Four Ithaca College students have partnered with GLAAD, a national LGBTQ media advocacy organization, to empower youth across the nation and advocate for an end to hate and discrimination.
Jay Williamson ’18, x rance ’18, Elena Piech ’19 and Rosey Mulvey ’19 were selected as campus ambassadors for the 2017-18 school year. They work with GLAAD and the local community to bring awareness and acceptance of the LGBTQ community.
“The role of GLAAD ambassadors is so vital,” said Luca Maurer, program director of the Ithaca College Center for LGBT Education, Outreach and Services. “They amplify the experiences of students on college campuses. In doing so, they give voice to what we in the field already know: that LGBTQ+ inclusion is about so much more than sexual orientation and gender identity. It is about race, ethnicity, socioeconomic stats, faith, ability, immigration status and more.”
This is the second year of GLAAD’s campus ambassador program. Students are selected for the program based on their passion, involvement and creation of original content related to LGBTQ advocacy.
“I’m definitely getting something from the experience of being a campus ambassador by connecting and sharing with new people, and then also learning how to express myself and advocate for myself by teaching others how to advocate for each other and themselves,” rance said.
Piech, Mulvey and Williamson attended GLAAD’s National Campus Ambassador Summit on Nov. 10-12 in Atlanta, Georgia. There, they were able to network with campus ambassadors from across the country and learn more about reaching out to local media organizations to pitch stories related to LGBTQ issues. Piech said she was surprised by how many ambassadors there were from Ithaca College compared to most other schools that only had one or two representatives.
“It was cool to see that we had so many ambassadors from Ithaca College,” said Piech. “I think that’s partially due to the fact that IC continuously receives so much recognition for being such a LGBTQ and trans-friendly campus.”
Both rance and Piech have been featured in blog posts on GLAAD’s website, giving advice to LGBTQ youth who are experiencing bullying. Additionally, rance has written a blog post discussing asexuality and the lack of dialogue surrounding it.
“I've done personal blogging or written for very small online magazines before, but this is a larger scale, which I’ve always wanted to do,” rance said. “So it's cool because I’m sharing a part of my own experience and I’m not just creating it for me.”