The Daily Tar Heel

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Tuesday March 28th

LGBT Coalition Members Clarify Misconceptions Around Resource Center

The co-chairs of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender resource center coalition would like to address the misinformation in the previously published editorial notebook by Jon Harris "Center Split" (Jan. 26) and clarify some details in the article "Campus GLBT Organizations Work for Own Space" (Jan. 23).

First of all, by "following the footsteps of the Sonja H. Stone Black Cultural Center," (as stated by Harris) we are trying to establish an official administrative department recognized by the University. Our vision of the LGBT resource center has at least one paid staff member, who can handle certain issues and situations better than the members of a student organization.

The student organizations are neither trained nor equipped for handling crises. And furthermore, there is no institutional response plan for handling LGBT issues. The Department of Minority Affairs does not include the LGBT community, although we can safely say that there is a sizable LGBT population at UNC.

Recently, the administrative need was noticed by Student Congress, which gave money for the part-time employment of a LGBT liaison. While the job description is to unite the LGBT student groups, this position does not meet the needs of the LGBT community at UNC.

The resource center will provide room for this position to grow and work to educate the entire University community about LGBT life. The center could also help centralize the effort to create a queer studies major program through the Cultural Studies Program, which is currently being developed.

In closing, we want to clarify the issue about the LGBT resource center coalition being a student organization that automatically includes all the LGBT groups on campus. The coalition is not an "umbrella" organization of the student groups but rather a group of individuals who feel that the needs of the LGBT community have not been addressed.

Kevin C. Brown
Biology and German

Jamie L. Sohn

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