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February 7, 2005
Commission lookint to create LGBT alumni group
BY Eric Rangus
Plans are progressing toward a campuswide forum in March on LGBT issues to be sponsored by the President’s Commission on LGBT Concerns. Commission members Andy Wilson of Campus Life and J. D. Davis of the Emory Police Department briefed the commission on the forum’s status, Monday, Jan. 31, in 400 Administration.
“We want to hear from the people we represent,” Wilson said of the forum. “What are their concerns?”
Davis added that the goal is to produce a document to send to President Jim Wagner and, if the results warrant, a publication for use by the University at large.
Chair-elect Paul Towne said the Association of Emory Alumni is interested in partnering with the commission to create an LGBT alumni group. Towne said the idea would be to start small, perhaps in conjunction with the Pride banquet later this spring, then grow the group. Other programs could coincide with Emory Weekend in May. Towne suggested the commission create a focus group to gauge interest in such an organization.
Chair Cathi Wentworth said the commission will focus the remainder of the academic year on outreach and gathering information from the campus LGBT community. She also said members should look inward and reconsider what it means to be a part of the commission.
“We should have a culture of involvement,” Wentworth said. “We expect certain things from each other. We have a large group, and we should be able to get a lot done. We need a recommitment to what we are doing to reiterate the ideals of what it means to be a member.”
Wagner led off the meeting with a discussion of Emory’s strategic planning process, and he asked the commission for input. He said he hoped the campus’ level of dialogue concerning the plan and the recently released signature themes would rise to the level of comment on last year’s vision statement.
Wagner said he would like lines of communication to remain open between the commission and his office, suggesting some roles the commission could fill. He said the commission should look to initiate programming, but not necessarily sustain it. That could be the task for other campus organizations, he said. He added that the commission should work to build community, provide support and educate and involve constituents.
The commission will begin accepting nominations for membership Feb. 14 and continue through March 22. New members will be invited to the commission’s April 19 meeting.
If you have a question or comment for LGBT, send e-mail to Cathi Wentworth at firstname.lastname@example.org.