Friday, April 15, 2011

Marquette Represented at Gay Higher Education Conference

A program called Expanding the Circle is described here:
In order to advance pluralism, acknowledge a scholarly area of investigation, and deepen learning in higher education, as educational professionals we need to expand our circle of inclusion and broaden our definition of diversity by increasing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Studies.

In this conference, participants will not only address a variety of factors that have contributed to excluding LGBTQ issues from academic study and student life, but they will also explore strategies to make our campuses more inclusive for all students.

Although some colleges and universities have been incorporating LGBTQ studies for decades, courses and programs continue to be pockets of innovation rather than models of inclusion for all of higher education.

Colleges and universities need to encourage faculty members to teach and research a wide range of LGBTQ topics as well as support student life professionals in building inclusive campus communities.

In this conference, we will examine strategies and best practices that effectively integrate LGBTQ areas of teaching and research with student life activities. Faculty development plays a critical role in this integration: Faculty members, whether part of the LGBTQ community themselves or not, need to examine their own attitudes and feelings about LGBTQ issues as they seek to incorporate these issues more fully into their courses and curricula.

Expanding the Circle 2011 will be among the first national conferences in higher education focusing on LGBTQ issues by seeking connections across academic and student affairs, across kinds of diversities, across disciplines, and across LGBTQ subfields. Until we collaborate on LBGTQ studies and co-curricular activities within and across our colleges and universities, we cannot create inclusive and welcoming learning environments.
And then, the issues that are listed as “themes.”
  • Curricular revision and expansion in the arts, humanities, and social sciences
  • Interrelationships between LGBTQ and ethnic/racial/cultural identities
  • Religious and spiritual issues for LGBTQ studentsFaculty development programs concerning LGBTQ issuesTransgender and gender issues across the campus spectrum
  • Examples of LGBTQ research projects in higher education
  • Counseling and support services for LGBTQ students
    Off-campus community resources for LGBTQ students
  • Professional training programs for resource professionals, administrators, and educators
  • Campus dialogues and public forums addressing LGBTQ issues
  • The role of higher education in the formation of public policy
  • The new politics of inclusion
  • Community support and networking opportunities for counselors, faculty, and student services professionals working on LGBTQ issues in isolation
  • The role of faculty, staff, and administration as allies in supporting LGBTQ students
Of course, Marquette was represented.

This is not the first time Marquette has sent representatives to a gay higher education conference. It happened back in 2005 when David Borgealt (Office of Student Development) and Fr. Patrick Dorsey (University Ministry), attended a conference called “Out There: The First National Conference of Scholars and Student Affairs Professionals Involved in LGBTQ Issues on Catholic Campuses.”

Marquette’s recent rush to embrace each and every element of the gay campus agenda is not really a response to the outrage of the campus gay lobby over Marquette’s failure to hire lesbian dean candidate Jodi O’Brien.

A fundamentally secular and politically correct administration has simply done what it has long wanted to do. The Jodi O’Brien affair was merely a pretext, an excuse.

Hat Tip/Cardinal Newman Society

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