UA’s LGBTQ* Caucus

The LGBTQ* Caucus is up and running! Some 25 faculty attended an initial meeting last spring at McMenamin’s 19th Street Café. Discussion was wide-ranging and enthusiastic. A common refrain was that there is definitely a need for such a group right now, not only in order to bring greater attention at UO to LGBTQ* concerns but also to mobilize and support faculty in the LGBTQ* community on campus. The caucus will focus on workplace issues of particular relevance to LGBTQ* faculty and will also offer social opportunities for getting together as a group, ways to combat the isolation that some faculty report feeling as members of a less visible “underrepresented group.” This academic year, the caucus held two small drop-in gatherings at the Wayward Lamb in downtown Eugene, one in fall term and one in early winter term. On January 11, 2017, the caucus then held its first official meeting. At this meeting, those present expressed their desire for more opportunities for bringing the LGBTQ* faculty together. Given the new political landscape following November’s election, and in light of the very real challenges and dangers that we now face, it is vital for us to be proactive in providing support for LGBTQ* faculty, students, workers, families within the campus community and beyond. The caucus will be focusing on increasing our visibility and mobilizing for action. We will be working to create alliances with other campus groups. The Caucus will be holding another meeting soon to discuss specific strategies and plans of action and we invite LGBTQ* faculty and allies to join us. We will also be having regular social get-togethers in the new faculty club at the JSMA. These gatherings are open to all faculty, LGBTQ* and allies, UA members and those not in the bargaining unit.