Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Supporter of the week; UM Women's Resource Center

Hey, team--

In case you haven't noticed, the incredible 703 volunteers, together with several local businesses and organizations, have been painting Missoula black and green for equality.

One particular University of Montana organization has been setting us up for success by providing space, tables, and support in a big way. Honestly, we would be 100+ signatures less without their help and they deserve so much more than a shout-out;

Julia Jackson, 2011. (Via the UM WRC)
The amazing individuals of the UM Women's Resource Center do a lot with the University of Montana campus and community, including;

Love Your Body Day
Day of Dialogue
Take Back the Night
16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence
Panty Rock Drag Show
One Billion Rising
The Vagina Monologues
This Night of Mayhem and Creativity
International Women's Day
Women's Wednesday Workshops

Want to know something we love the most about these events? Nearly all of them are educational, support, advocacy, or fundraising for another organization dedicated to all the above. 

Guess what else? They do all of this with 2-3, part-time, student employees. 

Changing the world. No big deal. (Via UM WRC)

JWachal Photography, 2011.  Via here. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Call to Action Day!


Are you excited for FIRST FRIDAY? You should be. You can check out all of the sweet happenin's on their blog here.

We're particularly excited about The Loft's  (119 Main Street, the door up is right next to the Downtown Dance Collective) exhibit of Wanderlust Artistry "Empowering Women and Honoring their Spirits."

Guess what?

We'll be there. Talking to all of you. Actually, we'll be all over downtown that night and we need a gaggle of equality-loving volunteers to help us out. 

Via http://womensstudies.byu.edu/news/417/
It'll be super simple! Between the hours of 5-8pm, can you spare a half hour to help us spread the word about the change to policy 703. You could also just come see us at Liquid Planet, too. But, we'd love to  swag you out ;)

Nick Childs, ASUM Social Media Manager

Email us at 703equality@gmail.com to sign up!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

More Support, Growing Support

More and more of you continue to sign the Letter to the Commissioner and Board of Regents in support of changing policy 703. Here are just a few of the comments that have been added, for your reading pleasure;

Pattie added this;

"Thank you in advance for doing the right thing by strengthening 703."

Cassie said this;

"There is no excuse for not updating archaic policies such as this one. The Montana University System has the opportunity to set a precedent for inclusion."

And, Shelbi had this to say;

"Please pass this policy to protect all students, faculty, and staff at the most amazing universities in the country!"

We could not agree more; the Montana University System DOES have the most amazing colleges and universities in the country. In order to remain so, we must ensure that every person who steps onto university property is equal in their protections; it would be a shame to have our system defined by outdated policies and fear.

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, "Same Love" vinyl cover 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Supporter of the Day; Norma

Norma said this about changing Non-Discrimination policy 703 on our Facebook Page;

"One of the longest investments, the USA makes is the bringing up of our children. This should be done in such a way, that everyone no matter their background, is given a chance. Discrimination and hate have no business in our schools. I am with those of the 703 Movement, because I live it everyday!"

Carol had this to say when she signed the online letter to the Commissioner and Board of Regents;

"Every [person] should feel safe and welcome and free from discrimination!"

Being the mover-and-shaker that she is, Aylinn Kapukui Inmon posted this today;

"I have personally bore witness to the torment discrimination wrought on people who never deserved it. Standing up against it one incident at a time only does so much good. Stand together with our elected leaders in ASUM and MAS and lend your voice. Sign the letter and make it known that discrimination against Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation will not be tolerated at our school[s]."

We have been overwhelmed and extremely grateful for your support and desire to participate. Seriously, you are incredible people and I wish I could hug all of you.

Bryn's Story

Bryn Hagfors is a senior from Great Falls, Montana studying economics and political science. In his spare time, he enjoys fishing, hunting, hiking, and, whenever possible, reading. Bryn is also the vice president of ASUM.

I am straight. I always have been, and I always (I think it is very safe to assume) will be. I also happen to be a male. Oh, and did I mention I’m white? I think that means that if I were a flavor of ice cream, I’d be even more generic than vanilla; probably more like a chilled Greek yogurt. 

To me, none of my aforementioned personal information above has any real consequences. None of it reveals value judgments that I choose to make (except that I find Greek yogurt incredibly bland and rather disgusting). None of it means that I am right for being any of those things. And above all, none of it means that anyone else is wrong for not being any of those things.

Because of this, I simply cannot imagine what it would be like to have anything about me rejected systematically. I cannot fathom being written off or marginalized because of who I am. That is why, even as a straight man, I stand in firm solidarity with those not currently covered under MUS policy 703. This is why as an elected student leader I will be doing all that I can to get this policy changed.

Universities are not in the business of defining attraction. In fact, universities are not in the business of defining or perpetuating societal norms at all. Rather, universities are places of diversity; diversity of thought, political opinion, belief, ambition, and so much more. This makes me wonder: how does the Montana University System claim to promote this diversity while simultaneously denying equal protections to a community adding to it?

We all have an opportunity to do the right thing today. As students, faculty, staff, and friends of the Montana University System, we have the opportunity to advocate for our peers and friends so that they may realize the same protections that most of us enjoy. As a state university system, we have the opportunity to be a leader and signal our commitment to accepting all within our community. Perhaps most importantly, the Board of Regents has the opportunity to change its policies to reflect the culture of inclusion in which all universities strive to exist.  

Special thanks to Bryn for his honesty, time, and willingness to share his thoughts with us.
If you are a Montana University System LGBTQAI or Ally student, staff,  Alumnus, or faculty, we want to share your story, too! 
Email us at 703equality@gmail.com

Monday, January 7, 2013

Supporter of the Day; Maxine Sugarman

After signing the Letter to the Commissioner of Higher Education and the Board of Regents, Maxine Sugarman had this to add;

"Higher education is crucial to the future of our state. Every student should feel safe from discrimination and hate."

And, check out what Debbie had to say;

 "Consider providing equal protections for all students and setting a positive example that other universities will follow; It is simply the right thing to do. "

Have you signed the letter? If not, click here! It takes 35 seconds (although, we were recently told that this was inaccurate; one student informed us that it only took her 20 seconds). Thanks!