GLU to expand scope

By Michael Berg

The Gay/Lesbian Union, in trying to overcome “homophobia,” is becoming more involved in harassment cases. It is trying to expand its scope on campus by creating new commissions and services.

Vice President for Student Affairs Barbara Henley has been working with the GLU on a collection of data concerning harassment cases, said GLU Co-President David Huggins.

The data collection is in its early stages and is still being assembled at this time, Huggins said.

The GLU is also working with the NIU Judicial Office in dealing with harassment cases. Once someone pleads or is found guilty, they are punished through the NIU Judicial Office.

Larry Bolles, director of the University Judicial Office, said those found guilty should enter an educational program. “About 99 percent of people in these cases want the educational component because it is in their best interest,” Bolles said. “It helps them interact better in their community.”

Bolles stressed the education is not forced on those who don’t want it, because if there is not a genuine interest, the education would be of little value.

Some of the educational possibilities are working with a diversity program or gay and lesbian group such as the GLU, Bolles said.

Also, the possibility of an NIU Sexual Orientation Commission will be discussed Oct. 30 in a meeting between the GLU and NIU President John La Tourette.

uggins said the commission will look into the needs of gays, lesbians and bisexuals on campus.

“(Its goal would be) to create a safe and comfortable environment for gay and lesbian students to pursue their studies and personal life,” Huggins said.

Through these programs and others, the GLU is trying to expand their role in the community. “We want to reach out and try to remove the stigma on the GLU that it is an all-gay organization.”

To serve these needs, the GLU is planning a proposal to the Student Association requesting an increased budget next year. “We as an organization have expanded while the budget has stayed at the same level over that period of time,” Huggins said. “We are short on funds for mailings, events and ad campaigns.”