What would you have liked to have seen in College?

  • brain5brawn

    Posts: 24

    Aug 01, 2008 4:04 AM GMT
    I thought this forum might be a useful place to fish for ideas. I'm part of a GLBTA (Q?I?Q?...damn letters.) group at my school, currently being Public Relations, and well, each year we run into a lack of ideas of what to fricking do....

    Its a fairly conservative engineering school, with a few other majors but the predominate ones being Engineering and the hard sciences. Surprise, there aren't many out gay engineers....I'm one of maybe three. But part of it is I think we don't do what people really want....we bring up speakers who talk about leadership and equality etc, end up preaching to the choir. We do short films. We do little booths for the different days (NCOD, World AIDS Day, etc.) and we have a pride week that usually has all these ending in a Drag Show.

    Which in the end, is nice but well, are numbers are low still, so we must not be doing things right?


    So to my question: When you were in College/mid-twenties, what sort of things would you have liked to have seen thrown out to you by the GLBTA groups near you?

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    Aug 01, 2008 11:17 AM GMT
    How about some outdoor events, a BBQ, canoe trip down the local river, or bike outing?

    Something else we used to do was just go out for ice cream. As I would later find out, a few closeted guys used that opportunity to check us out without first coming out to anyone (not coincidentally, they just happened to be in the same ice cream shoppe at the same time). Simple stuff, but something you can do monthly to develop a social group.

  • Aug 01, 2008 11:29 AM GMT
    One of the things that we used to do at Kent State was have a weekly restaurant nite. Typically after our regular business meeting, we took over a local restaurant called the cornerstone (and we renamed it the corner-stonewall). It allowed us to get the business done at the meeting and the socializing done at the restaurant. Some people just came to socialize, some came just for the business meeting, most did both.
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    Aug 02, 2008 2:40 AM GMT
    Free food always works to draw college students. One of the most successful things I've seen is a weekly potluck. Especially if there are lots of international students in the group - some good stuff shows up!

    Outdoor stuff works too - hikes, bike rides, etc.
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    Aug 02, 2008 2:58 AM GMT
    I never once attended any GQBLA (or whatever the current acronym is) on my campus because I just didn't have enough time to partake in activities like those between work, maintaining my place, and school. Furthermore, their demonstrations were diffuse, the organization was poorly organized, and frankly, I didn't give a fuck about anything they were advocating.

    If you want higher participation, you need to target some of the foregoing issues because I guarantee you I wasn't alone is voicing concerns about our GWLBATATQ group on campus...

    Best of luck to you

    P.S. I commend the GALBQTers for their hard work, my beliefs just didn't happen to parrot theirs.
  • brain5brawn

    Posts: 24

    Aug 03, 2008 12:32 AM GMT
    Thank you actually, yours is the sorta reponse I want because I want to understand more of what your 'foregoing issues' are. We've tried much of what the previous people mentioned (restaurant visits, we have a weekly social meeting preceeded by a business meeting, and well.....we try the outdoor stuff, but I'm one of the most atheletic people in the group, which is sorta sad since I'm really still new at the working out thing.

    So what are the foregoing issues that you found important in college?
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Aug 03, 2008 12:46 AM GMT
    I admit that I rarely go to any of the gay social events on my campus, largely because they typically merely consist of sitting in a bar, generally primarily with coupled lesbians. If that's what I wanted to do, I'd just invite a few of my lesbians friends out to do something. When it's not just sitting in a bar, it tends to be a panel discussion about the portrayal of gays in popular culture and how we've been marginalized, etc. Not my cup of tea.

    I think it would have been more fun if there had been activities incorporated. Not necessarily even real athletics, though I would have been quite up for a good volleyball game or the like, but something to do other than merely eat and drink. A picnic with a water balloon toss and a three-legged race, for example, or an even of miniature golfing. While it's good to sometimes have some connection to issues relating to homosexuality, I think it's also good to have get together where there isn't a lecture/film/fundraiser attached, and it's just a normal social function in which the participants happen to be gay/lesbian/bi/whatever other letter is part of the acronym.
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    Aug 03, 2008 1:12 AM GMT
    it sounds like you are trying to have a social club...demented and sad, but social (anyone? anyone?)

    anyway...if it didn't involve sports, free food, or alcohol in some way...then I didnt go.

    and I'm not sure I knew any college students who would go to a picnic with water balloon tosses, three legged races, and miniature golfing. but I also didnt grow up in the fifties, lol.

    you should try to plan things that don't involve being gay/lesbian/bi/whatever..just plan things that might seem fun to a normal person (and I don't think lectures about being a gay leader qualify...I mean, really, does that sound like fun? anything with the word "lecture" or "speaker" is a complete buzz kill.)

    try "kegger" or "beer bong" I gotta think even engineering students would respond to their primal urges and give in to those...
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    Aug 03, 2008 1:33 PM GMT
    I don't know how big your school is, but it seems like it would be most useful to set up your LGBTA organziation to be a framework for other activities. You're probably doing all the right, and regular college LGBT things, but I found what was missing was a variety of things. And you, as an organization, can't do that. So why not take up the point-man position for organizing LGBT'ers to participate in already-ongoing things. It may be that there's an interesting speaker, and you could arrange to meet beforehand and go as a group. Or that you could set up intramurals as an LGBT team (if you're cool with that kind of visibility). Take advantage of other people's organizational skills and latch on.
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    Aug 03, 2008 2:40 PM GMT
    Was not out in college, still am not out (except to one person, hehe). But I wish I had coming out literature back then (scarcely a year ago since I graduated, actually LOL).

    Something that could have explained what it was to be gay and the process of coming out, it could have saved me from depression. icon_razz.gif
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19129

    Aug 03, 2008 3:04 PM GMT
    I went to ASU in Tempe, AZ which at the time was one of the biggest major universities in the country (still is actually) and I was completely oblivious to the existence of any gay organizations or even other gay people. I had no idea there were gay bars and clubs in the Phoenix area either. As i look back on it, that may have been a good thing.
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    Aug 04, 2008 4:29 AM GMT
    Free cups?

    Really, though, it depends on how campus-centered your school is and how mobile you have to be to get downtown. Here in Athens, the graduate GLBTA group does happy hour every so often. I think there have been bowling nights and pot-lucks, also (I am not as involved as I should be). But campus is right next to downtown, and it is easy to get there. In my undergrad the campus was a good twenty-minute walk from downtown. Most events were based on campus, and for some reason most events were focused on getting campus-wide audiences (that was all campus organizations). But something as simple as an ice cream social could do something. Field trips would be another possibility, but I am not sure about vehicles and the like. Good luck though.

    Oh, and I was serious about the cups. Students will show up, no matter the event, for a free plastic cup.