Thursday, August 22, 2013

Progress towards Equality at Hofstra and in the U.S.

As the new Fall semester looms closer, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning (LGBTQ) affairs have been in the news a lot  with the recent strike down of a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and many US states legalizing marriage equality.  At first glance, it may seem that it has never been easier to be gay in the U.S.; while in some sense this may be true it is also true that LGBTQ individuals continue to face subtle and overt barriers. If you or someone you know is LGBTQ, you may already be familiar with the challenges such as discrimination, stigmatization, bullying, and other forms of oppression.

The Division of Student Affairs’ mission at Hofstra is to create an egalitarian and welcoming campus for all cultural groups, including LGBTQ individuals. We hope to encourage the student body to appreciate and understand the differences between groups of people while also promoting the equal consideration and advocacy for human rights, which we are all entitled to as human beings. Hofstra provides opportunities for students to learn about what is important about being LGBTQ and creates programming to ensure that students who identify as LGBTQ will have the support they need when faced with these potential barriers.
NYC Pride Parade 2013

The Pride Network is a student-run organization that meets weekly to provide a common, safe social environment to LGBTQ individuals. Their Gay Straight Alliance brings together allies and LGBTQ students to collaborate on supporting various social advocacy initiatives and educational and social events that the Pride Network plans and sponsors.

The Multicultural & International Student Programs Office (MISPO) works closely with the Pride Network as the official office of the Division of Student Affairs responsible for LGBTQ (and other multicultural) programming. Upcoming events in the Fall included in the LGBTQ Heritage Month in October include LGBTQ Diversity, Dialogue, and Desserts, LGBTQ Reception, a Support Workshop on Coming Out, and more. For updates and event information, follow MISPO on Facebook.
Stop by MISPO, Student Center 242, to pick up complimentary luggage tags
For a student interested in learning more about LGBTQ issues, Hofstra’s College of Liberal Arts & Sciences has created an LGBT Studies Program. According to the director of the program, David Powell: “LGBT Studies focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, their history and culture, considering sexualities and genders as identities, social statuses, categories of knowledge, and as lenses that help us to frame how we understand our world.” Students can make LGBTQ studies their academic minor if they wish, which can be an ideal accompaniment to any academic major.

As the nation slowly works toward equality, we’d like our LGBTQ students to know that Hofstra is on your side. We always welcome feedback and suggestions for how we can do better; don’t hesitate to stop by or email the MISPO office at

Guest Blogger: Jason Schaefer
Second Year Graduate Student in Mental Health Counseling
LGBTQ Program Specialist, MISPO


Post a Comment