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.
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Thank you for your input. -8 Vote up Vote down Jim · 222 weeks ago It is good that our school system is not biased or prejudiced in their business practices. If a business executive that ran a business with as large of a budget as the school system, made this kind of comment, they would probably be suspended or released. “It should be noted this is a much better than the State of Kansas has under Governor Brownback and his extremist led legislature,” wrote Rick Weiss, Wellington Superintendent in the agenda packet. “Evidently, they have more faith in USD 353 than the state.” Report Reply 1 reply · active 222 weeks ago +6 Vote up Vote down james day · 222 weeks ago Now that we have a real superintendent that will actually work, usd 353 might be something we can be proud of again. Report Reply +3 Vote up Vote down Jeff d. · 221 weeks ago Actually, I have to agree with Jim on this one. It’s ok to think things, not always ok to put it “out there.” Weiss should have taken the high road on this one and keep that to himself – even if he is right. Dignity is important, and we have to learn “not to obey those impulses.” Not a good example to students, either. Report Reply 1 reply · active 221 weeks ago +4 Vote up Vote down Ted “Theodore” Logan · 221 weeks ago ” Not a good example to students, either.” So we should teach young people to just keep quiet if they have been egregiously wronged? I am going to have to disagree with that one. Report Reply Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Correction â€” According to a previous version of this story it stated that an offer has been made to hire a new Wellington High School football coach. That is not the case. Activities Director Brian Buchanan said a candidate could be hired soon, but no offer has been or was made.On Monday, the Wellington School Board officially accepted the resignation of Tyler Ryan, the four-year head football coach, who announced his resignation in late April. The board also accepted the resignation of T.D. Buck as an assistant football coach so he can become an offensive line coach in Winfield.A committee has been interviewing several candidates for the open position this week. Buchanan said the school district had about 40 applications, and it was weeded down to a handful for interviews which were conducted Tuesday at the school district.Wellington board member Pat Zeka was one of the members on the committee during the early going and said she helped with reviewing the resumes. That sparked a discussion at Mondayâ€™s meeting whether a board member should serve on committees to hire teachers or coaches.Wellington board President Jackie Berryman said this is a precedence as board members have been involved in administrative hirings but never for teachers or coaches which is left to the administrators.Zeka said she wanted to help out and trusted her administrator to steer her in the right direction.It was the boardâ€™s consensus that a board member should only serve on such committees only if he/she gets board approval first.â€”â€”â€”â€”In other school board business:â€¢Susanâ€™s Photography was named the official photographer and will take school pictures for the 2016-17 academic year.â€¢The USD 353 school district has refunded the general obligation bonds for the safety/security construction project after receiving an â€œAâ€ rating by Standards and Poor. The refunding will save taxpayers $1.7 million with better interest rates.â€œIt should be noted this is a much better than the State of Kansas has under Governor Brownback and his extremist led legislature,â€ wrote Rick Weiss, Wellington Superintendent in the agenda packet. â€œEvidently, they have more faith in USD 353 than the state.â€â€¢The following employment changes were approved at USD 353.Resignations include:– Dr. Raj Sharma – USD 353 Special Education Director;– Buck – assistant WHS coach;– Stephanie Ryan – fifth grade teacher at Lincoln Elementary;– Jayme Lowe: WHS assistant cheerleading sponsor;– Ryan – head football coach/ P.E. teacher;– Marcia Dickinson – USD 353 Food Service Employee.Hirings include:– Molly Callaway – WMS Functional Special Education Teacher;– Ann Biles: Title 1 Supplemental Contract for $2,000 – funded by Title 1;– Sabrina Torneden: Title 1 Supplemental Contract for $2,000 – funded by Title 1.– Margarita Barnett: .5 WHS Spanish teacher and .5 District ELL Coordinator;-Chelsea Urban: WHS Spanish Teacher;– Karen Herrington: Secretary at Kennedy Elementary School.â€¢The board heard word that the Kansas All-Star Scholars Fund from the Kansas Star Casino has provided a $35,234.36 grant to fund the Pitzco Education Modular for the sixth through eighth grade classes at WMS.â€¢Three bids have come in for the resurface of the high school track facility. The board tabled the matter until it could hear from the track coaches on what would be the best surface to use.Follow us on Twitter.