L G B T   C a m p u s   O r g a n i z i n g
bomb threat at the offices of Ten Percent; and telephone threats of violence against GALA   suggest
that UCLA is not immune to hate motivated acts of violence against the non heterosexual campus pop 
ulation. In addition, substantial anecdotal evidence collected through informal interviews suggests that
homophobic attitudes, expressed through jokes, comments, and graffiti pervade the student body. These
incidents and attitudes (along with the ongoing public debate they have generated in the campus media)
must be considered within the national societal context, documented in yearly reports by the National
Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF), in which hate motivated crimes against homosexuals are on the
rise (Berrill, 1990).
For dramatic reasons such as these, and for other reasons that are far more subtle, many gay men
and lesbians find themselves unable or unwilling to  come out of the closet   to be themselves   at
UCLA. The college years are a time during which many students explore and/or come to terms with
their sexuality. For students who are not heterosexual or who are in the process of discovering their
homosexuality, college can be a particularly painful time. At UCLA, gay, lesbian, and bisexual students
are more likely than their heterosexual counterparts to report feelings of loneliness (Shepard, 1990), a
finding that corroborates findings from other campuses around the country.
Loneliness, discomfort, and fear are not the exclusive domain of non heterosexual students at
UCLA. It is with a palpable sense of relief that many UCLA faculty and staff join the Gay and Lesbian
Faculty/Staff Network. The relief comes from having found a place on campus where they can let
down their guard and be who they are. Inevitably they come to their first meetings armed with emo 
tional accounts of the isolation and feelings of anxiety they have experienced on the campus. Some
describe specific incidents of harassment and/or discrimination that they have either witnessed or
encountered directly. Faculty members, particularly junior, non tenured faculty, have been slower to
join the Network because of the perceived negative effect that revealing their homosexuality might
have on their chance for tenure, a fear that persists despite UCLA's non discrimination policy.
Compelling and poignant as many of these personal accounts are, they come from individuals who
have somehow found the strength and courage to emerge from the closet and share them. Even more
compelling and poignant to many lesbian and gay campus leaders are the unknown stories of those
who are too fearful to come forward and seek support. Of particular concern are those anonymous indi 
viduals   primarily students   who are just  coming out  or just beginning to question and explore
their sexuality.
It is these individuals who are most in need of guidance and support. They need to see lesbians and
gay men in positions of authority and responsibility, they need role models and mentors. Further, it
must be demonstrated to them that the positive consequences of coming out of the closet are many and
that the negative consequences are few. Finally, it must be demonstrated to them (and to the entire
campus community) that one's sexual orientation has virtually no bearing on his or her ability to learn,
to teach, to counsel and advise students, to conduct research, to perform administrative tasks, to be
leaders, and to be promoted to higher ranks within the institution.
UCLA is in a position to uphold its tradition of leadership in issues of diversity, acceptance, and
pluralism by instituting policies and programs specifically designed to improve the quality of campus
life for the many non heterosexual individuals who come here to study, teach, and work. A successful
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A p p e n d i x   A :   S a m p l e   P r o p o s a l






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