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ALLY program seeks to incorporate faculty in promoting LGB tolerance

The theme of this year's Lesbain Gay Bisexual Alliance Pride Week, "Bridging Communities," will highlight the importance of the gay community's ties to mainstream society.

This week's events, which include discussions about a future program, ALLY, have been planned to emphasize interaction between the gay community and other groups.


Yesterday, the Princeton Queer University Employees held a discussion about the future of the ALLY program.

The program hopes to have all administration, faculty and staff of the University display stickers in their offices indicating their status as a "gay friendly person," said Amorim.

"The question of straight participation is a particularly relevant one. We're not about ghettoizing ourselves," said Tomas Amorim '99, president of the LGBA.

Amorim explained that the stickers will show that the person is someone with whom one can discuss gay issues. A student wishing to write a history paper on a gay topic, for example, will feel safe pursuing the topic after spotting the sticker on a professor's door, he said.

"The program is still in the works," said Ann-Louise Haak, an employee at the Office of the Dean of the College and a member of PQUE. "It's an idea that's been floating around for quite some time among faculty and staff," she added.

Visibility, training

The implementation of the program is planned for the beginning of the upcoming fall semester.


The purpose of ALLY is "to increase visibility on campus and to increase student awareness of the variety of resources on campus," Haak said.

In order to display an ALLY sticker, a minimum amount of training will be required to ensure that the participant is aware of the support resources on campus. Training for administrators, faculty and staff will take place this summer and early next fall.

Similar programs that exist at other universities under different names inspired the University's efforts, Haak said.

National businesses are not far behind. AT? has created a similar program in its workplace.

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According to Haak, once word gets out on campus that a particular person is someone with whom students can talk about gay issues, that person has much more interaction with students. The ALLY program will provide "a more unified way to let people know that there are people out there they can talk to," Haak said.

The ALLY program highlights the idea of "bridge-building," Amorim said. There is still the perception that participation in programs such as the LGBA is indicative of sexual orientation or may stand in conflict with certain spiritual beliefs, he said.

"The LGBA is interested in debating all aspects of diversity," Amorim said, adding that the LGBA cosponsored Tuesday's panel "One America: Why can't we all just get along?" as part of Pride Week.

"Most of our events have been cosponsored with different groups, which ties in to this week's theme," Amorim added.

To close the week, the LGBA is sponsoring the second annual Ivy League Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Allied Conference this Saturday. Representatives from all Ivy League universities will meet to discuss the possibility of creating an organization akin to the Ivy Council in order to maximize networking possibilities among the groups on different campuses.

The conference will consist of workshops that include questions of identity within the gay community. Amorim said he hopes the conference will answer "to what degree we (the gay community) are different and to what degree we are the same as everyone else."