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Out for Good

The view from under South Hill, as interpreted by Luca

Posted by Luca Maurer at 1:02PM   |  Add a comment
10th anniversary postcard

It's finally here - the 10th Anniversary of the LGBT Center and Fall Splash/LGBT and Allied Alumni Reunion is taking place right now!  Please join us as we celebrate all LGBT and Allied alumni, and the ten years of the campus LGBT Center.  You can browse a complete schedule of LGBTA-themed events, and learn a bit more about the LGBT Center and our four LGBT-themed student organizations, or access the complete schedule of all Fall Splash/Alumni Weekend events.  

Our kick off event with alumna Janet Green in commemoration of National Coming Out Day took place last night, and there are five additional events that will take place from now throughout the weekend.

Celebrate along with us, either on campus or from afar, by sending some festive LGBTA-themed e-postcards, viewing or listening to our incredibly talented students who have created LGBTA-themed videos and music, or connecting with us via Facebook.

This will be a great opportunity for current students to meet and network with LGBT and allied alumni, and for alumni to learn more about the center and its work, our award-winning status as one of the most welcoming campuses for LGBT students in the nation, and our current LGBTA-themed student organizations and other offerings and accomplishments.

If you're an alumnus, things may have changed a bit since you were here as a student. I have heard from alumni spanning decades, and the experiences and campus environment for LGBTA students has varied over the years.  The LGBT Center is but a small part of the long and very rich history of LGBT and allied students at Ithaca College.  With the help of some wonderful folks at the Library and the Ithacan, we have been able to find references to an LGBT-themed student group on campus consistently all the way back to 1979.  (It's the student organization currently called Prism, but it has had several names over the years including Gala and BiGayLa, among others).  And just a few weeks ago, a researcher in our college Office of Institutional Advancement contacted me when she discovered a document from 1971 that detailed a meeting of 11 students who were interested in establishing an IC chapter of the Gay Liberation Front.  These are all vital, but sometimes lost (or temporarily lost) pieces of history, and the LGBT Center wants to collect them so our current students can have a sense of this important history and the role of LGBT and allied students throughout the years.

I invite you to share your recollections and experiences of all things LGBT and Allied during your time as a student at IC. If you're joining us in person, there will be several ways for you to share your stories throughout the weekend.  If you can't be with us this week, I invite you to share your stories right here using the comments function.  And whether you visit IC this week or not, consider creating a short video and sharing it - upload it to YouTube and share the link via the comments section on this post.

Some suggested questions to consider might be:

  • How did your time at IC contribute to the person you are today?
  • Tell a story about your time at IC through the lens of LGBTA work/identity/community/climate.  This might be something specific about a student organization, class, professor, or initiative.
  • Share a fond reflection of IC
  • If you were magically transported back, what one thing would you love to do or experience again at IC?

LGBT and Allied Alumni Reunion and the tenth anniversary of the LGBT Center....It's always been inside of you, you, you. And now it's time to let it through-ough-ough.  Connect with us in person or online, and be a part of our future.

Posted by Luca Maurer at 2:53PM   |  Add a comment

Whether you're a regular Out for Good reader, or have just landed here for the first time, you'll glean pretty quickly that one purpose of this blog is to celebrate the upbeat, positive, and good.  As I noted when this blog was launched, ...There are lists and lists of problems and challenges that seem all too familiar in the terrain of LGBT life. Sometimes, it just seems really hard....And yet, there are those other times too. Where despite the pitfalls and challenges...there is some pretty good stuff happening...So yes, I am also Out For Good.

Please join with me in literally going Out for Good - celebrate the 10th anniversary of the LGBT Center with me by doing good for others!  In the process, we'll also have a bit of fun, a bit of fitness, and a bit of colorful rainbowy-goodness too.

Saturday October 15, 9 am
5K run on campus with Lis and Habitat for Humanity!
Butterfield Stadium
We're Out for Good - The LGBT Center program director will run the Habidash 5K on campus, and invites all LGBT and Allied students, alumni, and members of the campus community to join in - come be a part of a fun run for a great cause! Registration and fee for the run is required through IC's Habitat for Humanity, alumni may register while signing up to attend Fall Splash, or onsite, or at a table in Campus Center for current students to register from now through Oct 7.  Or, see their Facebook event for additional details

Please join us - run along with us, walk, or cheer us on from the sidelines of the race, as we LGBTA folks do something good to give back to Habitat for Humanity and the community.  Some additional info is available from the concurrent Facebook event for participants interested in the Out for Good angle on this event. Very special kudos to the student who created that page and who is devoting many hours of service in helping to plan and facilitate our participation!

And did I mention there will be a small but rainbow-y gift for the first 100 LGBTA people who participate?

Special thanks to LGBTA Alumni from the Classes of 2007 and 2008 for challenging meto this run, and to IC Habitat for Humanity for their enthusiastic response to our participation.  For information about all the events that will mark the 10th anniversary of the LGBT Center, visit the 10th Anniversary of the LGBT Center and Fall Splash webpage.

Posted by Luca Maurer at 12:07PM   |  1 comment

A couple of weeks ago, I got a glimpse of history.  Not my personal history, but the history of the LGBT Center and many of those who have been a part of it over the years.  As it turns out, anyone who visited the LGBT Center website that particular evening were unexpectedly and inexplicably transported back to the LGBT Center of 5 years ago.  In the process of "reskinning" the Ithaca College web presence to reflect a new look and updated logo, somehow little old began directing visitors not to the dreaded "oops, page not found" screen, but to the actual website we used back then.

At first, I was surprised.  Very surprised.  And then, the images and information on that old version of what we are today - but in a different way - transported me back to that time.  Photos of alumni, images of campus that are a bit different than the views we have today, and the names of people who have made important contributions to our campus.  Anna, who created that version of the website as part of a course project, who is now a CEO, entrepreneur and webcasting engineer.  Michael, who participated in the beta testing of that website and later maintained it (through a painstaking old school process that actually involved html code!), who now manages all the IT needs of a major national organization.  It took me back even further, to Braeden, who created the LGBT Center's very first web presence during a summer break just because he wanted to be of service to IC LGBT students.  He's since gone on to great things, too, including a law degree and a beautiful family.

And me?  I'm actually still here.  Though also changed by these former students, and the many people I meet in my role here on campus.  I'm so thankful for all those who have contributed their time and talents toward serving our LGBT and allied students, and for everyone who helps make IC a welcoming place for our students.  I'm very thankful, too, for the fine folks in Marketing Communications and ITS here on campus, who fixed this mysterious glitch incredibly quickly.  As quickly as the old website image transported me back in time, it was gone and replaced by the current LGBT Center website.  (Phew!)

But you, too, can take a trip down memory lane.  This year we'll celebrate the 10th anniversary of the LGBT Center.  Events commemorating this milestone will take place throughout the year, including featured events during Fall Splash/Alumni weekend October 14 -16.  Wondering what LGBT life was like on campus 5 years ago, or 10 years ago, or 30 years ago?  Come to the panel discussion of alumni spanning five decades at Ithaca College.  Want to be part of a new tradition?  Run along with me in a contingent of LGBT and allied students and alumni in the Habidash 5K run.  Information about these are other events will be available through the LGBT Center website (yes, the current one!), Alumni Relations, Intercom, and the Facebook pages of the LGBT Center and Ithaca College LGBT and Allied Alumni.  I invite you all to learn more about our past, and be a part of our future!

Posted by Luca Maurer at 1:27PM
pride flag

We're so glad you're here!  Lots of events and learning opportunities with LGBT-themes are being planned for the coming year, and here are just a few to start off the year:

  • Tonight - a reception for new students will take place at 6:30 pm in Textor 103.  Come see old friends and meet new ones, meet the LGBT Center program director and some of the students involved in the LGBT Center, and enjoy some refreshments, too!  Immediately following the reception, the first Out of the Closet and Onto the Screen Film Series screening will take place in the same room.  The film begins at 7 pm.
  • Next week - Wednesday September 7, at 4 pm in the Handwerker Gallery (near the campus library) will be a Salon discussion “Kurt and Callie and Waylon Smithers too—Media Portrayals of LGBT Characters” - the Salon series is a Handwerker Gallery program aimed at providing students, faculty, staff and members of the community a forum outside of a classroom setting for intellectual discussion and debate.

Come on out to one or all of these events to kick off the new year.  I look forward to meeting you!



Posted by Luca Maurer at 11:22AM   |  Add a comment

Like many of our incoming class of 2015, I came upon the passage that is part of the title of this post, on page 209 of this year's First Year Reading Initiative selection Ransom by David Malouf: "Look, he wants to shout, I am still here, but the I is different."  To prevent a spoiler for those of you who may not yet have finished (or begun) the book, I'll not delve too much more into the context in which this comes up in the book.  The quote does evoke an assortment of other ideas, perhaps some of particular significance to the incoming class and to our new and current LGBT and allied students.  The author and his other work, too, may be of interest. 

College life, especially the first year, can sometimes yield a similar feeling with students thinking - or even exclaiming to others (parents, family members, friends from home) - I am still here, and I am different.  Different than one once was, different than others may have known or believed, different yet still the same person.  New experiences, ideas, relationships, and challenges can sometimes speed the process of coming to a more complete understanding of oneself.  Sometimes that more complete understanding feels more like "home" for a person; other times it is messy and complicated and brings a host of other questions, challenges, and perhaps even risk.     

As you read the book, a few things to keep in mind:

  • If you've ever pondered your own life's course, think about what the book and the journeys of its characters may offer. 
  • If you're already thinking about your own future, perhaps you've read my previous post about the the unique and esteemed profession of college president, and the new organization made up of LGBT college presidents.  Remember not to count yourself out of any profession.  One day you could be an out college president; or one day you could be the out l,g, b, or t author of a book read by thousands of college students as their first year reading.  For more on this, see the scholarly journal article that investigates metaphors of the closet and coming out in Malouf's work. The article, among other things, note's "Portraying a preference for fluid identities and multiple meanings, Malouf asserts that we must come out of the closet that is heteronormativity, embarking on an outing in search of a queer utopia."
  • Watch Malouf describe the book and its themes, and his thoughts on storytelling, in a video clip.
  • And finally, consider the excellent ideas our own college president suggests for you as you read - writing in the margins, and noting key ideas on the inside covers of the book itself as a tool to discover "who you are today... " and to  "help you understand who you are trying to become."  And perhaps through this process you will gain additional insight into your "I" and which components of yourself may be similar or different to what you had previously thought.





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