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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Student panel to delve into GLBT issues, share experiences

A panel of GLBT students will share their experiences and answer questions Wednesday night at an event hosted by the Texas A&M chapter of Amnesty International.
Derin Oduye, political science senior and president of the A&M chapter, said participating panelists were chosen by the GLBT Resource Center. Oduye said their insight is a great way to start a conversation about GLBT issues, especially after the legalization of same-sex marriage over the summer.
“We thought it was something that should be talked about, and the GLBT Center already had a program in place for these kind of [panels],” Oduye said. “It’s not rare, but at the same time we wanted to be respectful of the people who would be sharing their experiences and how we would be asking them to share their experiences.”
Sidney Gardner, program coordinator for the GLBT Resource Center, said the panel represents an opportunity for anyone who wants to learn more about GLBT community members.
“Really it’s just allowing people to have a window into what the lives are like for some of our students that identify as GLBT or allies in the community, so it’s really just about them sharing their identities and their personal stories with people,” Gardner said.
What the panel will entail is largely up to the audience and their participation, Gardner said.
“The students share a little about themselves in the beginning and then whoever is in the audience gets to ask questions about their lives and their experiences,” Gardner said. “So it’s really up to what people ask about their identities and their experiences.”
Gardner said a panel such as the one tonight can be requested through the Resource Center’s website.
“They asked us to come in and we do panels for classrooms, for departments and units and all over campus, and people can request those through our website,” Gardner said. “So they just requested us to come in.”
Oduye said the panel fits into Amnesty International’s belief that equality is a human right.
“We want to come off as an ally, and I think that’s what this panel is doing — prompting students to be better allies or to be an ally if they aren’t already — educating students on what GLBT students experience on campus,” Oduye said.
The event will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday night at Rudder 501.

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