by President Susan Martin, Published October 12, 2010
To students, staff and faculty:
Eastern Michigan University has a long and supportive history regarding the LGBT communities, and we are all deeply aware and saddened by the recent suicides by LGBT youth across the country, which included two college students. In each of the cases, harassment and bullying, online and in person, were a factor.
These recent incidents serve as a reminder of the ongoing acts of hate, bias and discrimination that all too often go unnoticed or unreported in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
It is our utmost priority to provide a safe and caring environment for all of our students, staff and faculty, regardless of their sexual, ethnic and social orientation. I encourage anyone who feels threatened, disrespected, harassed or unsafe to report it immediately. If you observe or witness such behavior, please let us know.
While Eastern is considered to be one of the top LGBT-friendly universities, we must continually educate our campus community about the resources and programs available. The LGBT Resource Center is actively involved in providing information, awareness and resources to the campus community. A letter to the community regarding the recent incidents can be found at www.emich.edu/lgbtrc/. The Center is hosting several campus events this month to raise awareness. Highlights include:
SAFE Campaign: Wednesday, Oct. 13, 3:30 p.m., 310B Student Center
Help create a campus community that is inclusive of all people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression. This is a participatory training session, open to all faculty, staff and students, that covers terms, resources, myths, and our campus climate.
Anti-Bullying and Harassment SPEAK OUT: Tuesday, Oct. 19, 7 p.m., 300 Student Center
A vigil will follow the program.
Spirit Day: Wednesday, Oct. 20
The Eastern community is joining other institutions around the country in memory of those bullied and harassed for their sexual orientation. Supporters are urged to wear purple.
Additional and ongoing resources available to our campus community include:
LGBT Resource Center, 354 EMU Student Center , 734-487-4149
Counseling and Psychological Services, 313 Snow Health Center, 734-487-1118
Department of Public Safety, 1200 Oakwood St., 734-487-1222
An excellent external resource is The Trevor Project, a 24-hour, national help line for gay and questioning teens, 866 4U TREVOR, thetrevorproject.org.
Please share these resources as needed and take part in efforts to educate and inform our community about the importance of inclusion and acceptance.
Eastern Michigan University