedical media, health sciences; student representatives Candace Dias and Danielle Doughman; and alumni representatives Emily Heath and DyShaun Muhammad.

Continuing on the commission are cochair Anne Rector, administrative professor for academic assistance, law school; Darryl Stokes, associate professor, biology; staff representatives Annemarie Poyo, assistant director, University photography; and Darryl Gossett, associate editor, Health Sciences news and information; students Yvette Morgan and Jason Chue; and administration representatives Saralyn Chesnut and Bill Thompson. Ex-officio members include Gary Hauk and Robert Ethridge.

Rotating off the commission are faculty representatives Judy Rohrer, associate professor and chair, art history and Leslie Harris, assistant professor, history; staff representative and cochair Kevin Gelé, academic services coordinator, anesthesiology; student representatives Stephen Fusco and Ami Mattison; administration representative Jody Usher, associate dean, graduate school; and alumni representative Sara Look.

The commission approved a revision to its bylaws concerning membership and representation.

Jason Chue reported that a series of coffeehouses sponsored by the commission this year was mostly successful. Members discussed ways to increase attendance, including changing the location, scheduling the coffeehouses every other month and getting input from the community.

Leslie Harris reported on a series of three luncheons for faculty and graduate students who have been teaching lesbian/gay/ bisexual studies. As a result of these initial conversations, she said, a number of questions have been raised about the future direction of academic work in this area. Questions include whether to pursue establishment of a minor in lesbian/gay/bisexual studies, whether to formulate some academic organizational entity within the University and how courses should be listed in University catalogs. She also suggested that the commission extend funding for the lecture series for the coming academic year and address the question of continuing funding through a long-range planning process in the fall.

Anne Rector discussed the commission's decision to help fund a campus climate survey being undertaken in the fall by the Office of Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual Life. Rector also proposed that the commission form a long-range planning committee that would meet over the summer months to consider proposals such as establishing a physical space on campus for a center for lesbian/gay/bisexual conerns similar to the Emory Women's Center and the establishment of ongoing funding for the lecture series. Cochair Gelé asked if members who are available to meet over the summer could begin addressing such topics as part of the commission's long-range plan.

-Elaine Justice

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