Letter to the Editor

Dear Daily Trojan,

As leaders and members of the Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Assembly (GLBTA), the LGBT programming branch of the Undergraduate Student Government, we are frankly offended by the editors’ opinion column in Monday’s Daily Trojan. It is extremely disrespectful to us to declare that we have not been serious about reaching out to the Greek community. To suggest that we are not “serious” and only putting in a “halfhearted effort” when addressing the topic of LGBT identities within the Greek community is an attack on the hundreds of hours that the leaders of the GLBTA have devoted to the events of October’s National Coming Out Month.

This month of events is specifically themed “Rush: GLBT” and explores the intersections between the LGBT and Greek identities. We have been planning these events since June, reaching out to Greek leaders and trying to work through the busy student schedules of members of both communities to come up with an interesting list of events. The GLBTA has spent thousands of dollars and reserved venues for more than a dozen events on this topic.

The SpeakOut that the Daily Trojan has emphasized so disproportionately, meant for the GLBT community and scheduled during the GLBTA’s regular meeting time, was only one of many events (including a TV screening, a barbecue and a trivia contest) that we have sponsored in order to create a dialogue between the two communities. We applaud the efforts of our public relations chair, Karen Marcus, and dozens of other members of our assembly for making the greater USC community aware of such events, including the Greek community. GLBTA Executive Board member Emily Allen and Panhellenic sorority member Mary Walsh even went door-to-door last Monday during the weekly dinners of half of the houses to promote the GLBTA-sponsored toga party at Ground Zero Performance Café.

After the events of last year, we are extremely pleased that Greek organizations are taking more steps to a more inclusive Greek system. We applaud Delta Delta Delta for hosting the LGBT panel that GLBTA Executive Director Genevieve Flores and LGBT Resource Center Director Vincent Vigil organized for the sorority’s members on Monday. We also encourage Greek members to attend the “How to Be An Ally in the Greek Community” event on Wednesday that we have coordinated together with the Diversity Encouragement Council of IFC and Panhellenic.

We hope the Daily Trojan will take a second look at the effort of the GLBTA in working directly with IFC and Panhellenic organizing such events.