Embracing Diversity | The President’s Commission for LGBT Issues
[Editorial note: In November 1996, the following report appeared in print. Shortly thereafter, it appeared on the web in multiple files in a location where it remained until February 2005. At that time, it was compacted into a single file and moved to www.umd.edu/lgbt/archive/DiverseComplete.html. There was great variety in the presentation of the various original files as the task of standardizing them was never completed. No attempt has been made to accomplish that task in this present form. All links internal to the report have been removed. One exception exists in this version, the list of "G/L/B Links at UMCP's Peer Institutions" which was not a part of the original report. A hot link to that list was added to the online version of "Embracing Diversity." That list now appears at the end of this file and there is an internal hot link to it at the end of the section on Climate. All links to outside web sites have been retained although most lead to pages that are no longer active.]
LESBIAN, GAY, AND BISEXUAL STUDENTS, FACULTY, AND STAFF AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND AT COLLEGE PARK
I want College Park to be a place where excellence is achieved through diversity. A place that reflects the diversity of our state and the cultural richness of our world; a place where study and learning count, and color or accent or gender do not; a place where one can attack the ideas of another while affirming the human dignity of all; a place that enables individuals to be larger than they once were and more open of mind than they thought they could be.
- William E. Kirwan, President University of Maryland College Park, 1990
A Report from the Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Staff and Faculty Association in conjunction with the Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Alliance
November 6, 1996
College Park, Maryland
Climate - Opening Statement
Climate - Definitions
Climate - Positive Aspects of Climate
Climate - Harassment
Climate - Student Life
Climate - Employment Issues
Climate - Campus Publications
Climate - Erasure and Invisibility
Climate - Lack of Institutional Support
Climate - Vigorous Response to these Problems in Context of Race and Gender
Climate - Reputation and Our Peer Institutions
Curriculum - Opening Statement
Curriculum - The National Scene
Curriculum - History of Effort at UMCP
Curriculum - The Present and the Future
Recommendations - Opening Statement
Recommendations - Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Resource Center
Recommendations - President's Commission on LGB Issues
Recommendations - An on-going process
Recommendations - Committee on LGB Curriculum Development and Transformation
Preliminary list of LGB courses at UMCP
1. Select List of LGB Studies Courses Offered at UMCP
2. Select List of Courses with Significant LGB Studies Content Offered at UMCP
Summary of LGB Centers at Other Institutions
2. Links to Lists of Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender (LGBT) Resource Centers and Other Related Lists
3. Links to LGBT Resource Centers at Selected State
Preface On various occasions, the Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Staff and Faculty Association (LGBSFA) has raised the topic of a task force to investigate the campus climate for lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals. Vicky Foxworth, chair of the LGBSFA, included this issue in correspondence to President Kirwan on February 24, 1995, and again on May 5, 1995. After a change in leadership of the LGBSFA, one of the co-chairs, Luke Jensen, raised it again in a letter to President Kirwan on December 7, 1995. Following that letter, President Kirwan met with a delegation from the LGBSFA and a spokesperson for the student group, the Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Alliance (LGBA) on April 24, 1996. At that meeting, President Kirwan indicated his willingness to move forward on issues of concern to the LGB community, but he coupled his willingness with reluctance to name a task force for that purpose. Immediately following the meeting, Vicky Foxworth said, "We are the task force," and we resolved to prepare and advance our recommendations despite the lack of any campus resources or official imprimatur. The work was simply too important to leave undone. On May 2, 1996, we resolved at a regular meeting of the LGBSFA to schedule a retreat and to begin to formulate some proposals. Most felt that our efforts should coalesce around a strong justification and proposal for a task force. Around the same time, Ray Gillian, Assistant to the President and Chair of the Equity Council, contacted Luke Jensen and invited the LGBSFA to make a presentation before the Equity Council on June 5, 1996, during which our concerns and recommendations could be expressed. Eventually, the LGBSFA decided to decline the invitation until after the retreat. Fifteen students, staff, and faculty met for the retreat on June 8 and 9, 1996. During the course of that event, most conceived of a relatively brief report expressing our concerns and recommendations, but the view that we should call for the formation of a task force began to change. We felt that if the campus were willing to proceed without such a time consuming effort, we would be willing to champion that course of action. Also, we resolved that all participants at the retreat should be recognized in the eventual document as all had contributed. Not all are members of the LGBSFA. We made an effort to include a balanced representation at the retreat, and we made a special effort to invite individuals with experience in working with task forces and in preparing their final documents. Retreat participants are listed below in alphabetical order. Christopher Anderson, Senior, Journalism; vice president LGBA Craig Arnold, Office Coordinator, Arts and Humanities, Student Affairs Gladys Brown, Director, Human Relations Programs Sue Elliot, Payroll Manager, Physical Plant Vicky Foxworth, Program Director, Human Relations Programs; immediate past chair LGBSFA Kevin Fries, Senior, English Sandra Greer, Professor, Chemical Engineering Ruth Heidelbach, Associate Professor, Curriculum and Instruction; co-chair LGBSFA Luke Jensen, Associate Director, Center for Studies in Nineteenth-Century Music; co-chair LGBSFA Stephen Kalathas, Senior, Philosophy; president LGBA Michael Marcuse, Associate Professor, English William Patterson, Associate Professor, Theatre Lauren Voloschen, Teaching Assistant, English Nadra Wass, Sophomore, Electrical Engineering/German; chair LGBA Nancy West, Primary Care Coordinator, University Health Center Contemporaneously, the Board of Regents was considering the issue of domestic partner benefits. Ruth Heidelbach, co-chair of the LGBSFA until June 30, spent countless hours working with their Ad Hoc Committee on Domestic Partner Benefits and coordinating our efforts in that arena. Nancy West became co-chair of the LGBSFA on June 30 and Dr. Heidelbach became co-chair of the University of Maryland System Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Staff and Faculty Association (UMS-LGBSFA), a position she holds today. At the retreat, many accepted responsibilities for a variety of tasks that were intended to keep the process resulting in this report moving forward. We agreed that our two co-chairs, Luke Jensen and Nancy West, would meet with the Equity Council on August 7 to speak on the issues of concern to the LGB community and request the opportunity to return and present this report at a later date. Their presentation to the Council was met with enthusiasm and all agreed to the follow-up presentation of the report. Our activities mushroomed over the summer months. First we spent a great deal of energy on efforts leading up to the July 12 vote on domestic partner benefits by the Board of Regents. Then we confronted the aftermath of their unfortunate decision. On September 5, the LGBSFA held its first meeting of the fall semester at the home of Nancy West in that gloomy atmosphere. Four people volunteered to finish writing the report. Three others volunteered to assist in gathering information and other tasks. Two more who brought the interests of students into the picture, joined this group later. Some had not participated in the retreat, but had remained informed of the progress of this report. We recognize all of these individuals below. Writing group Ruth Fassinger, Associate Professor, Counseling and Personnel Services Sandra Greer, Professor, Chemical Engineering Luke Jensen, Associate Director, Center for Studies in Nineteenth-Century Music; co-chair LGBSFA Michael Marcuse, Associate Professor, English Reference and resource group Lee Badgett, Assistant Professor, Public Affairs Vicky Foxworth, Program Director, Human Relations Programs; immediate past chair LGBSFA Glenn Moreton, Librarian, UMCP Libraries Student interests Kevin Fries, Senior, English Gretchen Metzelaars, Associate Director, Stamp Student Union and Campus Programs Finally, many faculty members generously contributed their ideas to this report which also was shaped by input from studying task force reports and LGB offices on other campuses, and from conversations with scholars and administrators who have expertise in these areas. In particular, Ronni Sanlo of the University of Michigan and Beth Zemsky of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities were generous with their time and were very helpful. We owe them our gratitude. This report represents the views of no single person. We wish UMCP to advance on issues of concern to our LGB students, staff, faculty, and administrators through our collective study, work, and wisdom. We offer this report to the campus community in that spirit.
Introduction Over the past decade, the University of Maryland at College Park has earned a national reputation for its commitment to serving one of the most diverse student bodies in the country. On our campus, we see African Americans and Asian Americans and Hispanic Americans, students in wheelchairs, students in saris and chadors and yarmulkes. We take pride in our African American and female deans and department chairs. We have sign language interpreters at all major events. We have a President's Commission on Disability Issues, a Presi- dent's Commission on Ethnic Minority Issues, and a President's Commission on Women's Issues. We have a nationally acclaimed Diversity Initiative (fostered in part by the Ford Foundation). We have an African-American Studies Program and a Women's Studies Department. We have a Center for Minorities in Science and En- gineering, an International House, a Nyumburu Cultural Center, an Office of Disability Support Services, and an Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Education. We have had a Committee on Excellence through Diversity: Providing Opportunities for Black Americans at College Park; a Task Force on Asian, Hispanic, and Native Ameri- cans; and a Report to the president Concerning Opportunities for Blacks at the University of Maryland at College Park. Our offi- cial documents reaffirm our institutional position that diversity is to be valued. The UMCP Mission Statement, as approved by the Maryland Higher Education Commission, states, "...within the next decade, the University seeks to be recognized for its commitment to cultural and racial diversity." An important part of human diversity is that which includes sexual orientation. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) staff, faculty, and students are integral to the University and its functioning. We teach in the classroom. We serve as chairs, directors, and associate deans. We obtain grants and contracts. We police the campus, we deliver the mail, and we organize the payroll. In his 1996 address to the Campus Senate, President Kirwan listed kudos to various campus citizens, of whom at least two are gay or lesbian. We are here. We are everywhere. In principle, the university has included the LGB community in its diversity lexicon, as demonstrated in some official univer- sity documents. The Human Relations Code, the primary campus civil rights document, was amended in 1992 to include sexual orientation: The University of Maryland at College Park affirms its commitment to a policy of eliminating discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orienta- tion, marital status, personal appearance, age, na- tional origin, political affiliation, physical or men- tal handicap, on the basis of rights secured by the First Amendment... The Diversity Initiative includes material on sexual orientation in its programs and its World Wide Web pages. One student group, the Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Alliance, receives some financial support from the Student Government Association. However, the gap between official recognition and the actual ex- periences of members of the LGB campus community is great. Our community remains largely invisible and unrecognized. The words "gay" and "lesbian" have rarely been spoken in public by campus officials--President Kirwan's recent Senate address being a rare and courageous exception to the rule. Many "diversity" events and presentations never mention us. Campus employees publicly speak and publish derogatory comments with impunity. The Board of Regents has recently denied us the benefits extended to heterosexual employees. There are scant campus resources--time, money, or space--committed to assuring a supportive environment. This situation is particularly deplorable when we consider that about 10% of our campus community--students, staff, and faculty-- can be assumed to be lesbian, gay, or bisexual. This translates into about 3,500 students, 300 staff members, and 150 faculty who daily must struggle with stigmatized identities, largely without support. The Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Staff and Faculty Asso- ciation, for example, formed in 1990 and increasingly visible and active in campus and University of Maryland system activities, has been and continues to be supported solely by the monetary contributions of its individual members. Many gay employees are so frightened by the anti-gay attitudes in parts of the campus that they must remain very "closeted." One area with a particularly bad reputation in this regard is the Department of Physical Plant. In another area, a dean termed an outstanding faculty member as "mentally unstable" because she chose a female partner. Even highly ranked members of the admin- istration fear for their jobs if they allow their names to be used in the annual Coming-Out Day ads in the student newspaper. There has been no effort by the campus to make it clear that gay-bashing is not acceptable--anywhere, anytime, in any way. Almost all of the burden of work on LGB issues on the UMCP campus has been borne by the lesbian, gay, and bisexual community in "shadow jobs" for which there is no official recognition, time, or compensation, despite the fact that what we are doing is le- gitimate professional and educational work. Indeed, many of us dare not even include such time-consuming activities on our vitae for fear of retribution or because it is not considered valuable service by our supervisors. As but one example, a faculty member recently was told by her department chair during her annual re- view that her extensive campus work on LGB issues (including a great deal of teaching and training of student leaders) did not "count" as service. We also have borne the expense our activi- ties. The result is a high level of burn-out on the part of lesbian, gay, and bisexual faculty and staff--both in their offi- cial capacities and in their work toward equity for LGB members of the campus community. When we add to this the negative work- place attitudes and actions experienced by many members of our community, no one should be surprised that we are despondent and angry. Many of us still hope and believe, however, that College Park will assume its rightful place among the other great state uni- versities in developing a distinguished response to LGB issues. A measured and reasonable response by campus administration could help all of us nudge this giant institution in the right direc- tion. We believe that this report contains the recommendations that would move us forward on that path.
Climate Our aspirational and comparable peers have commissioned internal task forces to study issues of concern to their LGB communities and to make recommendations for institutional change to meet those issues. College Park has adopted such an approach for various other minority groups, but has not done so for our LGB community. These studies usually contain an analysis of the current campus climate for the targeted group. Reports from our peer institutions detail strikingly similar climates, regardless of location. Even without a study specific to College Park, we can safely assume that the same general problems exist on this campus. In this section of our report, we demonstrate that like experiences occur here that manifest a climate of mixed and ambivalent support, at best. Such an approach should be seen as representative rather than exhaustive. This discussion will be in ten parts. You may being with the first part and follow through sequentially, or you may go directly to any section below. 1. Definitions 2. Positive aspects of climate 3. Harassment 4. Student life 5. Employment issues 6. Campus publications 7. Erasure and invisibility 8. Lack of institutional support 9. Vigorous response to these problems in context of race or gender 10. Reputation and our peer institutions
1. Definitions Before embarking on any such description, we clarify some terminology. Homophobia. Generally described as an irrational fear of homo- sexuals and homosexuality, it manifests itself in a number of ways. The Riddle Scale of Homophobia is a widely-accepted con- tinuum that has proven useful in both assessing and describing homophobia. [footnote: This scale was developed by Dr. Dorothy Riddle and presented in a session titled "Appreciation of Differ- ences" by J. Ann Hower (Michigan State University), Marian Bankins (University of California at Santa Barbara), and Sheari Crahen (University of California at Fresno) at the ACPA/NASPA Celebration, Chicago 1987.] The scale divides into negative and positive attitudes. Negative attitudes range from repulsion, to pity, to tolerance, and to acceptance. Dr. Riddle defines accep- tance as more negative than positive in its assumption that there is something negative that requires "acceptance," failing to ac- knowledge that another's identity may be of the same value as one's own. Positive attitudes range from support, to admiration, to appreciation, to nurturance. Some may complain that the word homophobia is over used and thus devalued; Dr. Riddle's work shows, however, that it may be very subtle and should not be viewed as consisting of only the most overt forms of discrimination. Heterosexism. This is a posture that assumes and imposes hetero- sexuality. The lives of those who are not heterosexual are erased and ignored when such assumptions are made. Some occur- rences of heterosexism are embedded in institutional policies and practices. An everyday example is requiring an individual to identify her or himself as single, married, widowed, or divorced on official forms, assuming heterosexuality and failing to made space for and thus recognize and value those who have significant personal relationships that are not heterosexual. Lesbian, gay, bisexual (or LGB for the purpose of this report). Our community has adopted these terms. "Homosexual" was invented in the late-nineteenth century as a word to describe the patholo- gy of same-sex sexual behavior. The medical and mental health professions, and the LGB community now reject the very notion that such behavior should be described as a pathology. The term "homosexual" also fails to acknowledge the broader cultural con- text in which our lives have meaning. The larger LGB community has chosen "lesbian," "gay," and "bisexual" as more comprehensive representations of who we are, while maintaining the use of "homosexual" to refer to sexual behavior.
2. Positive aspects of climate
We should acknowledge the bright spots in our analysis and
illuminate the dark ones. Six points should be mentioned as
1) the inclusion of sexual orientation in the Human Rela-
2) four employee and student organizations for LGB indi-
viduals on campus and one organization of predominantly
non-LGB persons committed to opposing homophobia and
3) support of other campus organizations for LGB initia-
4) inclusion of issues relating to sexual orientation in the
5) interest by the campus Equity Council in exploring issues
relating to sexual orientation; and
6) the work and comments of President Kirwan on domestic
1) Including sexual orientation in our primary statement on
nondiscrimination is an important first step, but it is only a
step. This statement has provided the basic rationale for most,
if not all, LGB initiatives on campus. Four years later, the
campus still struggles in many quarters with what this means. We
need administrative support and leadership to guide the Univer-
sity toward a comprehensive understanding and interpretation, and
an equal application throughout the campus.
2) The four LGB groups on campus include the Lesbian, Gay, and
Bisexual Alliance (LGBA), the Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Staff
and Faculty Association (LGBSFA), Bisexuals, Gays, and Lesbians
of African Descent (B-GLAD), and the Graduate Student Queers
(GSQ). The LGBA is the oldest group for LGB persons on campus.
In the early 1970s, it began to receive some funding from the
Student Government Association, but only after its members filed
and won a lawsuit. Since those days, many courageous student
leaders have voiced LGB concerns and have worked to improve the
campus climate. The LGBA Speakers' Bureau remains the primary
vehicle on campus that brings the views of LGB individuals into
the classroom and the residence halls. A lack of strong adminis-
trative support hinders this important work. Typically, one or
two students do all of the work. Also, with a lack of guidance
and supervision, some have called into question the quality of
the information disseminated by this group.
The LGBSFA began in the fall of 1990 when a group of LGB staff
and faculty met in a windowless, basement room of Tawes Fine Arts
Building. The fear among this group was so palpable that only
two individuals were willing to be known on campus in conjunction
with this organization and allow their telephone numbers to be
listed in the directory as contact persons. Since those dark
days of fear, this organization has made great strides sponsor-
ing, among other things, an annual Coming-Out Day Ad in the
Diamondback in which LGB persons on campus can publicly identify
themselves, thus giving strength to one another, creating a safer
atmosphere for those whose work conditions do not allow them to
reveal their sexual orientation, and drawing attention to the
presence and needs of LGB persons on campus. This group also
worked to include sexual orientation in the campus nondiscrimina-
tion code, and more recently, to bring the issue of domestic
partner benefits before the Board of Regents. The LGBSFA has
offered itself as a resource to the Equity Council, the Presi-
dent's Office, the Vice Presidents, and other campus offices. No
official recognition, time, resources, or compensation have been
available for any employee working on these concerns even though
the institution has relied on them for guidance on LGB issues.
Expenses have been covered out of the pockets of the membership,
and most of the necessary time needed to work on these issues has
been donated out of the personal time of the members involved.
Both B-GLAD and GSQ were founded in fall 1996. They work in con-
junction with the other campus groups while focusing attention
more acutely on the needs of all black students and graduate
We also note the Allies Project. Generally not lesbian, gay, or
bisexual, the members of this group wish to advocate the rights
of LGB persons on campus, to improve the campus climate, and to
support the LGB community in general. Their initiatives remind
the university community that not all people who fight homophobia
and heterosexism are LGB, and they elicit a proactive approach in
combating these problems. To perform their educational work on
the harms of homophobia and heterosexism, they must solicit financial donations and support from individuals and campus units.
Allies Project activities include an accompanying ad for allies
which ran in conjunction with the LGBSFA 1996 Coming-Out Day Ad
in the Diamondback, and the printing and distribution of Safe
Person/Safe Space cards to the entire campus.
3) Other campus groups and initiatives that have supported the
above organizations and undertakings include Agricultural and
Resource Economics, Black Faculty and Staff Association, College
Park Senate, Concert Society of Maryland, Counseling Center,
Dean's Office for Arts and Humanities, Dean's Office for Under-
graduate Studies, Department of Dance, Department of Family
Studies, Department of History, Department of Resident Life,
Diversity Initiative, Equity Council, The Maryland Food Collec-
tive, Office of Human Relations Programs, Office of Multi-Ethnic
Student Education, Records and Registration, Sociology Depart-
ment, Stamp Student Union and Campus Programs, Student Government
Association, Theater Department, University Health Center, Women'
Circle, and Women's Forum. This list should be understood both
as units where there is an LGB presence strong enough to induce a
unit's support, and as units where an individual chose to support
the LGB community. In other words, the support of those units
occurred because of individual initiative. We would like to be
able to count on continued support, but there is no assurance
that such support will be forthcoming.
4) The leadership of the Diversity Initiative has sought to in-
clude sexual orientation in its activities. This includes active
solicitation of grant proposals for campus projects relating to
sexual orientation, and the introduction and maintenance of a web
site for matters of concern to the LGB community. We laud these
efforts, however, we note that the number of grants awarded for
LGB issues is extremely low, and we would describe the web site
as a meager but brave beginning.
5) During spring semester 1996, the chair of the Equity Council,
Ray Gillian, invited the leadership of the LGBSFA to address our
concerns to that body. We welcomed that invitation and we now
hope that our reply will lead to an institutional response to
these issues. We will present this report first to that council.
6) President Kirwan has demonstrated leadership on LGB issues.
He participated on the Board of Regent's Ad Hoc Committee on
Domestic Partner Benefits which studied this aspect of pay equity
for LGB employees and recommended the granting of these benefits.
He also spoke of LGB concerns in his most recent State of the
Campus address, in which he used the language of our community
and he renewed his commitment to raising the issue of domestic
partner benefits with the Regents again. We would like to hear
President Kirwan continue to make such statements, and we would
like to see other campus leaders emulate and amplify the
leadership of our campus president.
We have not experienced the kind of unfortunate galvanizing event that has beset others. At Michigan State, for example, an LGB student leader was harassed when his dorm room was set on fire, and his car firebombed. This type of event dramatically illus- trates the need for a campus to examine its climate and it serves to bring diverse elements together to examine comprehensively LGB issues. We are all grateful that this type of horrible hate crime has not occurred at UMCP; however, we should not be com- placent. The absence of the most vile form of hate towards LGB persons does not mean that we can ignore the same general nega- tive attitudes present on the campuses of all American univer- sities. Neither does it mean that we are free from all forms of harassment.
As example: last year, several lesbian couples received repeated harassing telephone calls. These women are all prominent members of the College Park community and they are generally known as lesbians. Typically, the calls came in the middle of the night and consisted of eerie music or music with threatening lyrics. One particular member of faculty seemed to be targeted more than the others. She received these telephone calls at her campus office in addition to her home telephone.
Sometimes the LGB person must pay for the inappropriate behavior of others. One member of staff had a peer who was clearly uncom- fortable working with a gay man. She seemed to find ways of goading him, even complaining when she saw the Washington Blade, a well-know LGB publication, lying closed on his desk. The woman complained that she did not want to work with a gay man and their supervisor tried to solve the problem by separating them, but the relocation of the gay man's office and the change in his work assignments put him at a distinct disadvantage. After years of dedicated service, he accepted employment elsewhere and left UMCP in disgust.
In another unit, one member of staff was repeatedly harassed ver- bally by her co-workers who insisted on calling her a dyke and who made several crude comments about her perceived sexual orien- tation. When the matter was brought to her supervisor's atten- tion, that supervisor told her simply to ignore the comments.
Harassment may take much more subtle forms. One thorny area of campus in this regard is the Department of Physical Plant. De- spite the presence of a few supportive individuals, the prevail- ing atmosphere, especially among the tradesmen, is derisive and unfriendly toward LGB persons. One easily hears such statements as, "Real men don't wear ties to work; that's a faggot thing." Clearly, the slur is intended toward men with white-collar jobs, but the most negative effect is on LGB individuals. Homophobic jokes consistently go unchallenged, and any hint that one's in- terests may not reflect a "macho" attitude invites ridicule with homophobic slurs. Members of our community who work in Physical Plant insist that to be out in the workplace would be a constant battle. They feel that social and even professional relation- ships would be under constant strain. They feel that it is better for them to expend the energy required to remain closeted rather than to risk their ability to fulfill their duties by revealing their identities.
However, concealment is not always possible. One gay man found it impossible to conceal his sexual orientation when an employee in a nearby office discovered him with an LGB newspaper. When the gay man requested that his orientation be kept confidential, the other employee responded, "I don't think it's a secret." Some time later, many in that unit attended a seminar on AIDS in the workplace. After the seminar and within ear shot of the gay man, an authority figure in the unit voiced support for the policies introduced at that seminar to which a shop supervisor replied, "Oh, you're just trying to defend" the gay man. The shop supervisor had assumed that the man had AIDS since he was gay. No one responded to the shop supervisor. No one informed him that his attitude and his assumption were inappropriate.
Characterizations of individuals by any administrator should never be demeaning, yet we have heard, she "seemed like one of them, you know, she's very butch." Such characterizations seek to demean an individual by associating them with stereotyped qualities of LGB persons. So what if she might be lesbian? So what if she might be butch? Why is this a part of the discussion?
Individually some incidents may sound petty, but when they are repeated frequently and when they do not elicit a rebuke from an authority figure, they encourage treatment of LGB persons as the butt of jokes and they indicate that our lives and contributions do not have the same value as others.
4. Student life
The LGBSFA is aware of some of the problems LGB students face. We know that at least one member of the faculty asked his class if they thought homosexuality was immoral, asked the same ques- tion about bestiality and prostitution, then proceeded without comment to the rest of his lecture on morality. We know of graduate students overhearing faculty telling each other homo- phobic jokes. We know that a coach of an athletic team failed to say anything when some members of a team hurled homophobic slurs at a teammate who had worn a t-shirt referencing his sexual orientation. We turned to LGB students to describe the climate they face on campus. They submitted this statement.
Every day LGB students at College Park study, work, live, and learn in an environment which sends a message saying that they and their contributions are worth less than others. The message of inequality is communicated by the distribution of resources, by a contradiction between the spirit of documents and the actions of governing bodies, and by telling silences.
Students demonstrate their commitment to educating their peers and the community around them by partici- pating in student organizations (the number of which is growing), by speaking up and out in class, by long- standing involvement in addressing these concerns in the everyday situations on campus. Student leaders often dedicate their time up to a level which equals or exceeds the number of credit hours they are taking. For three years the same student has coordinated the Speakers' Bureau, an organizational task that requires many hours and often personal resources. Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Alliance Program Directors have spent long hours reconciling the requirements of their job with their budgets.
LGB students do not see the commitment of the Univer- sity matching their years of work and dedication. There has been a growing presence of and awareness of these issues over a long period of time, and the Uni- versity has not ignored them; however, it has not taken actions which match the rhetoric. The University takes frequent opportunities to prove itself dedicated to the eradication of other kinds of discrimination, which we support completely; however the LGB community is unique and does not seek to be grouped with others to the point of disappearance.
The difference between volunteer and professional efforts illustrates the contradiction between action and words which we hope to correct. The issues and questions involved in eliminating discrimination against LGB persons are complex. They require a sustained analysis and plan of action which will survive the rhythms of life on campus. The semester schedule, the summer hiatus, the range of responsi- bilities, the resources required are each challenges which individuals face repeatedly without the support of the University. Students meet these short falls of College Park with less reluctance than might be ex- pected. Students seek to know with confidence that the University recognizes, supports, and defends their positive hard work.
The climate in the residence halls has improved markedly in the past few years, but some LGB students report that the supportive atmosphere engendered by the Department of Resident Life does not always reach them. Some Resident Assistants continue to use lan- guage that excludes LGB persons; other students may leave the bathroom when an LGB person enters; verbal abuse occasionally occurs; various forms of ostracism still take place. Curiously, Resident Life depends on the Speaker's Bureau of the LGBA to educate their personnel in the residence halls. This campus re- source receives no administrative support and there is no effort to insure that the information that it disseminates is accurate. It is clear that more focused efforts by professionals on campus are needed for the arduous task of training and educating paraprofessionals and student leaders.
5. Employment issues
We continue to work with a great discrepancy in benefits between heterosexual employees and their families, versus those (not) received by LGB employees and their families. No extended expo- sition of the problem is needed here; however, we note that LGB individuals have done extensive work and research on the best policies for the delivery of benefits to our families. We worked closely with university officials including President Kirwan and the Ad Hoc Committee on Domestic Partner Benefits formed by the Board of Regents. The Board of Regents voted down the recommen- dations of their own committee. During the course of their deliberations, we heard many arguments against these recommenda- tions. Some were clearly homophobic, while others focused on issues of public policy, finances, authority, etc. We regard any rationale that would deny benefits to LGB employees as a contra- diction to any commitment to equity for all. If not openly homophobic, we consider such a rationale a smokescreen for homo- phobia if it provides no possible access to all benefits by LGB employees. This is an area of continuing concern. We are very gratified that President Kirwan has pledged his continuing sup- port for the policy goal of domestic partner benefits. We look forward to learning of the plans that he develops in conjunction with the Executive Committee of the College Park Senate and when they plan to move into action.
LGB teaching assistants and other graduate students do not re- ceive appropriate support when facing problems in the classroom. In fall 1995, one such assistant placed his name in the Coming- Out Day Ad sponsored by the LGBSFA and published in the Diamond- back because he wished to stand in pride and solidarity with other LGB persons on campus. The following spring, students made him the butt of a homophobic joke. The faculty supervisor remarked that his choice to place his name in the Ad caused the situation. A few weeks before the Coming-Out Day Ad was pub- lished this year, one student hurled a homophobic slur at another student in which the teaching assistant's name was invoked. The assistant decided that he could not be out and proud this year as his supervisor would blame him for any problems with homophobia that might arise among the students. Clearly, the better response to this situation would be more education for the undergraduates and greater support for our LGB graduate students who work with undergraduates. The attitude displayed by this faculty supervisor undercuts that graduate student's ability to do his job and it blames him for the inappropriate language and behavior of others. This is counterproductive at and communicates clearly both individual and institutionalized homophobia.
Problems also occur at annual evaluations and in the allocation of merit funds. One department devised a complicated system with two different committees to evaluate faculty and to assign the merit pool. The first committee assigned points for each activ- ity in three categories: research or creative work, teaching, and service. The other committee used a holistic approach with each committee member assigning a classification for what she or he found meritorious. An LGB faculty member had done, among other things, extensive work on issues of concern for LGB individuals. This included working with the Human Relations Committee of the College Park Senate and with the Board of Regent's Ad Hoc Com- mittee on Domestic Partner Benefits. Her activities had also focused on a feminist transformation of course work and leader- ship within LGB organizations. She won the Diversity Initiative Award for her LGB work. The committees within her department assigned only a small amount of significance to anyone working on diversity issues and virtually no significance for work on LGB issues. When this was brought to the attention of the department chair, he described her concerns as unfounded and he insisted that it was not within his domain to deal with these issues since he did not make the decisions.
Because personnel and supervisors change from time to time, we need an institutional effort to combat problems in the workplace and to insure that considerations for promotion center on our talents and abilities and not our sexual orientation. In one non-teaching area of the University, an organizational change and changes in personnel took place at a time when two gay men were advancing simultaneously in their careers. They had been fairly comfortable and open about their sexual orientation under the earlier leadership. When new leadership was needed, each was under consideration to head a different section. As the heads of these two different sections, they would be required to work closely with one another. The administrators making these de- cisions felt that there might be too much sexual tension between them and made this a factor in their staffing decision.
LGB faculty experience difficulties in the tenure process. Last year, a distinguished member of faculty who had produced widely- reported, ground-breaking research on LGB communities was denied tenure. The importance of her work, which was recognized off campus, was minimized at UMCP with a condescending tone. Her dean damned her with contemptuous praise by saying, "I am thoroughly confident that you have a wonderful career ahead of you furthering a worthy and important cause."
The problem scholars experience in achieving tenure when their research focuses on LGB topics has been noted by national experts in this area. John D'Emilio, Director of the Policy Institute for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, reports that this problem is widespread. We are generally not denied tenure with statements that are overtly homophobic, but when we study topics of concern to our community, our work is frequently branded as unimportant or insignificant. UMCP has faced and responded to similar problems in Women's Studies and Ethnic Minority Studies. We expect the same kind of attention to LGB Studies.
6. Campus publications
Campus publications, both official and unofficial, consistently ignore and erase us and our issues of concern, or they distort us and the issues regarding our lives and our interests by portray- ing them as debatable. We believe that the erasure comes from both fear and ignorance, and that the distortion comes from clumsy attempts at balance. Frequently, the result contributes to a campus climate that does not welcome or recognize LGB persons and issues.
Last summer, a survey of UMCP admissions literature revealed a total absence of any references to sexual orientation. Ten publications aimed at undergraduates, and the graduate admission application, graduate school catalog, and various specific grad- uate department publications were examined. Half of the under- graduate materials included some kind of statement on nondis- crimination. None included sexual orientation, not even the booklet titled "Diversity and Unity." The same held true for the graduate admission materials. None of the photographs in both graduate and undergraduate materials included any clear depiction of LGB persons. We are certain that a picture of someone wearing a pink or black triangle, a set of rainbow rings, a picture of a same-sex couple holding hands, or a number of other simple strat- egies could easily convey the message. This survey occurred four years after the campus adopted a nondiscrimination policy for sexual orientation. We are gratified that the chair of the Equity Council, after this was brought to the attention of that body, acted swiftly to correct this problem by bringing it to the attention of the President's Legal Staff and the Director of University Publications.
College Park Magazine published an extensive story on a distin- guished lesbian member of faculty. In response, one alumna wrote a very angry letter in which she stated that she was withdrawing her support of UMCP if the institution supported lesbian schol- ars. We are not sure why the editor of College Park Magazine chose to publish this letter. Would such a letter be published if it involved an African American or a scholar with a disa- bility? After a strong outcry from LGB alumni, students, staff, and faculty, the editor published excerpts from six critical letters in the next edition. However, the damage had already been done in the apparent condoning of the derogatory letter.
The largest student newspaper on campus, the Diamondback, fre- quently publishes homophobic columns and letters to the editor. No one suggests that the campus should censor the student news- paper, but to a certain extent we look at it as a barometer of campus attitudes. We also note that this newspaper has made the improvement of campus climate for LGB individuals more difficult by seeking to promote and extend controversy on LGB topics. During the fall semester 1996, we have witnessed a fairly gay- friendly attitude in the official editorials and in some news coverage of the Diamondback, but controversy over religion and homosexuality has continued for weeks on their opinion page. This controversy has been characterized by charges, counter- charges, and a lot of misinformation. Early into the exchange of letters, one of the co-chairs of the LGBSFA submitted a contri- bution listing numerous resources where one could go to address the question of religion and homosexuality. Weeks later, that contribution has yet to appear. Again, the question needs to be asked whether UMCP would support a student newspaper that published racist slurs.
Even in apparent efforts at balance, some publications portray issues of concern to LGB persons in a distorted manner. One example comes from the attempt to report on domestic partner benefits by the Faculty Voice (vol. 10, no. 6 [May 1996]). This publication had failed to cover the development of this issue. When its editors finally decided to inform its readers of the debate, the presentation was not how to be equitable and fair, but whether to do so. This was cast not as a complex problem of delivering the same or similar benefits to all employees, but as a simple true/false question of whether this was something we should pursue. The Faculty Voice published parallel columns: yea and nay. Whether instead of how. The source of these columns was even more troubling. One of the co-chairs of the LGBSFA wrote in support of the proposals and an associate staff member wrote against the recommendations. By soliciting a response from the co-chair, the newspaper got information from the most identi- fiable group affected by the policy proposals. This is standard practice for any behavioral or social science. The associate staff member who wrote from the opposing point of view did not represent any such group. He spoke of a number of persons who opposed the recommendations, but they could not be identified either as an entity or as individuals. Neither did he bring any expertise to the debate. His training and employment is in ac- counting, yet his arguments were based on legal grounds, social issues, and public policy. His participation became even more alarming when we learned that he had published comments off campus which demonstrated the root of his opposition; homophobia and religious intolerance. In the Cumberland Times-News he branded LGB persons as criminals in a reference to "immoral and illegal acts," and he further illustrated his lack of under- standing when he spoke of "deviant lifestyle choices." Such comments would have been inappropriate on campus. We are sad- dened that any member of the College Park community would choose to make such hateful comments in any context and that any campus publication would give such prominence to a viewpoint rooted in intolerance.
To avoid misunderstanding, we do not wish to silence any voice or infringe on anyone's right to free speech, but we do question the choice of whose voice to elevate, whose opinion to solicit. To solicit and publish such a voice does not necessarily imply en- dorsement, but it does elevate its importance and it does cast the discussion as whether to be equitable and fair rather than how.
Outlook also elevated the importance of that same voice (vol. 10, no. 30 [July 17, 1996]). In reporting on the vote by the Board of Regents, they identified this staff member as a faculty member and as a member of the Ad Hoc Committee on Domestic Partner Benefits. He served as a resource person who was uniquely called to supply information to the committee on why it should not proceed. All other resource persons either represented identi- fiable organizations or brought special expertise to the commit- tee. The committee had rejected both his information and his rationale. Outlook later printed a letter from a member of the LGBSFA clarifying this point and supplying the context of the vote which the paper had failed to do (vol. 11, no. 1 [September 3, 1996]).
Outlook minimized an issue of LGB concern shortly thereafter (vol. 11, no. 6 [October 8, 1996]). A coalition of persons and organizations, the Fairness NOW Coalition, demonstrated at the ground breaking of the Maryland Center for the Performing Arts (MCPA). A great deal of effort was taken to state clearly that there was no opposition to the MCPA, but rather to individuals at the ceremony who had worked to defeat the proposals for domestic partner benefits, two state legislators, and the Chair and other members of the Board of Regents. Outlook did not report this story, but reduced it to a single paragraph embedded into their coverage of the ground breaking itself. Even here the reporter's information was questionable at best. The article identified a group of 80 demonstrators, a number inaccurately reported by the Washington Post and the lowest number reported by any news organization. A member of the Fairness NOW Coalition counted over 200 protestors.
7. Erasure and invisibility UMCP acts at times as if it is ashamed of us and has even deleted LGB credentials of high-profile faculty. In 1994 a lesbian faculty member received a prestigious award. Her credentials included substantial work on lesbian topics including many speeches, essays, and a ground breaking piece of scholarship, an anthology with the word "lesbian" in the title. When the campus announced this award to the media, the Office of University Relations simply deleted all mention of her extensive work on lesbian topics from her credentials, including the anthology. The message we heard: "Your work on LGB issues may cause contro- versy. Your work here is not of sufficient importance that we are willing to engage in that controversy." In one department with a reputation for being gay-friendly, the department chair invited a faculty member to remove the word "lesbian" from a proposed course title. Sometimes the erasure of credentials arises from the predominant atmosphere of fear among LGB persons. One LGB leader on campus also chairs the Mautner Project, a charitable organization working to advocate on behalf of and to support lesbians with cancer. This foundation is one of the most highly respected philanthropic efforts of any kind with an impeccable reputation, yet only recently did she begin to include this role in any campus documents. She feared that this work would be minimized and that her identification as lesbian would have an unfavorable impact on her position at UMCP. We are frequently simply invisible. Campus leaders speak often about diversity, usually beginning with race, gender, and ethnic groups. On occasion people with disabilities and others are in- cluded, but no matter how hard we strain, we almost never hear our names. Our names are Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual. On Sep- tember 16, 1996, the President used our names in public. We were delighted in part because of the rarity of such inclusion.
8. Lack of institutional support When the Human Relations Committee of the College Park Senate held open hearings on domestic partner benefits, one individual reported that two years after the vote to include sexual orienta- tion in the campus nondiscrimination code, no administrative action had taken place even to begin to address the problems on campus related to sexual orientation. Now, we have begun to see some improvement as noted above, but there are pockets of resistance and hostility on campus. The Office of the President's Legal Staff has been particularly difficult for LGB persons. When the issue of domestic partner benefits first began to arise on campus, this office prepared a legal memo outlining a number of justifications as to why the university should not pursue such a policy. This document came to the attention of several members of the LGBSFA and was circu- lated among the entire membership. We read it as a contradiction of the experiences of other similar institutions and as a kind of preemptive strike against a policy that was only beginning to be discussed. No explanation has ever surfaced clarifying who re- quested this legal opinion. The members of the LGBSFA felt that this memo was so flawed and so damaging that they hired a outside lawyer (out of their own pockets), Susan Silber, to counter the legal difficulties that this memo raised. The Silber memo was so effective that no one qualified to speak on legal matters raised the issue again. Speaking to the leadership of the LGBSFA, the primary author of the memo backed away from his work, but he never publicly repudiated the legal interpretations that he put into play. Others on campus who oppose domestic partner benefits on religious grounds repeatedly used the reasoning laid out in the legal memo leaving LGB persons to respond to the faulty legal reasoning. The Legal Staff has also vetoed attempts to include sexual orien- tation in the nondiscrimination statement included when advertis- ing positions at UMCP. We know that neither federal nor state law requires such a statement, but College Park decided in 1992 to require itself to abide by such a policy. Should we not tell prospective employees from the very beginning that we do not tolerate this type of discrimination? Campus administration has not allocated any personnel or funds to deal specifically with issues of concern to the LGB community. When any positive action has occurred, it happened because an individual took the initiative and carved out some small portion of time or funds for a very limited initiative. This is espe- cially intolerable when the one on-going, proactive response to LGB concerns is a Speakers' Bureau run completely by a group of student volunteers. Not only is there no administrative support for this effort, there appears to be no concern for the accuracy of the information they disseminate.
9. Vigorous response to these problems in context of race or gender In the context of race and gender, UMCP has eventually responded to these kinds of problems in a vigorous and a pro-active manner. When required to integrate African Americans into the student population, this university chose to attract the best, and de- veloped the Benjamin Banneker scholarships. When the Greer Report detailed the problems of women on this campus, problems common to many institutions of higher learning, this university made very substantial financial and political commitments to take the lead on solutions to these problems. We continue to struggle with many issues of race, gender, and other minority concerns, but College Park has committed itself in its rhetoric and its budget to an ongoing process that addresses these problems and that provides the institutional structure needed to maintain these efforts. We expect no less on LGB issues.
10. Reputation and our peer institutions We hear with increasing frequency, "What are our peers doing on these issues?" The short answer is, "More than College Park." The question is legitimate, but it prompts us to wonder about the depth of our commitment to diversity--let alone our commitment to leadership on issues of diversity. We have summarized the efforts of selected state universities including most of our peers. These summaries can be found in the appendixes. We find no single solution among our peers, but a wide variety of approaches. We believe that we can learn much from the experiences of others, but that ultimately we must craft a response that will meet the needs of UMCP. Our reputation clearly depends in part on dealing successfully with LGB issues. The November 1996 issue of U.: The National College Magazine contains a brief article on gay-friendly cam- puses. It notes the University of Maryland only in one place, under the heading "Now for the bad news..." The rejection by the Board of Regents of domestic partner benefits is how we are known. We deserve better. We can do better.
More detailed report on our Peer Institutions
The history of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual [LGB] studies at UMCP is
one of fragmentation, ad hoc development, repeated informal and
partial efforts at coordination, and continued but desultory
progress. From one point of view, LGB studies already exist at
UMCP and have for some time, though never with official recogni-
tion. The Department of English, for example, has for many years
offered courses in lesbian, gay, and bisexual literature, and is
now in the process of developing an LGB concentration for under-
graduate majors. English majors may already petition for such an
individually designed concentration. Honors students have done
theses on gay and lesbian topics, as have M.A. and Ph.D. stu-
dents. There are a number of courses on the books, particularly
in the College of Arts and Humanities, and more courses that have
been offered under various "special topics" numbers. Several
courses, including Comparative Literature 291 International
Perspectives on Lesbian and Gay Studies, English 435 American
Sexual Poetics Revisited; and Philosophy 407 Gay and Lesbian
Philosophy are established parts of the UMCP academic landscape.
And there are a number of faculty, chief among them Lee Badgett
(School of Public Affairs), Evelyn Torton Beck (Women's Studies),
William Cohen (English), Ruth Fassinger (Counseling Psychology),
Katie King (Women's Studies), Susan Lanser (Comparative Litera-
ture and English), Susan Leonardi (English), Simon Richter
(German), and Martha Nell Smith (English) who are regarded both
within and without UMCP as important participants in the develop-
ing fields of lesbian and gay and queer studies.
This discussion will be in three parts.
1. The National Scene
The American Anthropological Association, the American Historical
Association, the American Psychological Association, and the
Modern Language Association are among the dozens of professional
academic associations that have developed LGB sections and
caucuses during the 23 years since the Gay Academic Union, the
first post-Stonewall professional association of academics work-
ing on gay (and lesbian) studies, was formed in 1973. Numerous
academic conferences, including both special meetings and annual
conferences are held each year on LGB topics. These include the
bi/triennial National Gay/Lesbian Studies Conference (held last
at the University of Iowa in 1994); the annual Queer Frontiers
National Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Graduate Conference held at
various university sites around the country since 1990; the an-
nual Lavender Linguistics Conference held at American University
since 1992; Out-Write, an annual conference of writers; and many
more regional meetings on special topics.
University presses with series treating LGB studies include
Columbia University Press's Between Men-Between Women, Duke
University Press's Series Q, Oxford University Press's Studies in
the History of Sexuality, and the University of Chicago's Series
on Sexuality, History, and Society. Other major publishers of the
growing body of LGB academic work include NYU Press, Routledge,
St. Martin's and numerous university presses. And there are
specialized scholarly journals in these fields, including The
Journal of Homosexuality, The Harvard Gay and Lesbian Review,
GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, Genders, the Journal
of Gay and Lesbian Psychotherapy, the Journal of Gay & Lesbian
Social Services, Gender and Society, Hypatia, Lesbian Ethics,
differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies, the Lambda
Book Report, the Journal of the History of Sexuality, and The
National Journal of Sexual Orientation and the Law. Substantial
archival projects have developed, including the International Gay
and Lesbian Archives at the University of Southern California;
the Human Sexuality Collection at Cornell University; the Lesbian
Herstory Archives and Educational Foundation in New York; the
Gerber/Hart Gay and Lesbian Library and Archives in Chicago; and
the James C. Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center and Collection at the
San Francisco Public Library. And there are significant research
centers, including the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at the
CUNY Graduate Center, the Toronto Centre for Lesbian and Gay
Studies, and the Department of Lesbian and Gay Studies at the
City College of San Francisco. There are also significant refer-
ence works and research tools which cater to the needs of
scholars in LGB studies, including the Encyclopedia of Homo-
sexuality, numerous bibliographies (e.g. Dynes, Homosexuality: A
Research Guide), document collections (e.g. Katz, Gay American
History), and anthologies of Seminal essays (e.g. The Lesbian and
Gay Studies Reader). An increasing number of academic positions
are advertised for specialists in these emerging fields, as
numerous examples in such venues as the MLA Job Information List
and the Chronicle of Higher Education attest.
Finally, there are recognized programs in LGB studies, from
curricular listings to certificates, minors and majors in LGB
studies, as well as a number of established research centers.
Such programs and centers continue to develop across the country,
and are found at many of the most prominent private American
universities, including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford,
Cornell, Duke, and the University of Southern California, and at
many major state universities including Ohio State University,
the University of Arizona, the University of California at
Berkeley, UCLA, the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana,
the University of Michigan, the University of Minnesota-Twin
Cities, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of
2. History of Effort at UMCP
The history of efforts to organize a program of lesbian and gay
studies at the University of Maryland College Park reaches back
to the late 80s and early 90s when ad hoc groups of faculty and
graduate students began meeting to discuss such developments. By
1991, Professor Simon Richter of the German Department organized
a public lecture by UCLA's G. S. Rousseau on "The Future of Gay
and Lesbian Studies." This event was attended by more than 150
people and the speaker was introduced by then Dean Robert
Griffith. The event was sponsored by the College of Arts and
Humanities and six other departments or offices. Movement toward
curriculum development has proceeded continuously since 1991,
though without official sanction or support.
An ad hoc Committee on LGB Studies met two or three times per
semester from 1992 through 1994 to discuss possible sequences of
courses; the introduction to LGB studies courses taught by
feminist theorist Katie King in Women's Studies and doctoral
candidate Seth Silberman in Comparative Literature resulted from
these deliberations. This committee identified the following
series of tasks to be accomplished before a formal LGB Studies
program could be established at UMCP: developing and distributing
a resource directory for LGB studies, producing a curriculum
listing LGB studies courses available at UMCP, creating a founda-
tional course in LGB studies, establishing a bibliographer in LGB
studies, and holding a major colloquium or symposium on the
current state and future prospects for these developing fields.
The resource directory, still a desideratum, would list the names
and interest areas of faculty and staff as well of student
groups, library resources, social/political/support groups in the
metropolitan area, and resources at consortium universities. The
primary task in developing this directory will be to locate as
many faculty and staff members as possible who are willing to be
listed. Various attempts to produce such a directory have been
undertaken during the last few years; all have been voluntary and
institutionally unsupported. Not surprisingly, none have been
successful. At present, Professor Fred Suppe's website for his
course, PHIL 407 Gay and Lesbian Philosophy (http://carnap.umd.
edu:90/queer/ ), is probably the best resource guide available
to the UMCP student.
An LGB studies curriculum, listing relevant courses being offered
each semester has been a desideratum for years. We need to es-
tablish means of locating these courses across campus as well as
at consortium schools, and of distributing the listing. The most
complete current listings (see the Select List of LGB Studies
Courses Offered at UMCP and the List of Courses with Significant
LGB Content Offered at UMCP in appendix A) is woefully inade-
quate. A systematic survey, routinely updated and widely dis-
tributed is an immediate and pressing need, along with such
coordination of offerings as would prevent scheduling conflicts.
Comparative Literature 291 International Perspectives on Lesbian
and Gay Studies, is now offered annually. Quite a number of
graduate students in Comparative Literature are pursuing lesbian/
gay studies as a major field, and have been drawn to the program
in part for its reputation as a place where one can pursue inter-
disciplinary LGB studies in the humanities. Lesbian/gay studies is
listed on the Comparative Literature program brochure as an area of
concentration supported not only in spirit but materially through
course work in the unit and through affiliated faculty. This year
two graduate students in Comparative Literature received DRIF
funding and support from several departments and organizations to
mount a fall 1996 queer film festival. Philosopher Frederick Suppe
has also received funding to develop the library's lesbian and gay
film holdings; the website describing current LGB holdings is found
at http://carnap.umd.edu:90/queer/ GL_Film_Collection_UMCP.html.
Additional courses need to be developed, approved by appropriate
curriculum committees, and certified with respect to CORE diver-
sity status and similar designations. Permanent course numbers at
the 200, 300 and 400 levels, in both the humanities and the
social sciences are needed, and a faculty committee to develop
proposals for such courses must be convened and supported. We
are particularly concerned about the current lack of LGB offer-
ings in Anthropology, Psychology, and Sociology, fields which
have significant representation among LGB offerings at other
institutions, and which have bodies of research on LGB matters
that our students should be learning about.
The library has designated Betty Day as the bibliographer in LGB
studies and Patricia Herron serves as a reference librarian with
some expertise in LGB studies issues. The bibliographer assures
Maryland's acquisition of relevant library materials and pub-
lishes lists of those acquisitions. There have been a few depart-
mentally based colloquia on aspects of LGB Studies. But a high-
profile symposium on both the current state of research in LGB
Studies (involving people from our own and other campuses) and on
its future will be an important step in making our presence known--
to ourselves and to others--and to developing an LGB studies program
here at UMCP.
3. The Present and the Future
As the attached enumeration indicates, 1996-97 course offerings
in LGB Studies are cause for some real celebration, having
reached a critical mass in terms of offerings and enrollments. We
now offer a range of courses on both the undergraduate and the
graduate levels that are either exclusively or significantly LGB
in content or theme.
We are also fortunate to have a number of faculty with growing
reputations as authorities on aspects of lesbian and gay studies.
William Cohen (English) was nominated for the MLA Executive Com-
mittee of the Division on Gay Studies in Language and Literature
in 1996 but declined to run. During his 1994-95 tenure as a
Mellon Fellow at Wesleyan University, he taught his Senior Semi-
nar in Nineteenth Century British Literature and Sexuality.
Martha Nell Smith (English) was invited to teach her course in
American Sexual Poetics in association with the Center for Les-
bian and Gay Studies at the Graduate Center, City University of
New York (fall 1994). Lee Badgett (School of Public Service) was
invited to teach her course in Lesbian and Gay Economics at Yale
University (1995-96) and at Oregon State University (summer
1996). Michael Marcuse (English) was invited to teach his Litera-
ture of AIDS course at American University (fall 1996). And many
other Maryland faculty are invited speakers and respondents at
meetings on LGB topics and issues both within and outside the
academy. Former Chair of Comparative Literature, Susan Lanser,
for example, is the invited respondent to a 1997 American Society
for Eighteenth Century Studies conference panel on Queer Theory
and Eighteenth Century Studies, and psychologist Ruth Fassinger
has given presentations on issues concerning lesbian and gay
mental health to audiences as various as the American Psycholo-
gical Association, Lackland US Air Force Base (Distinguished
Visiting Professor), the Medical Library Association, the Na-
tional Career Development Association, and the Association for
Women in Psychology, from whom she received the Lesbian Psycho-
logies Award. And two of her students just won a prestigious
award for student research (for their work on lesbians) in
Division 4 of the American Psychological Association.
As we look toward the future of LGB studies at UMCP, it seems
essential, first, that we identify a faculty coordinator who
would receive a reduced teaching load each semester. Such a
person would not only gather information about who is teaching
what in LGB studies, but might also encourage people to create
courses, undertaking a mission to promote such teaching and
research across the curriculum. Perhaps seeking outside funding
might be among that individual's curriculum transformation re-
sponsibilities. Such a person might also coordinate an annual
polyseminar on an LGB studies theme and could work cooperatively
with personnel staffing an LGB Center. Finally, that individual
might chair the permanent faculty committee charged with develop-
ing courses toward a formal program of study, including an
undergraduate certificate, initially, and eventually a minor.
Curriculum development and transformation will bring about the
development of both lesbian, gay, and bisexuality specific
courses, courses with significant LGB content, and the inclusion
of LGB-sensitive material in all courses. A curriculum of LGB-
relevant courses at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, for
example, lists courses in the following 33 departments: Afro-
American Studies, Anthropology, Business Management and Human
Resources, Consumer Science, Continuing and Vocational Education,
Comparative Literature, Counseling Psychology, Curriculum and
Instruction, Economics, Educational Policy Studies, English,
French, German, Hebrew and Semitic Studies, History, History of
Medicine, Italian, Journalism, Law, Library and Information
Studies, Literature in Translation, Music, Nursing, Philosophy,
Political Science, Psychology, Social Work, Sociology, Spanish,
Theater and Drama, Women's Studies, and Zoology.
Such inclusion, and the curriculum transformation it implies, is
mandated by the growing presence of lesbian, gay, and bisexual
persons in American society, and the need for all people, and
certainly all college-educated people to know something of the
lives and circumstances of these increasingly visible members of
their communities. As historian John D'Emilio put it in his 1989
speech inaugurating the first Lesbian and Gay Studies Department
in the United States at the City College of San Francisco (Making
Trouble: Essays on Gay History, Politics, and the University,
chapter 10), the goal of LGB studies there, and here at UMCP, is
"to reshape a worldview and an intellectual tradition that has
ignored, debased, and attacked same-sex relationships and that
has, in the process, impoverished our understanding of human
experience and human possibilities." One of the functions of an
LGB studies initiative would be the formalization of efforts to
make all appropriate courses at UMCP inclusive of gay, lesbian,
and bisexual concerns and references, and to develop such cur-
ricular supports as faculty seminars and workshops where faculty
across the disciplines may explore ways of making their courses
more inclusive of LGB content.
In addition to curriculum transformation, an LGB studies initia-
tive would be helpful in developing seminars and workshops on
homophobia and heterosexism (similar to the seminars on sexual
harassment offered by the Office of Human Relations Programs) and
in training both undergraduate and graduate student trainers who
might conduct such seminars and workshops throughout the univer-
sity. This would support the current ad hoc efforts of the small
group of undergraduate student volunteers who maintain--with
limited academic support--the only formal resource currently
available on campus for faculty or staff interested in sponsoring
such trainings for their students or their workplace colleagues,
and would ensure greater monitoring and accuracy of their efforts
by experienced campus professionals and scholars.
While UMCP has a standing President's Commission on Disability
Issues and Office of Disability Support Services, a President's
Commission on Women's Issues and an Assistant to the President
for Women's Issues, as well as a President's Commission on Ethnic
Minority Issues and Equity Officers in the President's and Pro-
vost's offices charged with the responsibility for racial and
ethnic minority issues, no central place or person exists to
serve as a focal point for the LGB community. The Senate Commit-
tee on Human Relations and the Equity Council have worked to
develop policies on LGB issues, but they are not in a position to
coordinate campus efforts or to undertake long term projects on
LGB issues because such tasks are peripheral to their main re-
sponsibilities. The Office of Human Relations Programs, which
might be considered the official point for coordination of campus
activities on all diversity issues, is overworked and under-
staffed. With a plethora of responsibilities related to other
initiatives, this office cannot possibly take on more tasks
without increased staffing. The problems of the LGB community
remain unaddressed for lack of concentrated effort, and there is
no person for whom this is an explicit part of her or his job; it
is implicit in many jobs, explicit in no job, and therefore does
not get done.
In particular, this fragmentation hinders students as they move
through the University. While LGB students are equally able to
use the career center and the counseling services, and to regis-
ter for some classes that deal with relevant questions and issues
of their lives, simply identifying the appropriate services and
courses is a complicated task. When the issue requires the stu-
dent to self-identify as LGB, the stigmatized nature of that
identification operates in conjunction with the complex maze of
the university, so that the student feels defeated before begin-
ning the journey. A student who happens to be LGB is made to
justify her or himself and fight the perception that she or he is
a drain on campus resources and on the patience of sympathetic
allies, someone "making a fuss." This approach embeds discrimina-
tion rather than eradicating it.
The LGB initiatives already underway cry out for coordination.
The efforts at course and curriculum development by UMCP faculty
constitute one example. Frequently, students cannot accurately
identify curriculum offerings with LGB content; sometimes courses
are scheduled in conflict with one another, as was the case in
fall 1996, when two important 400 level courses were offered at
the same time. Efforts to create a coordinated course list have
been underway for three years, but have been hindered by the lack
of a central organizing unit and lack of resources (e.g., a de-
partment willing to pay the costs of collection, photocopying,
and distribution). This report contains the most comprehensive
list ever realized, and we know that it is incomplete.
Another example is the LGBA Speakers' Bureau, which is entirely
student initiated and student run. It fills a great need and is
a valued institutional resource (e.g., is used widely in classes,
at Orientation, to train Resident Assistants, etc.), but as has
been noted repeatedly, it typically runs on the energy and re-
sources of a small number of students with little training or
support. At the very least, some kind of coordination should
bring these students into contact with the scholars on campus who
have expertise on LGB issues.
Additionally, the unique needs of LGB students, staff, and facul-
ty need to be addressed more completely and in a coordinated
manner. Fully 30% of suicides of individuals in their late teens
and early twenties are attributable to issues surrounding sexual
orientation. Increased risk for substance abuse also plagues
this population. In an effort to begin to address these needs,
the LGBA formulates discussion groups to help its members. From
time to time the Counseling Center, at the instigation of Dr.
Pepper Phillips, sponsors support groups for LGB students, either
separately or as a whole. Vicky Foxworth from the Office of
Human Relations Programs has conducted the lesbian and bisexual
hour for a portion of the LGB community. These separate and
individual initiatives cry out for coordination. They also are
woefully inadequate. Dr. Phillips describes the efforts of the
Counseling Center as "a drop in the bucket." Staff and faculty
struggling with issues of sexual orientation either personally or
in the workplace have no official resources on campus.
LGB students, staff, and faculty need a place that is clearly
safe and supportive of their needs; a place where they can find
information they need, receive appropriate referrals to campus
services already offered with the assurance that their sexual
orientation will not stigmatize their interaction with that unit,
or receive the services and support that are simply not provided
by any other campus unit; a place where they can draw strength
from one another then return to the larger UMCP community with
the individual strength to participate as fully integrated
At a time of scarce resources, good strategic planning requires
the maximization of existing resources. A central location and
personnel with explicit responsibilities for LGB concerns could
provide for the coordination so desperately needed and fill the
gaps for those needs that are not met elsewhere.
1. Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Resource Center
We propose the establishment of a Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Re-
source Center. [footnote: Colleagues at other institutions inform
us that transgender issues should be included from the very be-
ginning. We have not sought to represent the concerns of this
group as we have yet to identify a transgender individual on
campus; however, we know that this is a relatively common occur-
rence and we would gladly welcome those issues and concerns in
the context of a Resource Center.]
The primary mission of the Center is to build an improved envi-
ronment at College Park for LGB students, staff, and faculty so
that we are completely integrated into the fabric of UMCP and can
be full participants in meeting our common goals.
The Center would accomplish its mission with a variety of goals
1) provide information and referral services to the LGB
2) develop educational programming for the campus on LGB
issues, including the harmful effects of homophobia and
3) build positive links with other campus offices and or-
ganizations to facilitate the building of a stronger sense
of community among all elements of UMCP;
4) act as an Ombuds office on issues relating to sexual
5) assist campus units in addressing the needs and concerns
of LGB persons;
6) represent LGB concerns in university planning;
7) increase a sense of community and full participation for
LGB students, staff, and faculty;
8) facilitate communication for LGB initiatives, especially
those dealing with curriculum development and transforma-
9) establish an archive for the story of LGB life and ex-
periences in the region.
Whenever particular services already exist for the general campus
population, the Center would refer an LGB person to the unit pro-
viding those services while seeking to insure that an LGB iden-
tity does not hinder that individual in any interaction with that
campus unit. We anticipate that the Center would offer on-going
services to the LGB campus community only when no other campus
unit meets the needs of our community. Any services would be
specific to LGB persons and would not seek to duplicate existing
To accomplish these goals, the Center requires a staff of three
persons which would be supplemented by graduate assistants. The
staff includes a Director, an Associate Director, and an Adminis-
trative Assistant. Although described in a hierarchical manner,
we should conceive of them as a team who work in concert with one
another, each with specific, well-defined tasks.
The Director would be responsible for the overall management of
the Resource Center, would be responsible for gathering the in-
formation used in all Center tasks and for the quality of that
information, and would be the primary spokesperson for LGB issues
on campus. The most important qualification for an individual
filling this position is the confidence and support of the LGB
community. The second qualification is the respect of all others
on campus. We believe that this capacity would be best filled by
someone with the stature and esteem of a tenured faculty member.
The specific discipline is less important than her or his stand-
ing in the LGB and general campus community. The tenure home
would be in an appropriate department for the individual where
she or he could maintain a minimal presence with the bulk of this
person's work in the Center.
The Associate Director would be responsible for all service
programs, would coordinate educational programs for the campus
community, and would insure that Resource Center initiatives
reach into every area of the university. Her or his expertise
would also be essential in identifying those areas for which the
Center needs to maintain current and accurate information. The
job requires a dynamic individual capable of building enthusiasm
and consensus. This should be a full-time professional position
(associate staff) to be filled by an individual with at least a
Master's Degree in an appropriate field.
Both the Director and the Associate Director should demonstrate a
sensitivity to LGB issues and should have some experience in
dealing with them. Every effort should be made to insure gender
parity between these two individuals.
The Administrative Assistant would manage the operation of the
office, render clerical assistance, handle all business aspects
of the Center, and provide the physical presence necessary for
the successful operation of the Center. Someone needs to be in
the office at all times. This person must have some experience
with and must have demonstrated sensitivity to the LGB community.
There are many places the Resource Center could fit into our
administrative structure, but the Resource Center must be an
independent unit. Great care must be taken in the Center's exact
location within the hierarchy of College Park as the adminis-
trative context will have a profound impact on the realization of
its goals. Many institutions place this type of unit either in
Student Affairs or Academic Affairs. Because the Resource Center
must serve students, staff, and faculty, neither choice would be
ideal for College Park. One possible solution would be to have
it report to the President through the Office of Human Relations
Programs. Regardless of its eventual placement, the mission and
programs of the Center must remain intact. The physical facili-
ties also must be sufficient and appropriate to the fulfillment
of its mission.
2. President's Commission on LGB Issues
The president should call together a commission that is similar
in name, function, and stature to the President's Commission on
Disability Issues, the President's Commission on Ethnic Minority
Issues, and the President's Commission on Women's Issues. The
purpose of this group would be to study the concerns of LGB indi-
viduals at College Park, to inform the larger community of those
concerns, and to guide the University through needed changes that
will lead to a healthier, more productive climate for the entire
campus community. This commission should include representation
from all major units and strata of the campus. A significant
number of heterosexuals should serve, as the central charge will
be to engage the entire campus in the issues the Commission
The members of the President's Commission on LGB Issues should
work on release time from their normal duties as do the members
of the other commissions. Also, this group should have funding
and clerical support in line with other commissions.
3. Committee on LGB Curriculum Development and Transformation
This committee would focus on the coordination and development of
courses devoted to LGB topics, courses with significant LGB
content, and the transformation of existing courses that should
address some aspect of the LGB experience. The members of the
committee would assess the current state of LGB studies at
College Park, establish a certificate in LGB studies, and work
toward an LGB minor. They would also assess the need and
advisability of establishing a formal LGB program or department.
Individuals appointed to this committee should include both
senior and junior scholars who have already contributed to this
field of study, or who show interest and promise in this area.
The sexual orientation of the individual members should not be a
factor; however, we predict that the majority would be LGB.
Appointment to this committee should come from the Provost and
should constitute a regular part of a faculty load consistent
with similar committee assignments despite being outside of the
individual's home department.
This committee should continue the work of the previous ad hoc
group convened by Susan Leonardi. We would also hope that these
scholars would benefit and learn from one another, thereby en-
riching their individual departments and disciplines.
4. An on-going process
These recommendations are designed to advance LGB issues at UMCP.
They are not intended as a solution, but rather as the next
logical steps in a continuing evolution. They are also designed
to compliment one another with the Resource Center as the primary
locus for the energy and resources needed to address the goal of
a more comfortably diverse campus for LGB students, staff, and
faculty. As a complimentary set of recommendations, we suggest
that coordination become a feature by insuring that Center per-
sonnel sit on both the President's Commission for LGB Issues and
the Committee on LGB Curriculum Development and Transformation.
We believe that UMCP should adopt these recommendations, then
reassess our needs in three to five years. LGB issues in the
academy and in society at large are moving very quickly. Through
science and scholarship we can help one another, we can teach our
students how to approach these issues that they will undoubtedly
face after graduation, and we can lead our culture in building a
better society for all.
We must not abdicate our responsibilities to study, to conduct
research, to teach, and to exemplify that which we learn about
lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals.
Appendix A 1. Select List of LGB Studies Courses Offered at UMCP CMLT 291 International Perspectives on Lesbian and Gay Studies (spring 1997, and annually). The first semester it was taught it was CMLT 298A. [Seth Silberman] ENGL 379 Gay is Very American: Readings in Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Literatures (fall 1996) [Martha Nell Smith] ENGL 399 Senior Seminar: Textual/Sexual Diversities in Fiction and Film [Susan Leonardi] ENGL 399 Senior Seminar: Lesbian/Gay Literature [Susan Leonardi] ENGL 399 Senior Seminar: Lesbian/Bisexual Literature (fall 1996) [Susan Leonardi] ENGL 435 American Sexual Poetics Revisited (spring 1996) [Martha Nell Smith] ENGL 488 or ENGL 6XX Gay Liberation Rhetorics (spring 1998) [Michael Marcuse] ENGL 668/CMLT 679Q Readings in Modern Literary Theory: Gay, Lesbian, and Queer Theory (spring 1997) [William Cohen] ENGL 699 Directed Reading: Twentieth-Century American Gay Male Novels (spring 1994) [William Cohen] ENGL 748 American Sexual Poetics Revisited (summer 1994, and at the CUNY Graduate Center, fall 1994) [Martha Nell Smith] ENGL 748 Dickinson and American Sexual Poetics at the Fin de Siecle [Martha Nell Smith] ENGL 749 Lesbian/Gay Theory [Susan Leonardi] ENGL 7XX Sapphists, Spinsters, Friends: Female Economies in the Long Eighteenth Century . This course was premiered at the Folger Institute and was, we believe the first gay-focused course ever to be offered as a Folger Institute Seminar. [Susan Lanser] FMST 499A Special Counseling Concerns for Lesbians and Gay Men [Robyn S. Zeiger] FREN 478/CMLT 498U Gay Issues in French Fiction. [William MacBain] HIST 4XX or HONR 4XX Seminar on the History of Homosexuality (to be offered 1998-99) [Richard Wetzell] HONR 139A Sexuality and Literature: Oscar Wilde's Texts and Contexts (spring 1994) [William Cohen] PHIL 407 Gay and Lesbian Philosophy [CORE Diversity, upper level] (fall 1996). Course Website at http://carnap.umd.edu.90/queer [Frederick Suppe] PUAF 6XX Sexuality and Public Policy (spring 1997). Interdisciplinary survey of public policy issues related to sexual orientation. [M. V. Lee Badgett] WMST 298E/WMST 498E Constructing a Field: An Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Studies (spring 1994) [Katie King] WMST 4XX Lesbian Communities and Differences [Evelyn Torton Beck] 2. List of Courses with Significant LGB Studies Content Offered at UMCP CMLT 270 Global Literature and Social Change [Seth Silberman and various instructors] CMLT 649/ENGL 729 Women, Romanticism and Revolution [Susan Lanser] EDCI XXX Multiculturalism [Ruth Heidelbach] EDCP 4XX/ENGL 379A Identity and Difference [Ruth Fassinger and Susan Leonardi] EDCP 612 [Ruth Fassinger] EDCP 616 [Ruth Fassinger] EDCP 789S [Ruth Fassinger] EDCP 7XX HIV/AIDS Counseling [Mary Ann Hoffman] ENGL 348 Literature by Women: Contemporary Novels by Women [Susan Leonardi] ENGL 379A (EDCP 4XX) Identity and Difference [Susan Leonardi and Ruth Fassinger] ENGL 399 Senior Seminar: Contemporary Short Fiction by Women [Susan Leonardi] ENGL 399 Senior Seminar: Women's Autobiography [Susan Leonardi] ENGL 399 Senior Seminar: The Politics of Genre [Susan Leonardi] ENGL 399 Senior Seminar: The Rhetorics of AIDS (fall 1995) [Michael Marcuse] ENGL 399X Honors Senior Seminar: Contesting "America": Jewett, Cather, Wharton and the Turn into the Twentieth Century [Marilee Lindemann] ENGL 399Y Honors Senior Seminar: Sex Scandals and Victorian Literature (fall 1995) [William Cohen] ENGL 419 Major British Writers: George Eliot and Virginia Woolf [Susan Leonardi] ENGL 437 [Marilee Lindemann] ENGL 444 Feminist Theory [Susan Lanser] ENGL 479 Special Topics: Text to Screen [Susan Leonardi] ENGL 479B Special Topics: Gender and Sexuality in Nineteenth-Century English Fiction (fall 1996) [William Cohen] ENGL 479B Special Topics: The Literature of AIDS (spring 1997; also invited to teach as English 376/676 at The American University, fall 1996) [Michael Marcuse] ENGL 488B The Rhetorics of AIDS (spring 1996) ENGL 666 Feminist Theory [Marilee Lindemann] ENGL 739 Seminar in Victorian Literature: Topics in Nineteenth-Century British Literature and Sexuality (also taught as senior seminar during Mellon fellowship year at Wesleyan University) [William Cohen] ENGL 748B Willa Cather: Contesting/Queering "America" [Marilee Lindemann] ENGL 758 Feminist Theory [Susan Lanser] ENGL 758A The Politics of Genre [Susan Leonardi] ENGL 769 Theories of Literature: Feminine Homotextualities [Susan Leonardi] ENGL 779A The Rhetorics of AIDS (fall 1995) [Michael Marcuse] FMST 260 Couple Relationships [Robyn S. Zeiger] FMST 330 Family Patterns [Robyn S. Zeiger] FMST 431 Family Crises and Intervention [Robyn S. Zeiger] FMST 430/WMST 430 Gender Issues in Families [Robyn S. Zeiger] FREN 479D Ideologies and Relations between the Sexes [William MacBain] GERM 382 [Simon Richter] GERM 424 German Classicism (spring 1992, fall 1993). The material in this course was approached through the perspective of J. J. Winckelmann, founder of German Classicism and arguably the first modern male with a publicly gay persona. Concepts of the homosocial and homoerotic were crucial to the course. [Simon Richter] GERM 689R/CMLT 679S Gender and the Public Sphere (spring 1995). The course contained substantial sections devoted to Queer Responses to Habermas; Camp; Queer Theory and Queer Nationality; extensive discussion of Judith Butler's Bodies that Matter. [Simon Richter] GERM 889 Psychoanalysis, Gender and Culture (spring 1997). The course will contain substantial sections on queer gender constructions, homo- and heterosexualities, feminist and lesbian critiques of Freud. [Simon Richter] HLTH 377 Human Sexuality [various instructors] HLTH 382 Peer Education: Sexuality and Communication HLTH 4XX AIDS Education/Prevention [various instructors] PSYC 332 Psychology of Human Sexuality PSYC 452 Psychology of Individual Differences PUAF 698Y Affirmative Action and Civil Rights Policies. Includes unit on LGB civil rights issues [M. V. Lee Badgett] THET 3XX Gender and Performance [Catherine Schuler] WMST 325 The Sociology of Gender WMST 400 Theories of Feminism WMST 430/FMST 430 Gender Issues in Families [Robyn S. Zeiger] WMST 444 Feminist Critical Theory WMST 471/HLTH 471 Women's Health WMST XXX Jewish Women in International Perspective [Evelyn Torton Beck] WMST XXX Women in the Arts [Evelyn Torton Beck] WMST XXX Feminist Transformations [Evelyn Torton Beck]
Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender Resources and Resource Centers
at Selected State Universities
2. Links to Lists of Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender (LGBT) Resource Centers
and Other Related Lists
3. Links to LGBT Resource Centers at Selected State
*University of Arizona at Tucson
**University of California at Berkeley
**University of California at Los Angeles
University of Colorado at Boulder
University of Delaware
*University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana
University of Illinois at Chicago
**University of Michigan
**University of Minnesota Twin Cities
University of Missouri at Columbia
University of Nebraska at Lincoln
*Comparable Peers: University of Arizona, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Ohio State
University, University of Texas at Austin.
**Aspirational Peers: University of California at Berkeley, University of California at Los Angeles,
University of Michigan, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, University of North Carolina at Chapel
This appendix provides a glimpse of the LGB resource centers and offices at campuses across the
nation. We have not attempted to supply a comprehensive list of all such centers, nor have we
undertaken an exhaustive study of the evolution of these facilities and the services that they offer.
This appendix merely collects a brief sample (via the Internet and brief correspondence) of the
resources at state universities, so that we can better form our own opinions about an appropriate
solution for UMCP.
The following observations arise from the data:
First, an increasing number of campuses provide official sanction and support such centers. A chief
function of these centers focuses on coordinating and providing resources for their LGB faculty, staff,
and students. The existence of a national organization for LGBT Campus Resource Directors also
indicates this growing trend. [NB: The "T" stands for transgender.]
There is no one type of LGB resource center. Some resource centers are merely task forces that are
responsible for coordinating a number of committees that provide gay resources (Berkeley is an
example of this). Others centers are university offices that provide a limited range of services and
limited physical facilities. Yet others are relatively large operations, that offer a wide range of services
(e.g. Ohio State University, University of Illinois at Chicago). Many have permanent university staff
operating them (e.g.University of Michigan, University of Minnesota).
As for where these centers fit in the campus administrative picture, many appear to be administered
by student affairs offices, while others come under academic affairs.
We can learn from the history of how these facilities evolved. Some appear to have come into
existence recently under the leadership of progressive campus administrators and their task forces (the
University of Nebraska is a good example of the positive effects of strong support and leadership by
university administration). Others have come about over time, with their Universities beginning to
offer some initial support to gay issues in the seventies, and continuing to provide further support
during subsequent years. They currently offer a wide range of LGB resources. One of UMCP's
aspirational peers, the University of Michigan, is a good example of this latter pattern.
Such facilities serve the entire campus community, not only the LGB students, staff, and faculty. They
provide the larger campus community information (i.e. through print, video, and electronic media),
training, and education (e.g. curriculum support, guest speakers, workshops, and research
opportunities). The University of Minnesota GLBT Programs Office is a good example of this service
to the larger university community. Their office "educates and provides resources for all members of
the University of Minnesota community about issues that impact the experience of transgender, gay,
lesbian, and bisexual staff, students and faculty." This office also "supports development of
curriculum and research in the area of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender studies."
The University of Maryland at College Park can still catch up with peer institutions that actively
coordinate, support, and provide LGB resources to their campus population. Not surprisingly, many
private universities provide such resources, as do a number of state universities, including most of our
comparable and aspirational peers.
Among our peers, we know that Berkeley, UCLA, the University of Illinois, the University of
Michigan, the University of Minnesota, and Ohio State University, all offer support to varying de-
grees, with several providing exemplary programs.
These resource centers offer an immense range of services:
Coordination. They provide central sites for all of the LGB services available at a given
campus. Also a typical resource center serves as the coordinating body of the various LGB
groups that exist on campus, and may even provide various types of support and technical
assistance to these groups. LGB resource centers also get actively involved with campus
coalition building with non-LGB organizations.
Informational/educational programs and events. These may include speakers, panels, or
workshops discussing LGB-related issues such as homophobia, sexism, etc. Such programs
are often co- sponsored with other campus units. Resource centers often direct
comprehensive special events, such as gay awareness weeks, Gay History Month, and
Coming-Out Day. An example of one such special event is the annual Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian,
and Transgender Awareness week at the Student Union on the campus of the University of
Illinois at Champaign-Urbana (one of UMCP's comparable peers); it lasts a week and features
a variety of activities and speakers. This officially-supported Illinois BGLT Awareness Week
even has its own page on the World Wide Web.
Other information services. Many centers provide brochures that explain their goals and
services. Some provide information via electronic resources such as Web pages. The GLBT
Programs office at Minnesota maintains a volunteer speakers' bureau of students, staff, and
faculty available to speak to diverse campus audiences. LGB information telephone lines, such
as that at the University of Delaware is yet another useful information service that resource
centers can establish.
Curriculum development. The centers are actively involved in their respective campus' effort
to develop LGB curriculum and to support LGB research.
General assistance and help to foster a supportive community to individuals and to the LGB
community at large. Specific services in this category include counseling, various discussion
groups (e.g. coming out groups), leadership training, and mentoring for new and newly aware
LGB staff, students, and faculty.
Another type of support is Safe Space programs such as that developed by the Allies Project
Also some centers provide roommate referral services.
Advocacy of the rights of LGB staff, faculty, and students. Centers work to develop
university policies that insure the equal rights of the LGB population. As part of this activity,
sites may routinely work to educate administrative offices about how their policies and
practices affect LGB students.
Reference, information centers, and resource libraries. Serving both the LGB population and
informational and research needs of the larger campus community, many of these centers
appear to have well-stocked libraries that provide local and national publications that center
on LGB issues. These holdings include books and magazines (including archives of back
issues), and clippings and other vertical file items arranged so that information can be readily
accessed by researchers. Some libraries also provide LGB information in video format.
Social activities. Sites provide a friendly, low-stress environment for LGB students, staff, and
faculty to meet.
2. Links to Lists of Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender (LGBT) Resource Centers and Other Related
Universities and colleges throughout the nation are establishing visible LGBT resource centers. As
the list of universities that actively support the needs of the LGBT population grows, the absence of
a given university from this list will be readily apparent. No university can claim to support diversity,
without actively providing support for all minority populations, including LGB people.
The following section provides a series of lists of LGB resources at a variety of colleges and
universities. We quickly gleaned them from the Internet and by no means have we attempted to
provide authoritative or comprehensive directories of such resources; the lists merely hint at the
growing active support that LGB faculty, staff, and students can now find at academic institutions.
LGBT Campus Resource Directors (http://www.uic.edu/orgs/lgbt/LGBT_campus_directors.html)
is a national organization created specifically for this group. The very existence of this professional
organization attests to the growing importance of this area of work. Their home page currently
provides the following alphabetical listing of LGBT college and university offices and centers
Campus Life offers another list of academic LGB Web sites, complete with http links to those organizations.
And Justice for All (AJA) provides another list of links to college and university LGB sites, some
of which appear to be home pages of campus resource centers. (Note: AJA was founded in mid-1995
to provide heterosexual support and visibility in the LGBT rights movement).
3. Links to LGBT Resource Centers at Selected State
As seen in the following examples, the LGBT resource centers at these randomly-selected campuses
vary considerably. They were chosen from the above lists. Most of the information was taken from
various Web sites and no attempt has been made to give it a uniform presentation.
Some centers are official university offices that offer a limited range of services; other resource
centers offer a wide variety of resources to their respective campus communities.Comparable Peer
and Aspirational Peer institutions have been designated with an asterisk or two asterisks respectively.
Contact person: Doug Bauder, Coordinator (email@example.com)
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Student Support Services (firstname.lastname@example.org)
705 East Seventh St.
Phone: 812 855-4252
*Ohio State University
Contact Person: Chad McCoury (email@example.com)
The Office of Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Student Services, Student Life
Acting Director: Don Stenta, M.A. (614) 292-6200
Ohio State University provides a variety of services to LGB students. The most comprehensive of
these is offered through the Office of Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Student Services: (firstname.lastname@example.org)
340 Ohio Union 1739 North High Street
Columbus, OH 43210
Telephone (614) 292-6200
FAX (614) 292-4462
(The GLBSS will have a web page soon; until then, you may get gopher info via the WWW at
*University of Arizona at Tucson
**University of California at Berkeley
Berkeley Bisexual Lesbian and Gay Center
Office: 404 Wheeler Hall
Mail: c/o MLGS, 322 Wheeler Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
Faculty Director: Associate Professor Carolyn Dinshaw, 510.642.4350
Staff: Chris Murchson, 510.642.7264
**University of California at Los Angeles
Contact Person: Charles Outcalt
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Resources Office
220 Kinsey Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1579
Phone: (310) 206-3628
Director: Charles Outcalt
University of Colorado at Boulder
Contact person: Joanna Duenas, Director
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Resource Center
304 Willard Hall
Campus Box 103
University of Colorado at Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309
Phone: (303) 492-1377
FAX: (303) 492-2234
Home Page: http://stripe.colorado.edu/~glbrc/Home.html
University of Delaware
Contact Person: Peter Medwick (Aladin@udel.edu), Graduate Coordinator
LGB Concerns Office
University of Delaware
305 Hullihen Hall
Newark, DE 19716
Phone: (302) 831-8703
*University of Illinois at Champaign Urbana
Contact Person: James W. Hall (email@example.com)
190 Medical Sciences Building
506 S. Mathews Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: 217 333-5469 (office) 217 352-5469 (home)
The Office of Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Concerns,formerly in Academic Affairs,
now reporting to the Dean of Students
Acting Co-Director, James W. Hall, Ed.M.(also Assistant Dean, College of Medical Sciences):
Tuesday and Friday afternoons (217) 244-8863
Acting Co-Director, Terri Rhodes, Ph.D. (also Clinical Counselor, Student Counselling):
Monday and Wednesday afternoons (217) 244-8863
University of Illinois at Chicago
The Office of Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Concerns, firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: 312 413-8619
Write to our staff: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. (If you can't slend Email directly,
then use our Web Email Form.)
**University of Michigan
Contact: Ronni L. Sanlo, Ed.D., Director
The Lesbian Gay Bisexual Programs Office (LGBPO)
3116 Michigan Union
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1349
Phone 313 763.4186 ("All calls are confidential and you need not be a University of
Michigan student to contact us!")
**University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Contact: Beth Zemsky, Director
The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Programs Office (http://www.umn.edu/glbt/)
Direct letters, phone calls or e-mail to:
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Programs Office
425 Walter Library 117 Pleasant St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455-0110
Voice/TDD (612) 625-6042
University of Missouri at Columbia
Gay Lesbian Bisexual Resource Center (https://lgbtq.missouri.edu)
230 Brady Commons
Columbia, MO 65211
Phone: 314 882-6621
Open: Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri 8am to 6pm and Thursday 9am to 7pm
University of Nebraska at Lincoln
Contact persons: George Wolf (email@example.com)
Department of English
University of Nebraska Lincoln
Lincoln, NE 68588-0333
Pat Tetreault, Sexuality Education Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org)
University Health Center
Community Health Education
15th & U Street
Lincoln, NE 68588-0618 Phone: (402)472-7447
AT UMCP'S PEER INSTITUTIONS
Here are links to a variety of websites at the University of Maryland at College Park's designated "peer" universities. It is important to note that this list is merely a compilation of those organizations, services, and policies that may be found in the World Wide Web; these listings do not represent a complete list of the gay supportive organizations, official university committees and services, and policies at these schools. On the contrary, all of these universities have gay/lesbian organizations, with a number of these schools having numerous gay/lesbian associations (e.g. Illinois has more than 15 separate g/l groups). Likewise, most and possibly all of these schools, have "sexual orientation" clauses in their affirmative action statements, not just the ones listed here.
University of Arizona at Tucson
University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana
Ohio State University
University of Texas at Austin
Affirmative Action/ Equal Opportunity Statement
Affirmative Action Office
Spectrum, the association of student for bisexual, gay, lesbian, and transgender concerns
B/G/L/T Awareness Week
University Staff Association for Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual and Transgendered Concerns Lesbian Bisexual Gay Students' Association
University Alliance for Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Concerns
The Equal Employment/Affirmative Action Program Policy Statement may be found at the home page of The Equal Employment Opportunity Office
University of California at Berkeley
University of California at Los Angeles
ORGANIZATIONS AND TASK FORCES
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Studies Minor Program
Summary of Fall 1996 Queer-Related Courses
Additional Individual Course Listings:
American Studies (See Am Stud 148, "San Francisco's Castro Street")
English--Areas of Concentration (See item 4, "Sexual Identities/Gender Studies.")
Film Studies (See Womens Studies 146, "Cultural Representations of Sexualities & the Invention of Queer Culture.")
Womens Studies (See Womens Studies 111.1, "Rhetorics of Sexual Exchange")
SUPPORT GROUPS AND SERVICES
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Faculty/staff Network
GALA, (UCLA'S Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual
Multicultural Student Advocacy Group) Summary List of Some Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Groups
on UCLA's campus
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Resources Office
"In-depth, up to date information on LGBT resources at UCLA"
Student Psychological Services' Counseling Groups
(Includes Gay Men's Psychotherapy Group, Group for Lesbian/Bi Graduate and Returning Students, HIV Support Group,
and Lesbian and Bisexual Women's Therapy Group)
UCLA has a variety of publications for the LGBT communities. Several organizations, such as Alumni and The Network, publish their own newsletters. UCLA is also proud to have TenPercent, UCLA's LGB newsmagazine. TenPercent's homepage on the Web is an excellent source of information about the g/l/b climate and activities at UCLA.
"Nondiscrimination"(From the UCLA Official Notices which are published by the Office of the Dean of Students.)
Individual Course Listings:
English Upper Division Courses(See Eng 101, "Gay and Lesbian Literature")
English Graduate Courses(See Eng 258,"The Queer Frontier")
Music Courses(See Music 136, "Music and Gender")
Womens Studies Courses(See Womens Studies 114, "Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Studies"; and Womens Studies 115,"Topics in Studies of Sexual and Gender Orientation")
Additional Womens Studies Courses(See Womens Studies 116, "Sexuality and the City: Queer Los Angeles")
SERVICES AND PROGRAMS
Queer Unity Project
Delta Lambda Phi (DLP), A National Social Fraternity
for Gay and Progressive Men
The Lesbian Gay Bisexual Programs Office
Family Connections Mentoring Program
The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Programs Office HIV Counseling Center
B-GLAD: Bisexuals, Gay Men, Lesbians, and Allies
Equal Employment Opportunity Statement
Policy Statement on Sexual Orientation
(Both from Human Resources Manual
for SPA Employees)