Amber Reed/The Broadside
From May 29-31, the Oregon Student Equal Rights Alliance, or OSERA, will be holding an online symposium for LGBTQ+ high school and college students. The event will occur from 10am to 5pm. Registration for the event is free online at the OSERA website. To register, students will need to provide a student email to be sent the link to the Zoom meetings for the multitude of caucuses that students can choose to participate in. Central Oregon Community College’s Student Body President Julia Russell was able to play a part in the making of this event. Russell was an OSERA board member and is now part of the steering committee.
This symposium will consist of 13 different caucuses: asexual or aromatic, transgender people of color, LGBTQ+ indigenous POC, bi/pan, disability, non-monogamous/polyamorous, trans/enby, trans women and transfeminine, working class LGBTQ+, queer international students, womxn loving womxn, masc loving masc, and queer kink. These caucuses are meant for students who identify with one of these communities and it is asked that each student only participate in the caucuses with groups they identify with.
OSERA is hosting this event to create a safe space for students to find community support and resources. Many students in the LGBTQ+ community may be missing out on day-to-day interactions with others and these caucuses are not only a good way to get in touch with the community but with others in general. As stated by Marichelle Gurski, ASCOCC Director of Campus Affairs, “these online caucus spaces with OSERA are a safe space for students to been seen and heard, your identity, preferred name and gender pronouns will be respected. You can be real and talk about issues or things that matter to you.”
It is important to note that students in first time attendance feel nervous, they are not alone.
“If you are willing to fight a fear and give something new a chance it can be monumental. Personally, I’ve made lifelong friends from fighting this fear,” says Julia Russell.
This symposium, like all OSA(Oregon student association) events, will follow the OSA community agreements to assure that these meetings will remain a safe and inclusive space. There will also be a trained student facilitator present at each of the 13 caucuses to help guide discussion and ensure that all participants are being respectful of one another.
To participate, register for free online now or by May 27 using the link below.