The goal for this year’s President’s
Commission on LGBT Concerns, Chair Jeff Martin announced at its
first meeting, Sept. 16 in 400 Administration, is to improve LGBT
sensitivity on campus.
Martin said he had met the previous week with President Jim Wagner,
who encouraged him to outline an overarching goal for the academic
year—something concrete toward which the commission could
Although loosely defined by design, Martin said, “Improving
LGBT Sensitivity,” includes several specific points. Such
as: establishing a liaison with Human Resources (HR); working with
HR and the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs on further incorporating
LGBT-friendly language on University forms and websites; encouraging
Emory to inquire about its contractors and contracted companies’
policies on LGBT issues and support; bridging the communications
gap among campus LGBT organizations; and serving as an adviser on
LGBT issues to Wagner as needed.
Seemingly on cue, Wagner stepped in and spoke briefly on the importance
of the commissions, adding that several people had asked him if
he would eliminate them.
“I am fully aware that I am a middle-aged, white, heterosexual
male,” Wagner said. “The best I can do is intellectually
get in touch with minorities, women and LGBT persons. But I can’t
feel it in here,” he said, placing his hand on his heart.
“That’s why it’s important to have groups of people
who are sensitive to those issues and who will drive an agenda on
them,” he continued.
After Wagner spoke, the commission voted to create the position
of HR liaison—someone who would establish a dialogue between
the commission and HR—and suggested asking HR Vice President
Alice Miller about appointing a liaison on HR’s end, as well.
In committee reports, nomination and outreach chair Nathan Woodling
said the commission has signed up for the Oct. 19 AIDS Walk and
can serve as the umbrella group for Emory’s LGBT community.
The committee also is looking into future service activities and
LGBT studies chair Bill Gilders said the effort to discuss an LGBT
studies curriculum in Emory College has begun. Gilders said Asa
Griggs Candler Professor of Religion (and former LGBT chair) Mark
Jordan has met with College Dean Bobby Paul, and Jordan was asked
to form an ad hoc committee to create a proposal. Gilders said the
commission could serve as a consultant to that ad hoc committee.
The next LGBT meeting will be held Tuesday, Oct. 21, in 400 Administration.
If you have a question or concern for LGBT, e-mail Jeff Martin