In reading the always enjoyable magazine, I noticed an error in the caption accompanying the photo of the Winooski couple on page 10 of the spring issue. They are Mr. and Mrs. Louis Abair. He was a gifted tenor and sang at St. Stephen’s Church for 65 years. They were a delightful couple and were my patients for 45 years.

Robert E. O’Brien MD, Med ’45


Civil War
Thank you for your informative story on UVM and the Civil War. My great-grandfather, Urban A. Woodbury, was enrolled in the Medical School when war broke out. He immediately enlisted and has the dubious distinction of suffering the first battlefield wound among the Vermont troops — he lost an arm to a cannonball fragment at First Bull Run. He later served a single term as governor of Vermont.

His daughter’s son, Guy Page, Jr., grew up in a Prospect St. home behind the former Medical School (now the Psychology building), and graduated from UVM in the mid-1940’s. His wife Janet worked for several decades in the UVM bookstore, and all five of their children are UVM grads as well (including myself).

Guy Page ’79
Colchester, Vermont

I am writing in response to Gene F. Barfield’s (G’92) letter to the editor in the January 1999 issue of the Vermont Quarterly. I am very thankful that Mr. Barfield took the time to point out the omission of GLBT activists at UVM in your otherwise strong “Dissent on Campus” article. I am also thankful for his activism during his UVM years, which overlapped with my own graduate student years here. Mr. Barfield wondered whether there “is still an active and visible g/l/b/t student community at UVM.” I am writing to assure him and others that there is, and like him, to ask the Vermont Quarterly to more accurately recognize and honor the contributions of this activist group.

GLBT students and their allies continue to provide an important support system to each other through the (now-named) “Free to Be: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Alliance.” This group and its members also serve as a critical resource to the larger UVM campus, by regularly putting on public educational and “pride” events, and by participating in class discussions and panel presentations.

In addition to this group on campus, GLBT students recently started (in the 1998-1999 academic year) a Living/Learning Program called “A Room of Our Own,” that is devoted to providing a safe living space for GLBT students and their allies, as well as an opportunity for these students to learn about the lives and experiences of GLBT people in history. And, by living in the residence halls along with other UVM students, they are educating the entire Living/Learning community about what it is like to be GLBT on this campus, as well as forming alliances across various student groups.

We also have, as of the 1998-1999 academic year, two courses approved by the Curriculum Committee and now officially included in the UVM catalogue that are devoted to exploring GLBT issues. These courses are offered through the Human Development and Family Studies Program in the College of Education and Social Services. One course, Sexual Identities (HDFS 167) provides an introduction to GLBT issues, while the other, Advanced Seminar in Sexual Identities (HDFS 267) allows students to engage in more in-depth exploration of selected issues of concern to GLBT people. The introductory course was offered for the first time this past fall (1998), and, according to the students, was a great success.

Furthermore, GLBT students, staff, and faculty, along with their allies, have been working for the past few years to create and get funded a staff position that is dedicated to identifying and meeting the needs of GLBT, questioning, and ally members of the UVM community, and to educating the entire UVM community about homophobia and its negative impact on all people, be they GLBT, questioning, or heterosexual. As of January, 1999, we have in place a part-time, interim coordinator for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Ally Services at the University of Vermont, a position that is housed in the Center for Cultural Pluralism and Racial Equity. To the best of my knowledge, this represents the first time UVM is providing a paid staff position to address the needs of the GLBT members of its community.

We are proud of these successes, and yet there is still much work to be done. GLBT students, staff, and faculty continue to face discrimination and to be the victims of hate crimes right here on our campus. We have a part-time interim coordinator position but we want and need a full-time position. We have two courses on our books, but too many courses ignore relevant GLBT issues, and too many faculty, staff, students, and administrators continue to make anti-GLBT remarks and policies, oftentimes unintentionally but still with destructive effect. And so, current GLBT and ally community members, along with alumni, continue our activist and education work on the UVM campus. We invite you to join us in these important efforts towards social justice.

Jacqueline S. Weinstock G’93
UVM Faculty Member