The Presidents Commission on LGBT Concerns returned to the
Oxford campus for its March 5 meeting. It was the first time the
commission had met at Oxford since the 19992000 academic year.
The meeting included reflections on the state of LGBT life at Oxford
since the commissions last visit. Frank Maddox, associate
professor of economics and a former co-chair of the commission,
described the climate as much improved.
The environment is markedly different than it was,
Giving background, Maddox said the commission first came to Oxford
in response to several incidents of harassment that had taken place
on campus. A lobbying effort by the commission and other Emory LGBT
groups resulted in stronger campus policy against harassment as
well as the creation of a diversity liaison for Oxford.
Those improvements, however, are in jeopardy, Maddox said, because
the current diversity liaison is leaving the position and a replacement
has not been hired. Members of the Oxford community are concerned
that filling the job may not be a priority and asked the commission
It is important for us to have an entity work on our behalf,
Maddox said. [The Atlanta campus] probably doesnt understand
how important this is at Oxford.
The commission agreed to look into the situation.
Another suggestion was to hold a meeting of all the LGBT organizations
at Emory, which are numerous but not always in close communication.
It was an idea commission chair Mark Jordan, Asa Griggs Candler
Professor of Religion, supported. He said a conference could be
set up for next year.
We havent had a bad fight for a while, Jordan
said, but when you do, its important to get everybody
together quickly. We cant do that right now.
In other business, the commission reviewed the Pride Banquet, which
had taken place the previous night and was a success. The event
drew about 80 attendees and raised $450.
At the Pride Banquet, the commission presented prizes of $500 to
the best graduate essay and $250 to the best undergraduate essay
in the areas of LGBT or queer studies. The graduate winner was Daniel
Madera who wrote,
"Fazend Samambaia: Elizabeth Bishop in Brazil. Katie
Kilborn won the undergraduate prize for A Queer, A King and
A Mission: Gender Performance, Theater and Possibilities for Social
Change in the Work of Kate Bornstein and Dred King.
The commission voted to present guest speaker Chris Copeland, associate
pastor of Oakhurst Baptist Church, with an honorarium to thank him
for speaking. The commission also voted to pledge $1,000 to assist
in covering costs for this months LGBT film festival.
The next LGBT meeting will be April 16 at 5:30 p.m. in 400 Administration.
If you have
a question or concern for LGBT, send e-mail to Mark Jordan at email@example.com.