National Coming Out Week opportunity to raise our voices

October 12th, 2010

Monday was National Coming Out Day. With our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community members and their allies on campus, we will continue this annual celebration through a variety of programs and events throughout the week. This takes on particular poignancy in light of the recent suicides of two college students, Tyler Clementi at Rutgers and Raymond Chase at Johnson & Wales University, as well as teenagers who reported being harassed and bullied because they were or were thought to be gay.

Harassment in any form and for any reason—whether it’s race, ethnicity, color, gender, gender identification, national origin, age, religion, marital status, disability, veteran status, or sexual orientation—is wrong. And sometimes it’s deadly.

We have a history on our campus of students, faculty, staff, and community members rising together to confront hatred and harmful actions. Let’s all come together now and show the world why the University of Oregon is such a wonderful place to live, study and work. Let’s remind ourselves of the University of Oregon’s mission statement: that we are dedicated to the principles of equality of opportunity and freedom from unfair discrimination for all members of the university community and an acceptance of true diversity as an affirmation of individual identity within a welcoming community.

I also urge any student who believes he or she has been harassed for any reason to report the incident to the Bias Response Team, either by filling out the form at or by contacting the Office of the Dean of Students at 541-346-3216.

Please join me and the entire University leadership in celebrating National Coming Out Week. Let’s celebrate each other—the wonderful diversity of faces and voices that fill our community.

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