News and notes from the WGS program @ Fairfield

Archive for October, 2012

WGSS Will be at the Majors/Minors Fair Today!

Come meet the faculty of WGSS, have your questions answered and learn about our upcoming courses at the Majors/Minors Fair in BCC Oak Room from 11am to 3pm.  We hope to see you there!!

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ISSUES 2012 – Part of the 2012 Election Series – this Wednesday!

Issues 2012 will consist of a dinner and a faculty panel discussion about this current election and issues relating to gender and sexuality.

The dinner is open to all students living in the Residential Colleges; Creative Life, Ignation and Service for Justice and will be held at 6PM on Wednesday, October 24 in the Kelley Center Presentation Room.  The panel discussion will follow at 7PM.  These events count for FYE Credit!

Sponsored by Service for Justice, Creative Life, and Ignatian Residential College, and the Gender, Sex, and Sexuality Commons

 

 

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Breast Cancer Awareness Week on Campus

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an annual international health campaign organized by major breast cancer charities every October to increase awareness and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure. The campaign also offers information and support to those affected by breast cancer.

The Elegant Ladies Club has designated this week as “Breast Cancer Awareness Week” on campus and are hosting 2 events.  The first is a fundraiser stationed in BCC where individuals can honor someone they know who has been affected by Breast Cancer.  The second is the Breast Cancer Awareness Social with Colleges Against Cancer on Thursday at 7pm.  The social will have 2 guest speakers discussing how Breast Cancer has affected their lives.  It is an FYE Magis event.

 

 

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Boston Globe reports “LGBT workplace policies a draw for MBA students”

 

This week, some of America’s biggest and best known corporations, including Walt Disney Co., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., and consumer products giant Unilever, will descend on Boston to recruit students from the nation’s top business schools.

The companies will promote industry trends and career opportunities. And they will also highlight policies that make their workplaces friendly, comfortable, and inclusive for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees.

On Thursday, more than 1,000 MBA candidates, corporate executives, and recruiters will gather at the Seaport ­Hotel and World Trade Center for the annual Reaching Out LGBT MBA Conference, which aims to connect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or ­LGBT, business school students with some of the nation’s leading companies. Now in its 14th year, the conference has grown from 150 students networking over boxed lunches at Harvard Business School to a three-day event with high-profile sponsors, a sign that corporate America is more progressive than the public sector when it comes to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights.

The first major public company to offer health benefits to gay and lesbian couples, in 1991, was Lotus Development Corp., a Cambridge software company — more than a decade before Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage. Nearly all of the 636 major companies surveyed this year by the Human Rights Campaign — 99 percent — prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation; 80 percent forbid discrimination based on gender identity. Yet there are no federal laws, and only a handful of state laws, that do the same.

“There’s really no question that corporate America is leading the charge in the area of workplace fairness,” said Paul Guequierre, spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT civil rights organization in Washington. “In 29 states you can be fired from a job for being gay, and in 34 states for being transgender. That sad fact makes corporate nondiscrimination policies vital for LGBT workers.”

Executives say their companies haven’t put these policies in place for altruistic reasons. They are hungry for talent and want to attract the best and the brightest. In addition, labor specialists say, a diverse workforce contributes to a company’s profitability. A variety of experiences and opinions leads to a more well-rounded, creative process, and can appeal to a wider array of consumers.

Like many people in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, Hannah Yankelevich, who will graduate with an MBA from Dartmouth College next year, said she’ll consider how companies treat LGBT workers when she weighs offers. She’s thinking about returning to General Mills in Minneapolis, where she interned over the summer, because the chief executive announced that the company opposed an amendment recognizing marriage only as the union between a man and a woman.

“I wouldn’t work for a company that didn’t offer a supportive environment for the LGBT community, ” said Yankelevich, 27, one of the organizers of the conference.

State Street Corp. is attending the Reaching Out conference for the first time this year as it seeks to further expand its recruiting into minority and underrepresented communities. The Boston financial services giant attends conferences held by the National Black MBA Association and the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting for the same reason.

“Were not going to advance State Street unless we have access to the best talent, and that’s by offering an environment where employees can bring their whole selves to the workplace,” said Mike Scannell, head of talent acquisition and global inclusion. “For us to not be open to individuals regardless of their background is really prohibiting us from getting access to the best resources and talent that are out there.”

Along with policies prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, State Street has an employee group for LGBT workers and offers domestic partner health insurance, including transgender benefits for prescriptions and laboratory tests. The company is considering covering sex change surgery.

Mike Harrington, vice president and senior counsel at State Street, said he probably wouldn’t have come to State Street from a Boston law firm in 1998 if the company wasn’t welcoming to gay employees. In fact, Harrington told a headhunter that he wouldn’t apply for an opening at one New England company because it didn’t offer health insurance for same-sex partners. But it’s more than the benefits that have kept him at State Street. He feels comfortable plastering his office with pictures of his two sons and partner of 12 years.

“My family is the same as everyone else’s,” he said. “For me, it’s more about being in a place where I talk about Dave in the same way that the woman who sits next to me talks about her husband.”

Antonio Gomez-Lopez, a second-year student at the MIT Sloan School of Management, feels the same way. Gomez-Lopez, who helped organize the Reaching Out conference, said a company’s LGBT policies play a crucial role in deciding where he will work.

“I don’t want to hold a double life,” he said.

http://bostonglobe.com/business/2012/10/17/lgbt-workplace-policies-draw-for-mba-students/vJIUkPBP8SQCp6S1VxtiuI/story.html
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Out at The Workplace: An LGBT Alumni Group Panel – This Wednesday!

Out in the Workplace: an LGBT Alumni Group Panel will happen this Wednesday, Oct. 17, at 7PM in BCC 200.

In an interactive panel, Fairfield University alumni will address students about being openly gay in the workplace and offer strategies for career success while embracing diversity.

Fairfield University will be celebrating National Coming Out Day and LGBTQ History Month this October with an aggressive and engaging series of events that focus on the experiences of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) community. In a continued partnership between the Academic and Student Affairs divisions, the slate of programming is intended to bring together students, faculty, staff, and alumni to reflect on the history, culture, and future of the LGBTQ community. The events include an exciting mix of films, speakers, panels, and socials. All events are free and open to the public.

LGBTQ History month events are sponsored by The Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, The Humanities Institute, Dolan School of Business, Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions, Office of Student Diversity Programs, Office of New Student Programs, Office of Residence Life, The Department of Communication, The Women’s Studies Program, Campus Ministry, The English Department, Alliance student group and Fairfield University LGBT Alumni.

Related web site: www.fairfield.edu/student/sd_lgbt.html

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Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Faculty Open House is Tonight!

This evening, we are very excited to host our annual New Faculty Open House!  This has always been a  great opportunity to meet our new faculty in an informal environment and a time to catch up with friends.  Come join the faculty of the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies program as we welcome new faculty to the Fairfield community.    5:00pm in DHM  115.

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Court Requires Disabled Rape Victim To Prove She Resisted, Calls For Evidence Of ‘Biting, Kicking, Scratching’

An important case regarding women’s rights….

From www.thinkprogress.org

In a 4-3 ruling last Tuesday afternoon, the Connecticut State Supreme Court overturned the sexual assault conviction of a man who had sex with a woman who “has severe cerebral palsy, has the intellectual functional equivalent of a 3-year-old and cannot verbally communicate.” The Court held that, because Connecticut statutes define physical incapacity for the purpose of sexual assault as “unconscious or for any other reason. . . physically unable to communicate unwillingness to an act,” the defendant could not be convicted if there was any chance that the victim could have communicated her lack of consent. Since the victim in this case was capable of “biting, kicking, scratching, screeching, groaning or gesturing,” the Court ruledthat that victim could have communicated lack of consent despite her serious mental deficiencies:

When we consider this evidence in the light most favorable to sustaining the verdict, and in a manner that is consistent with the state’s theory of guilt at trial, we, like the Appellate Court, ‘are not persuaded that the state produced any credible evidence that the [victim] was either unconscious or so uncommunicative that she was physically incapable of manifesting to the defendant her lack of consent to sexual intercourse at the time of the alleged sexual assault.’

According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), lack of physical resistance is not evidence of consent, as “many victims make the good judgment that physical resistance would cause the attacker to become more violent.” RAINN also notes that lack of consent is implicit “if you were under the statutory age of consent, or if you had a mental defect” as the victim did in this case.

Anna Doroghazi, director of public policy and communication at Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services, worriedthat the Court’s interpretation of the law ignored these concerns: “By implying that the victim in this case should have bitten or kicked her assailant, this ruling effectively holds people with disabilities to a higher standard than the rest of the population when it comes to proving lack of consent in sexual assault cases. Failing to bite an assailant is not the same thing as consenting to sexual activity.” An amicus brief filed by the Connecticut advocates for disabled persons argued that this higher standard “discourag[ed] the prosecution of crimes against persons with disabilities” even though “persons with a disability had an age-adjusted rate of rape or sexual assault that was more than twice the rate for persons without a disability.”

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/10/03/947981/court-requires-disabled-rape-victim-to-prove-she-fought-back-calls-for-evidence-of-biting-kicking-scratching/?mobile=nc

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LGBTQ & Ally Art Show Reception Tonight!

Members of the campus community are invited to the LGBTQ & Ally Art Show, where LGBTQ artists from the CT area will come together to exhibit their art and connect with the community.

The reception will take place tonight at 7 p.m. at the Barone Campus Center’s Lower Level. All are welcome to the reception to view art unique to the campus for a night of self-expression and creativity. The artwork is already on display if you’d like to check it out but are unable to attend the reception tonight.

This event counts for FYE credit!

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Fairfield University Celebrates LGBTQ History Month

Once again, Fairfield University is participating in the nationall LGBTQ History Month with a series of events featuring art, speakers, and films.  View the events here on campus at http://www.fairfield.edu/documents/student/sd_lgbt_poster12.pdf

LGBTQ History Month got its start in 1994 when Rodney Wilson, a high school teacher, suggested there should be a month dedicated to the celebration and teaching of gay and lesbian history.  Gay and Lesbian History Month was endorsed by GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the National Education Association, and other national organizations. In 2006, Equality Forum assumed responsibility for providing content, promotion and resources for LGBTQ History Month.  LGBTQ History Month provides role models, builds community and makes the civil rights statement of our extraordinary national and international contributions.

LGBT History Month celebrates the achievements of 31 lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender Icons. Each day in October, a new LGBT Icon is featured with a video, bio, bibliography, downloadable images and other resources.  Check it out at http://www.lgbthistorymonth.com/

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