Hello and welcome to the OU Women’s Outreach Center’s original blog! For those who know what WOC is already then you know we have a blog here on Word Press that was originally created last year, but as an effort to reach more students, we have decided to create a blog on Tumblr. We are still keeping this one for students who like to read and use Word Press. The two blogs will have about the same information, but Word Press will be used to archive all blog posts written by the staff. Everyone at WOC is excited for the new year, and we can’t wait to update our blogs and keep you connected to what is happening at WOC.

If you are not familiar with WOC and would like to know what we are all about, please stop by our office on the second floor of the Oklahoma Memorial Union, RM# 247.

Hidden Voices is a presentation that will be coming to the University of Oklahoma for the first time ever this year and has a lot of us here in the office excited. Faisal Alam, a queer activist who moved to America in 1987 at the age of 10, will be speaking about his experiences being a queer Muslim.

Alam attended Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts and founded the Al-Fatiha Foundation, an organization dedicated to advancing the cause of gay, lesbian, and transgender Muslims. Alam is a member of the National Religious Leadership Roundtable and the LGBT Program of Human Rights Watch.

Alam will discuss how the revolution across the Middle East is changing a lot for the citizens who live there and what exactly that means for LGBT people. Will they be part of social change? Will the United States and other Western powers support true democracy in the Middle East? Be prepared for answers to these questions and many more in his presentation March 30 at 7:00 p.m. in Meacham Auditorium.

We are excited to have him here with us at the university and can’t wait to hear what he has to say about such a hidden and unspoken issue. We hope you take time out of your busy schedule to listen, learn, and enjoy this opportunity. It will be a learning experience you will get from nowhere else and an opportunity to ask questions you may never have to opportunity to ask again.

Questions? Email lgbtq@ou.edu or call 325.4929!

The University of Oklahoma is an equal opportunity institution. Accommodations on the basis of disability are available by contacting the Women’s Outreach Center, OMU room 247 or (405)325-4929.

My name is Cupid. Well, the Romans called me Cupid—the Greeks called me Eros. I’m the God of desire and affection, and tend to get really busy around this time of year. I know I may look like I’m a kid, but if I may offer you some business advice? I made the mistake of going in with Saint Valentine on a business venture back in Rome. The deal was, he would get all the credit for the holiday, but I would get to be the face. What this “deal” translated to was actually, “Cupid, you are going to do all of the work, and I’m going to take all the credit.” I should have had my lawyers look over the contracts. I’m not saying I hate my job, I’m just saying it would be nice to have modern American health coverage worked into my contract. Ancient Roman health care is a joke.

But I digress, Valentine’s Day is coming up, and I’ve been traveling around campus doing some PR work for the Women’s Outreach Center’s “Pink and Black Ball” on Feb. 12th. I’ve had the opportunity to meet with numerous gorgeous groups of OU students, spreading love, throwing candy, and perfecting my skipping technique. For those of you that I haven’t spoken to yet, let me tell you a little bit about the ball. The University of Oklahoma Pink & Black Ball will take place on Saturday, February 12th from 8pm to midnight in the Molly Shi Boren ballroom of the Union. There will be food, dancing, a raffle, a CHOCOLATE FOUNTAIN (my idea), and maybe even a few surprises. Tickets are $15 in advance, or $20 at the door. Every dollar you spend will go straight to Susan G. Koman for the Cure. This event will be semi-formal (I’m going to wear a bow tie), and alcohol free. “But Cupid, what kind of music will be there?” Well, inner monologue, there will be both a live jazz band, AND a DJ. In the span of 4-hours, you will get to swing dance AND fist pump.

Sound interesting? If so, head on over to http://www.ou.edu/pinkandblackball/ and get your tickets before they sell out! I hope to see you all there… nay, I would LOVE to see you all there. Look for me, I’ll be the kid with wings teaching people how to Dougie in the middle of the dance floor.

 

Holly A. Frink – Interpersonal Violence Awareness Intern

Hello, fellow advocates! Hope your semesters are off to great start. This is my second semester interning with the Women’s Outreach Center, my first Fall, and our programs are tremendous. It has been so busy around here with all we have going on.

We are preparing for Rape Awareness Week. This week-long campaign begins the 27th of September, the Monday prior to the October 2, Saturday, or OU vs. TX. Right now I am personalizing SPF-15 Spearmint lip balms for our fight against sexual assault. We will be tabling in the union, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm giving them away for FREE along with some other handouts.

Rape Awareness Week intends to acknowledge the fact that college students are at particularly high risk of sexual assault. The US Dept. of Justice reported in 2008 that 1 in 6 college students experience rape or attempted rape.

We encourage students to STEP IN and SPEAK OUT against sexual assault. If you are witness to a situation that could potentially lead to a sexual assault, an effective way to prevent it is for an uninvolved bystander to step in. Here are some things you can do:

DIRECT: If a girl gets drunk at a party and you see a guy escorting her away from the crowd, STEP IN. Tell him she’s with you; you’ll take care of her. She doesn’t need to be out of sight of the rest of her friends.

DISTRACT: Stay with them and try not to let them out of sight. Jump in, even if it makes you feel awkward or rude. Be rude. Change the subject and lead her away from the guy.

DELEGATE: If these don’t work, delegate the responsibility to someone who may be in a better position to help. Tell her friends that she needs to leave or call the police. Legally, if she is drunk she cannot give consent to sex.

Remember, rapists usually don’t want to get caught more than they want to commit rape.

rapeposter1

Come stop by the office on the second floor of the union anytime Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm to see how you can get involved, grab some free protective goodies, or say hello to our awesome staff!

Have a wonderful week!

We’ve had a few people come into the office this past week to get involved and volunteer with the Women’s Outreach Center. We’ve had a few questions about what you can volunteer for or how that process works, so here’s some information for everyone about how to get involved:

We host a variety of events throughout the year that educate and support students through multiple issues. Whether you’re handing out information about breast health at a table in the Union, distributing ribbons for Ally Week, helping us organize Take Back the Night, or performing in the Vagina Monologues, your time served directly affects your fellow students and your own campus experience.

Volunteer opportunities are available during school hours, nights, and weekends. Volunteer duties range from handing out information or setting up an event to welcoming guests at our formal events. Students also have opportunities to apply for our volunteer peer educator positions, perform in awareness raising events, or serve on advisory committees for our department. If you’re looking for a small commitment to fulfill service hour requirements or want a semester long project to make your mark, we have what you’re looking for – as long as you want to make a difference!

Calls for volunteers are made through our emailing list and Facebook groups. You can add yourself to our email list by sending a request to woc@ou.edu and you can join our group at www.facebook.com/ouwomensoutreach. If you have any questions or want to learn more about these opportunities, feel free to email us at woc@ou.edu or drop by our office, room 247 in the Oklahoma Memorial Union.

Verification of volunteer hours served is available upon request. For accommodations on the basis of disability, call us at (405) 325-4929 or email woc@ou.edu

As of 9/8/10, we need volunteers for the following events:

Freshman Week – Get freshman involved with our center and give them vital information about these issues!

Monday 11-2 Register to Vote

Tuesday 11-2 Breast Health

Wednesday 11-2 Volunteer Outreach

Friday 11-2 LGBTQ Programs

Bobby Mace – LGBTQ Affairs Intern

This summer, I joined the Women’s Outreach Center and Student Affairs as the new LGBTQ Affairs Intern. To get ready for the upcoming year, I attended the Campus Pride leadership camp at Vanderbilt in Nashville. It was an amazing experience with students from all across America coming together to learn how to enact change on their college campuses. We networked, made action plans, and really grew together as LGBTQ leaders.

We have several great new student leaders on our new LGBTQ Advisory Board: Madeline Ambrose, Whitney Patterson, Duke Lambert, Haley Brown, Ashley Weston, Mandy Hardin, and Brenton Wimmer. We just had our planning retreat, and we have some wonderful plans for programming and campus improvement! If you’re interested in volunteering, let us know; we always need you!

To go with our Sooner Ally program, we’re having new brown bag lunches throughout the year. Several people have expressed interest in more in-depth training sessions. To keep training lengths short, we are offering these one-hour sessions supplementary to the primary training. Be sure to stop by the Women’s Outreach Center to see us or just email lgbtq@ou.edu to sign up!

(From left to right: Whitney, Duke, Madeline, Brenton, Bobby, Haley, Mandy)

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