GLC Launches New #Ellen2BC Endeavor Online
Published: Thursday, December 6, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
Across Facebook newsfeeds and Twitter pages, “#Ellen2BC” has spread like wildfire.
Last week, Boston College’s GLBTQ Leadership Council (GLC) launched a social media campaign to host Ellen DeGeneres, television talk show host and GLBTQ activist, as a keynote speaker next semester. Laura DelloStritto, GLC Chief of Staff and A&S ’13, hopes that the “Ellen2BC” campaign will bring awareness to the GLBTQ community on campus.
“Ideally, we would like Ellen to speak about her experiences as an LGBTQ individual,” DelloStritto said. “We would love to hear her discuss her experience coming out, the difficulties she has faced, and how she has overcome those difficulties to become who she is today.”
Since the campaign began, DelloStritto and the GLC committee have created an “Ellen2BC” Twitter and Facebook page, which has received over 800 likes. They have reached out to clubs, organizations, sports teams, and academic departments on campus, asking for support. The committee has also released a letter that outlines the campaign’s goals and GLC’s history on BC’s campus. The letter, which has received over 1,500 signatures, reads, in part:
“As you know, it is not always easy to be an LBGTQ individual in certain situations. Here at BC, it is often challenging to be an LGBTQ student as the religious ties of our university make support for this community difficult and, in some situations, contested.
“The GLBTQ Leadership Council itself was not created by the university but was instead a student Senate initiative in 2004, less than 10 years ago. This came after formal university rejection of an LGBTQ group four times since 1974. Since the creation of GLC, students have played a key role in leading the charge for LGBTQ visibility, resources, and education on campus.”
The GLC believes that DeGeneres, as a keynote speaker, would be an educational opportunity for those who are and are not members of the GLBTQ community.
“We came up with the idea for this campaign while we were brainstorming ideas to raise awareness about LGBTQ resources in the BC community,” DelloStritto said. “One of the main obstacles GLC faces is a lack of visibility. Many students, including those who could really benefit from the resource we offer, are unaware that we exist. GLC not only strives to produce programming that is both entertaining and educational about issues that affect the LGBTQ community, but we also offer Queer Peers drop-in office hours four days a week where students can speak anonymously with a trained peer counselor. We want it to be well-known to all students that GLC provides these resources as an outlet for support on campus.”
The GLC committee hopes to bring DeGeneres to campus by late January or early February. In the coming month, they plan to continue spreading awareness by tweeting at celebrities, emailing alums, and reaching out to the student body via Twitter and Facebook. The committee also plans to write and send individual letters to DeGeneres in hopes of garnering more attention. Since the campaign began, the committee has seen much success.
“People from all sorts of clubs, teams, university offices, academic departments, and organizations are supporting the campaign,” DelloStritto said. “We have even had alums from the ’70s sign to show their support. [The campaign] has been reaching many people that we never expected to reach … I think the variety of sources of support will really help us get to Ellen.”
DelloStritto hopes that the campaign will bring more awareness and understanding to the GLBTQ community on campus, an issue that GLC has struggled with in the past.
“Another obstacle GLC faces is there still exists a type of stigma associated with attending our events,” DelloStritto said. “Some students may think that if they are not a part of the LGBTQ community they are not welcome or would feel uncomfortable at our events, which is a complete myth. People of all orientations, identities, and faiths attend our events, and we want to emphasize that everyone is welcomed. We couldn’t think of anyone better than Ellen to help remove some of that stigma.”