The on-campus LGBTQ resource center is hosting a forum today to counteract the effects of cyber bullying on gay and lesbian students.
David Griffith, a program assistant at LGBTQ, said the forum will examine the community impact of technology as a tool for bullying.
“I’ m sure UNM is not as bad as a lot of colleges across the United States, but there are definitely still issues that are present, and there are members of the UNM community that have faced these issues before,” Griffith said.
The all-inclusive forum will take place in SUB Ballroom C from 4 to 5:30 p.m.
Students on the panel will share their experiences about facing discrimination, and people can talk to counselors and get information about on-campus and community resources.
Griffith said the forum will give students an outlet to express concerns so they don’t fall victim to tragedies like that of first-year Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi. Clementi was a gay student who committed suicide after his roommate surreptitiously taped him having sex with another man.
“I don’t think there is a lot of outward homophobia here at UNM, but there is always going to be a lot of individuals that have their own
upbringing or views that may not be embracing of the LBGTQ identity,” he said.
The Office of Equity and Inclusion, LBGTQ’s parent company, will hold information sessions about its Hate/Bias Incident Reporting system.
The system enables students, faculty and staff to report acts of violence or simple verbal abuse so steps can be taken to stop it.
Student Sandy Edwards said one of his family members experienced bullying at school.
“It’s hard enough as it is being a kid trying to figure out what you are or who you are, especially if you are a gay kid who is aware that it isn’t socially acceptable within your community to be gay,” he said. “With bullying, it becomes too much for them to handle, and that’s why there are these kids that are committing suicide.”