Emory Report
November 28, 2005
Volume 58, Number 12


Emory Report homepage  

November 28, 2005
LGBT commission to co-sponsor quilt reading

BY Eric Rangus and Chanmi Kim

The most recent meeting of the President’s Commission on the Status of LGBT Concerns, Tuesday, Nov. 15, in 400 Administration, featured discussion on issues ranging from gay adoption to next month’s all-commission holiday celebration.

Co-chair elect Paige Parvin reported on a recent meeting with Chuck Bowen, executive director of Georgia Equality, a statewide LGBT political advocacy group. She said the commission would remain in conversation with Georgia Equality and could provide assistance should any legislation be introduced to ban adoption by gay couples in the state.

Commission chair Paul Towne asked that bullet points from the meeting be prepared for submission to President Jim Wagner to keep him abreast of the issue.

Discussion continued around transgender awareness, the commission’s central theme of the year. Towne said he and the commission’s subcommittee chairs will be meeting with the Office of LGBT Life, which already has done some research on the issue, to choose the most effective way to move forward. One suggestion was to hold a transgender awareness week in the spring that would feature panel discussions and other educational activities.

Faculty concerns chair Patrick Haggard said his subcommittee was looking to plan a social event for LGBT faculty. He also mentioned there has been some confusion on campus about the Office of LGBT Life-sponsored Safe Space Program, in which participants—both LGBT and allied—display a Safe Space logo in support of LGBT equality. Discussion focused on how better to promote awareness of what the Safe Space logo signifies, especially among faculty, and to step up advertising.

Student and alumni concerns chair Jakub Kakietek further detailed commission research on transgender issues—such as other schools’ housing situations for transgender students—but said the research is a work in progress.

Staff concerns chair Margaret Clawson said the commission could have an opportunity to review upcoming nominees to the Board of Trustees. The next list already has been processed, she said, but suggestions for nominees, as well as support for people already nominated, could be possible for future cycles.

Towne said the commission has been invited to participate in ceremonies surrounding the display of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, to be held Dec. 1 on the Quadrangle. In recognition of World AIDS Day, the event will feature guest speakers and a reading of the names of AIDS victims on the quilt. The commission unanimously voted to financially support the event, expected to be the largest AIDS Memorial Quilt showing in Atlanta history. Towne asked for volunteer readers. A one-hour block has been reserved specifically for commission members.

Towne said all three president’s commissions and the Employee Council will co-sponsor a holiday party with Wagner on Thursday, Dec. 8, from 5:30–7:30 p.m. in room W525 of Goizueta Business School. Guests will be welcome.

The next LGBT meeting will be held Tuesday, Dec. 6, at 5:15 p.m. in 400 Administration.

If you have a question or comment for the LGBT commission, send e-mail to Chair Paul Towne at paul_towne@bus.emory.edu.