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. Stephens Church for 65 years. They were a delightful couple and were my patients for 45 years.
Robert E. OBrien MD, Med 45
His daughters 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-1940s. His wife Janet worked
for several decades in the UVM bookstore, and all five of their
children are UVM grads as well (including myself).
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.