News

SpectrUM hosts first statewide conference

Last weekend, SpectrUM hosted the first annual Florida Collegiate Pride Coalition Student Conference, the first statewide conference to address gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer issues [GLBTQ]. Twelve organizations from universities across the state, including UF, UCF and FIU, participated in the conference.

“This conference will help us greatly because we will be able to join together, get more people behind what we do and have more of a force on campus,” Dara Solomon, SpectrUM public relations chair, said.

The conference, themed “Connections,” encouraged GLBTQ students to have a unified and powerful voice on campus. Events included a series of workshops on a wide range of issues, from gay history to the controversial gay marriage issue. Each workshop served as a forum for discussion in addition to the topic being presented by guest lecturers.

Solomon hopes gays will be motivated through the workshops to become involved in non-violent protests on campus for issues like gay marriage.

One workshop discussed how the University, specifically the residence halls, should be more accommodating to gay students.

Chris Fisher, resident of Mahoney-Pearson, was satisfied because he had “a gay-friendly roommate,” while others felt that RAs and students living in the dorms should have special sensitivity training towards GLBTQ students to ensure a stable living environment.

It was proposed that the University should have gender-neutral bathrooms. A student from Eckerd College spoke up about discussing this with the administration at his campus. Cate Dundon, new vice president of SpectrUM, discussed the organization’s goal of creating non-discrimination policies for gender-expression for transgender students with the University’s administration.

Lecturers included Jennifer Uleman, assistant professor of philosophy at UM, and Nick Sakurai, director of LGBT Students at the U.S. Student Association.

Sakurai hosted a lecture on the Day of Silence, described as “a day when GLBTQ students take a vow of silence representing how society silences their voices.” According to the SpectrUM website, the day was set aside to memorialize those who were killed because of anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. SpectrUM hopes to raise campus awareness on a wide range of gay issues through the Day of Silence and other organized events this upcoming fall semester.

The conference ended with keynote speakers Ruth Berman and Connie Kurtz, a lesbian couple who made a documentary showcasing their coming-out process and the reactions from their Jewish community and families.

SpectrUM hopes to make connections with other student groups on campus such as feminist groups and organizations of students of color by the “connecting issues” of ensuring equal access to education and reducing hate-crimes.

For more information, visit www.miami.edu/studorgs/spectrum.

Vivek Kalra can be contacted at v.kalra@umiami.edu.

April 6, 2004

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

It’s the play Miami Hurricanes fans will never forget — and Florida State fans are trying to forget. ...

Miami Hurricanes fans might recall their favorite college football players in past years dreaming of ...

The new quarterback is usually the ones fans gush over. For the University of Miami, last season it ...

Debate all you want, but University of Miami football coach Mark Richt made it clearer than ever Wed ...

Last year, when University of Miami tailback Mark Walton attended the Atlantic Coast Conference Foot ...

An ACLU report authored by UM sociologists documents racial and ethnic disparities in Miami-Dade Cou ...

Following the summit between Trump and Putin, reaction from politicians, pundits and former intellig ...

A School of Communication associate professor played an important hand—an artistic one!—in World Cup ...

University of Miami law and political science professors weigh in on Trump’s SCOTUS nominee. ...

Research bioclimatologists with the UM Synoptic Climatology Lab counsel cities on how to manage risi ...

Miami junior wide receiver Ahmmon Richards was among those named to the watch list for the 2018 Bile ...

University of Miami junior running back Travis Homer was named a preseason candidate for the Doak Wa ...

Six former Canes competed on NBA Summer League teams, with three averaging at least 10 points per ga ...

Quick Hits gives University of Miami volleyball fans an opportunity to get to know the new student-a ...

The University of Miami's volleyball team earned the American Volleyball Coaches Association (A ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.