L G B T   C a m p u s   O r g a n i z i n g
trators themselves.  The reasoning behind
3. A 24 hour hotline was established to
their decision was that the administration
report additional incidents and control
had the responsibility for educating and
protecting all students, regardless of sex 
ual orientation.  Further, they felt only the
4. An active investigation of the incidents
administration had the power to change
was launched in consultation with local
the homophobic conditions on campus
police and federal agencies; and
which made it difficult for lgbt students
to receive an education, or to receive ade 
5. The dean of student life was called on
quate support in the face of harassment.
to issue "clear and concise rules" relating
Accordingly, a list of demands was drawn
to harassment "as well as a clear descrip 
up and several hundred students marched
tion of the judiciary process."
on the administration building, with the
media in tow.
In the wake of the incidents, the Coalition
Against Racism and Homophobia formed
a committee which authored a lengthy
document aimed at guiding the universi 
ty s response to homophobia and racism.  
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
At the University of Massachusetts,
Amherst, a consciousness raising event
during Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Awareness
Week several years ago sparked an orga 
nized homophobic backlash from a con 
tingent of anti LGBT students.  As part of
the Awareness Week activities, a "Hug a
Homosexual" booth was set up on cam 
pus.  The next day signs were posted
After a series of meetings with lgbt stu 
around campus that read "Heterosexuals
dents and their allies, the administration
fight back!  Hang a homosexual in effigy!
agreed to initiate a study on the quality of
Defend our rights!"  Anti gay students
life for lgbt students at the university.
also planned a march to express their
Felice Yeskel was hired to assess the atti 
tudes towards lgbt students and measure
rates of anti lgbt harassment, discrimina 
LGBT students met that evening to dis 
tion and fear.  Various service oriented
cuss the incidents and plan a response.
offices at UMass, Amherst, such as the
Some wanted to confront the bigots
financial aid office, the career center, and
directly and urged that lgbt students lie
the counseling center were evaluated to
down in front of them as they marched.
determine their level of sensitivity to lgbt
After a long debate over the most effec 
concerns.  The results of this assessment
tive means for addressing the situation, it
as well as a series of recommendations
was decided that the administration
for improving the situation was compiled
should be targeted instead of the perpe 
in to  The Consequences of being Gay: A
1 8 2
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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