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The Lookout | January 20, 2017

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Prism Alliance aims for more members

Prism Alliance aims for more members

Jaimie Bozack
A&E Editor

Lansing Community College’s faculty and staff are looking to make strides in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community by joining forces with LCC’s Prism Alliance.

The mission of the alliance is to educate, support and empower LCC faculty and staff, and establish a safe environment for all students to live openly and authentically, according to Daniel Thurman, co-chair of the Prism Alliance.

Thurman said it is time for LCC to become more involved in LGBT rights.

“Prior to the Prism Alliance there was no official unit within the college that supported LGBT faculty and staff as well as allies,” Thurman said. “While many would agree LCC is relatively safe, there are many strides we still need to take to become a truly inclusive community.”

The alliance will be working toward several goals, including:

Raising awareness of sexual orientation and gender identity issues across campus;
Increasing tolerance;
Promoting inclusion;
Advocating for LGBT faculty, staff and students.

According to Thurman, members have finalized framework for the alliance and are expanding the team for college-wide employee membership.
“We will grow as large as the interest is and are expecting to have a substantial membership base,” Thurman said.

Thurman said the alliance is employee-based, but will help support the Student Gay Straight Alliance (GSA).

“We will make sure our efforts are coordinated with the GSA so we can leverage all of our resources in the most appropriate ways possible,” Thurman said. “It was important to the Prism Alliance that we allow the student organization to maintain its student voice.”

Thurman said the alliance will help connect the college community, and bring a diverse and safe environment.

“School teaches us so much more than reading and math skills,” Thurman said. “It teaches us how to be well-rounded individuals who understand the importance of diversity within our communities.

“We hope the Prism Alliance will both directly and indirectly impact those outcomes at our college.”

Thurman said alliance members want to focus on one major initiative to kick things off. The alliance is looking into designing a college-wide Campus Safe Space Training Program.
The Safe Space program would be a welcoming environment for LGBT students and employees, he said.

“We will be conducting extensive sensitivity training for any LCC employee who would like to be certified as a ‘Safe Space Ally,’” Thurman said. “The trainings teach awareness of LGBT issues, ways to support LGBT individuals (and) how to educate others on issues.”

Thurman said he is excited to work with people just as passionate as he is about the new alliance.

“I think people have been waiting for something like this happen for a long time,” Thurman said. “There’s just so much potential for the good work that can be done by this alliance and I’m excited to be a part of something that has generated so much positive energy.”

Comments

  1. Concerned

    LCC wants to setup safe spaces just when America is getting sick of safe spaces. Trigger warnings, micro-aggressions, safe spaces – it’s become quite clear that these aren’t truly about keeping people safe from any real threat, they’re about keeping people “safe” from hearing any ideas that might challenge their beliefs. Exactly the sort of protection a college shouldn’t be providing, in other words.

    • Frank Vaca

      Safe from hearing any other idea from the usual mainstream, huh?

      I like to see LCC Faculty and students join in a It gets better video http://www.itgetsbetter.org/

      I like to see all LCC Faculty and students not silenced by homophobia, transphobia, or HIV Stigma

      A college should be protecting it’s college from harassment and violence.

      The challenge has always been how can we sneer the q but open your heart and mind to possibilities of a new age.

    • LCC staff member

      Members of the LGBT community have to hear, frequently, messages that may challenge our security. People in Michigan can still be fired for being gay, for example. Not to mention general harassment, snarky comments, and hate crimes. Having a space to talk openly about our lives and the issues we confront that are specific to us is much-needed. I am thrilled that the Prism group is forming.

  2. “Thurman said the alliance is employee-based, but will help support the Student Gay Straight Alliance (GSA). “We will make sure our efforts are coordinated with the GSA so we can leverage all of our resources in the most appropriate ways possible,” Thurman said. “It was important to the Prism Alliance that we allow the student organization to maintain its student voice.”

    In other words LCC Students, GSA is the funnel and if you want change you will need to connect with us. I would also like to point out there is a change in guard for Title IX coordinator. 🙂

    Sexual misconduct has been more specifically defined by state and federal law, and regulations to generally mean unwelcome conduct, based on sex or on gender stereotypes, which is so severe or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with a person’s College employment, academic performance or participation in College programs or activities and creates a working, learning, program or activity environment that a reasonable person would find intimidating, hostile or offensive:

    Physical sexual violence;
    Direct or implied threats that submission to sexual advances will be a condition of employment, work status, promotion, graduation, or letters of recommendation;
    Direct unwelcome propositions or advances of a sexual nature
    Requests for sexual favors
    If you believe you have been sexually harassed or discriminated against, you should report that behavior as soon as possible, so that the college can conduct a thorough investigation.To report a student, please contact:
    Christine Thompson, Director of Student Compliance
    Student Title IX Coordinator
    Location: GB 135
    Tel.: (517) 483-9632
    Email: thompsc@lcc.edu

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