L G B T   C a m p u s   O r g a n i z i n g
not only the right thing to do, it also cre 
7) When You Get the Run around.  
ates good will and solidarity.  By standing
If you have been negotiating in good faith
up for each other, you may find that dif 
and find that your key requests are unan 
ferent groups on campus eventually will
swered or refused by the administration,
go beyond mere coalition building to a
it may be necessary to take a more con 
point where they are deeply committed to
frontational approach.
each others  issues.
One option is legal action.  If your school
6) Meet With the Administration.  
fails to adequately protect students from
Do your homework before meeting with
abuse and harm, it could be liable to civ 
campus officials.  Start with a thorough
il or criminal prosecution.  Contact your
investigation of your university adminis 
nearest ACLU or national gay and les 
tration.  Who is responsible for setting
bian legal advocacy groups for advice,
policy on matters such as harassment?
assistance or referrals. (See "Resources,"
Request a meeting with the appropriate
Section III.)  Sometimes all it takes is a
officials (which may include the college
call from an attorney to make administra 
president) to discuss the problem and
tors do the right thing.
how they can best respond to it.  Bring
along any statistical and anecdotal docu 
Harassment policies have lit 
mentation you have compiled, a written
tle or no deterrent effect if
list of proposed remedies (for starters,
they are not widely publi 
"remedies" might be a less confrontation 
al word than "demands"), positive exam 
ples of how other colleges have respond 
ed, influential allies (e.g., representatives
A second option is to bring bias related
of other student groups, parents, alum 
incidents on campus to the attention of
ni/ae, respected faculty, etc.) and, if pos 
the gay and mainstream media.  Call
sible, one or two victims who can share
reporters and, if appropriate, hold a press
their experiences.
conference.  College officials hate nega 
tive publicity, and may act more quickly
During the meeting with administrators,
and responsibly if reporters and camera
it helps to stress how your interests and
crews show up on campus.
theirs converge, and how implementation
of your proposals will lead to a more
Last, but not least, is direct action.  Iden 
open, less oppressive, and safer campus
tify the administrators who are obstacles
environment.  Listen carefully to their
and plan an action that draws their atten 
replies to your requests.  Respond where
tion, as well as that of the media and the
appropriate.  If you are not sure how to
broader community, to your demands.
answer their questions or concerns ask
Choose an action that fits your resources
for time to think them over and consult
and objectives (e.g. a teach in, demon 
with others.  Always ask that they put any
stration, or a sit in).  Have a clear set of
commitments in writing, along with tar 
demands, always keep channels of com 
get dates for implementation.
munication open, and know your bottom
line.  Remember that confrontational tac 
tics   especially acts of civil disobedi 
1 8 0
P r a c t i c a l   A p p l i c a t i o n s


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