(1) History, (2) Goalsetting
- In this message, I'd like to share a (1) brief history, and then (2)
ask you what you'd like to see GMU Lambda Alumni accomplish and what
project(s) you'd like to work on.
(1) Brief History: Mason is fortunate to have longstanding active
student GLBTQ groups and institutional support for GLBTQ students.
The Pride Alliance website was up and running in 1999 (and the group
likely existed long before the website went up ... someone will have
to help me identify its beginnings). At the law school, the GLSA
started in 1992, and launched its website in 2000. Other
organizations include G3 and TransMason.
In 2003, Ric Chollar, Office of Diversity Programs and Services,
stepped up as Mason's first Program Coordinator for Gay, Lesbian,
Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning students and has been doing a
great job up to and including Mason's presence at this past weekend's
Capital Pride. In the Winter 2003 edition of Mason Spirit magazine,
J. Bradley Blankenship (and others?) arranged to have a brief blurb
published, titled "Calling all Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender,
and Questioning Alumni and Friends." In 2005, Silvio Menzano and Liz
Moore co-coordinated an alumni reception and panel discussion, "Queers
in Careers: LGBTQ Alumni Reception and Panel Discussion." About 6 or
8 of us participated and although student interest was a bit light (10
or 20 students), I hope it was a valuable experience for attendees.
Personally, it was good to meet Ric, and Silvio and Liz and other
alumni at the Johnson Center, and it got me thinking about giving back
to Mason as an alumni, if such a need exists.
As I recall, the 2003-2005 activities ultimately resulted in Ken
Stillson setting up and maintaining a list server at the following URL:
http://point0.net/mailman/listinfo/gmulambdaalumni, which still
operates today with approximately 100+ alumni/participants.
Now, after chatting with Ric re Pride 2007, I've decided to step
forward and offer my assistance in moderating discussions about taking
the organization to the next level, if such a desire still exists. I
do not necessarily wish to lead this organization, but am open to the
idea. I'm just interested in seeing us collectively work on projects
that are of interest to us.
Personally, I came up with the following list, but am completely open
to additions, deletions, corrections, etc.:
1. Identify all Mason GLBTQ alumni who are interested in working with
the present organization. Determine a list of activity organizers
versus possible activity participants and differentiate communications
between organizers and possible participants so as to avoid unwanted
e-mail. (Perhaps the Point0 list can continue to be used for general
announcements, and the present Yahoo Groups site can be more narrowly
focused on accomplishing the goals of the organization.)
2. Provide professional networking and social activities for GLBTQ
students and alumni including Capital Pride Week and other GLBTQ
3. Work with and support the Pride Alliance, Office of Diversity
Programs & Services; the GLBTQ Office (http://lgbtq.gmu.edu/); Project
Safe Zone; the Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Law Association (GALLA); G3;
TransMason and other Mason GLBTQ organizations.
4. Work with the Office of Alumni Affairs and Alumni Association to
formally recognize the present group and form a scholarship fund for
the benefit of GLBTQ students.
5. Help George Mason become a Top National University by promoting
equality for all students, faculty and staff, and in so doing attract
the best and brightest students, faculty and staff to George Mason.
These are my thoughts. Now, I turn it to you. Do you have different
goals not yet enumerated above? What do you want to do personally for
this group? Feel free to introduce yourself to the other 14 or so in
Rob Pilaud, J.D. '01
Alexandria, VA (home)
Sterling, VA (office)