SpectrUM, formerly the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Community [GLBC], presents Spring Awareness Week, a week when the organization strives to educate all UM students about issues that affect the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community.
Each day of the week will be dedicated to a specific issue ranging from national issues, such as the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy of the U.S. military and the Texas sodomy case which was recently taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court, to issues closer to home like the Florida adoption ban currently targeting gay parents.
“The issues are cool. I’m curious to hear about the Florida adoption ban for someone other than Rosie O’Donnell,” Zack Armstrong, sophomore, said.
Many students realize the importance of such informational events.
“It’s important for us to learn about such important issues because they affect all of us, not just gays and lesbians,” Heather St. Pierre, freshman, said. “They should hold more educational events throughout the year because it’s stuff that people may not be familiar with.”
Officers of SpectrUM could not be reached for comment.
However, according to the official website for the organization, throughout the week, SpectrUM will be educating the campus community through tabling in the UC Breezeway, guest speakers and lecturers and interactive events.
On Wednesday, SpectrUM members will be wearing red armbands and engaging in silent protests in honor of the National Day of Silence.
Organized by students in more than 1,900 schools across the country, with an estimated participation of more than 100,000 students, the National Day of Silence has been described as the largest single student-led action toward creating safer schools.
“We participated in the National Day of Silences at my high school,” Sandra Johnston, freshman, said. “It was a really big deal because it helped bring us all together.”
“Education is the best way to create tolerance,” Johnston said.
Currently, SpectrUM has a support group for students who may not feel comfortable attending SpectrUM meetings that are advertised and open to the public. The support group is facilitated by a member of the University Counseling Center staff, and all attendants are pre-screened to insure that their intentions are correct.
For a complete schedule of Spring Awareness Week, visit the SpectrUM website at www.miami.edu/studorgs/glbc. SpectrUM meetings are held every Thursday at 8 p.m. in the Flamingo Ballroom, on the second floor of the UC.
Leigha Taber can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org