The LGBT and Allies community will conduct focus groups for undergraduates Tuesday and Wednesday evening in an effort to improve its resources and services on campus.“We’re trying to find strategies to truly reflect what students want so we can move forward every academic school year,” said Vincent Vigil, director of the USC Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center.The focus groups are part of a two-tier approach to obtaining feedback on LGBT resources. The first step was a 17-question LGBT perception survey, available at the resource center’s website for faculty, staff and students.The events are a joint effort between the LGBT Resource Center, a department of student affairs, and the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Assembly, a student-run organization that is part of Program Board.Vigil introduced the idea of focus groups in 2007 as a way to better represent students’ opinions and perceptions of the LGBT community. Vigil emphasized that the organizers are interested in ideas from both students who are part of the LGBT community and students who are not.“The only way to stay at the cutting edge of what students want is to hear directly from them,” he said.The focus groups will be moderated by a graduate student and will include a tape recorder and a student note taker. Participants, who will not be asked their name or year, will answer questions about their experience with LGBT events at USC. The questions range from how well-represented LGBT students feel to possible community outreach strategies.“I’ve been to five or so [focus groups], and it’s a really friendly environment,” said Joshua Morris, a junior majoring in psychology and the incoming assistant executive director for GLBTA. “It’s completely anonymous, so no one’s afraid to speak out. Your name won’t be there, but your message will be heard.”According to Vigil, student feedback from the focus groups has had tangible effects on LGBT events and organizations.“Last year, students said they wanted more education about LGBT community organizations around Los Angeles so we hosted the LGBT College Fair and an intercollegiate college mixer with UCLA and the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center,” he said.In 2008, the surveys indicated a desire for more resources for the transgender community. Now, the LGBT Resource Center’s website includes a list of local transgender-friendly physicians, and several campus buildings have gender-neutral bathrooms.One of several students planning to attend this year’s focus groups is Michael Salvatore, a sophomore majoring in fine arts and anthropology.“I’m glad they’re holding the focus groups because there are a lot of different interests within our community,” Salvatore said. “GLBTA is a strong social space, but there are other ways for people who are just coming to terms with their sexuality to take advantage of the LGBT resources than just social events.”Though this week’s focus groups are open only to undergraduates, GLBTA and the LGBT Resource Center will conduct focus groups for graduate students April 6 and focus groups for faculty and staff April 8.“I’m hoping students come out to the focus groups regardless of their involvement level within our community,” Vigil said. “I want them to voice their opinions and provide new insights and ideas that continue to help us to innovate and create programs and services that are tailored to them.”The focus groups will take place Tuesday at 8 p.m. in Parkside International Residential College in room 1016 and Wednesday at 8 p.m. in the Birnkrant Residential College first-floor lounge.
Related Stories Gallery: Syracuse loses first game of season to Temple in Gotham ClassicFair scores career high as Syracuse suffers 1st loss of season NEW YORK – What should’ve been opportunities for easy points progressively turned into moments of dread. The simple routine of shooting free throws became Syracuse’s most difficult challenge.“We didn’t make any free throws,” guard Brandon Triche said. “So when you go there and you get fouled, you’re like ‘Oh man, I got fouled, now I’ve got to shoot free throws?’”Too often on Saturday, the Orange saw its attempts clank off the rim.Ultimately, the missed free throws piled up and Syracuse left a total of 15 points at the line. Temple hit 29 of its 36 free-throw attempts, and that, coupled with the Orange’s futility at the line, sent the Owls (9-2) to an 83-79 upset win over Syracuse (10-1) Saturday in front of 12,648 fans at Madison Square Garden. The Orange struggled from the field, went cold from the arc and when all was said and done, those empty points cost Syracuse a win.The whole game was a battle. After the Orange lost a 10-point lead in the first half, Temple never let Syracuse pull away again and took the lead in the second half. So when SU guard Michael Carter-Williams stepped to the line with 12 minutes left in the game and the Orange down 55-53, he had the chance to tie it up.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBoth free throws bounced off the rim. James Southerland grabbed the rebound after Carter-Williams’ second attempt and made the put-back to tie it, but SU didn’t have the lead. Carter-Williams, who hit five clutch free throws in the final minute to send the Orange to a win over Detroit on Monday, missed eight free throws Saturday.“I think if I would’ve made my free throws, we would’ve won the game,” Carter-Williams said. “Other than that, I really have nothing to say about it.”What made it worse for Syracuse was Khalif Wyatt and Anthony Lee draining a combined 26 free throws. Seemingly every time they stepped to the line they gave Temple critical points. Lee hit two with 11:32 left to give Temple a 57-55 lead. It continued to give the Owls a cushion over the Orange all game long.Wyatt controlled Temple’s offense. He drove to the basket, knocked down shots from the outside, and most importantly in a game like this, drew fouls on Syracuse. He hit all 15 of his free-throw attempts, the very same number SU missed as a team.“I think he was penetrating our zone. He got a lot of calls tonight,” Carter-Williams said. “He’s good at creating contact. I think he got some easy points.”With three minutes left, SU forward C.J. Fair, who had 25 points Saturday, knocked down a 3-pointer from the left baseline. The crowd jumped to its feet. Syracuse pulled back to within two. Temple then missed two field goals, including a 3 from Wyatt.Lee fouled Carter-Williams with 1:20 left. The guard stepped to the line. Two good free throws would’ve tied the game. He only hit one. Temple still led 74-73.Still, the Owls were up by only one point. Despite Syracuse’s struggles, the win was there for the taking. But to get possession, the Orange had to keep fouling. Each time they did, Temple took advantage.“I need to be able to make my free throws and have that confidence to go up to the basket,” Triche said. “I think Mike missed a few uncharacteristic free throws as well. Just as a team, we just have to shoot better.”In a span of 22 seconds, Wyatt and Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson hit a combined six free throws that gave the Owls an 80-75 lead with 34 seconds remaining.A layup from Cooney cut the lead to three, but Wyatt hit two more free throws to make it 82-77 and seal the win.“They made their free throws. We didn’t,” Boeheim said. “You don’t like to say it comes down to that, but when you miss 15 free throws, it’s going to be tough to win any game. That’s enough right there.”After the game, Boeheim discussed Temple limiting Carter-Williams’ passing options and said Southerland, one of the team’s best 3-point shooters, didn’t have any open looks from the outside. It all hurt. But those weren’t the reasons Syracuse suffered its first loss of the season.“It was always going to be a close game. It was always going to be a battle,” Boeheim said. “But you can’t miss 15 free throws in these kinds of games.” Comments Published on December 22, 2012 at 2:38 pm Contact Chris: firstname.lastname@example.org | @chris_iseman Facebook Twitter Google+