GLC Calls For Recognition
'To New Heights' States GLC's Goals
Published: Sunday, February 26, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
In this year's UGBC presidential election cycle, both of the final teams met with the GLBTQ Leadership Council (GLC) and talked about their goals for the upcoming year. Since the UGBC's constitution was amended to include the GLC as an integral part, there has been an increased focus on the GLC's document, "To New Heights," which outlines their goals for Boston College over the next ten years.
Drafted three years ago by a team that included Carolyn McCrosson, GLC president and A&S '12, and Joshua Tingley, GLC vice president and A&S '13, "To New Heights" describes what the GLC's mission is, how they should be incorporated into the University by the administration, statements by students and faculty, and a 10-year plan for the GLC. Tingley described the document as a collaborative effort that included research into how their goals fit in with the Jesuit-Catholic identity of the school. "It is us showing what should be there and the reasoning behind it," he said.
After three years, there has been progress on some of their goals, as well as stagnation on others. At the highest level, the University has yet to acknowledge the issues. "‘To New Heights' is presented to the Board of Trustees every time [Mike] Kitlas [UGBC President and A&S '12] meets with them, but they have yet to acknowledge receiving it," Tingley said. "The president is unreceptive to talking about these things."
At lower levels, the GLC has made progress with the administration. "[Vice President for Student Affairs Patrick] Rombalski has talked with us a lot. He is more willing to have a discussion," Tingley said. "ResLife has had multiple trainings for the RAs and RDs about diversity of sexual orientation and gender identities. Health Services underwent training about being providers for GLBTQ students." The GLC has pushed for these changes through dialogue with Rombalski and the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.
Progress has also been made through the Queer Peers program and the Safe Spaces campaign. Functioning as a peer-mentoring group, Queer Peers has expanded its physical presence on campus, and has more RAs discussing it in their hall talks this year. In order to advance the Safe Spaces campaign, the GLC has been in dialogue with the Lesbian and Gay Faculty, Staff, and Administrators Association (LGFSAA) this year.
"There would be places on campus where students could feel comfortable going and approaching someone for information," McCrosson said. "There would be people who are willing to talk about these issues confidentially."
"We want to show students that this would be a place where they could feel safe and accepted," Tingley said. "We have a list of professors, staff, and administrators who would be willing to do this. We want to see something on people's doors. We want an institutionalized program. The administration doesn't want to imply that there are unsafe spaces on campus because it is bad for the image of the school."
In the long-term, the GLC wants to see the establishment of a GLBTQ Resource Center that would function like the AHANA Center does. Citing Tufts University as an example, McCrosson and Tingley described the center as having a paid full-time staff, resources for students, as well as a place to meet and get together. They also want to establish a scholarship similar to the Martin Luther King, Jr. scholarship that would be for someone who has contributed a lot on campus and would pay for the student's senior year.
Eventually, they hope to work with the faculty to establish a Queer Studies minor that would be similar to the cultural minors, such as Irish Studies or German Studies.