UA offers LGBTQ studiesBy Collin Burwinkel | 10/12/2014 8:50pm
October marks the 21st anniversary of LGBTQ History Month, and National Coming Out Day celebrated its 27th anniversary Oct. 11. To encourage student interest in the LGBTQ community, one university now allows students to study it.
Louisiana State University introduced a new LGBTQ minor for students this fall.
“Driven by student interest, the minor was created to offer a strong academic experience for students,” said Damon Andrew, dean of LSU’s College of Human Sciences and Education. “The purpose of LSU’s LGBTQ minor is to prepare students to competently and sensitively work and interact with, meet the needs of and serve this population.”
For students at LSU to graduate with a minor in LGBTQ studies, they must complete 18 credit hours of classes, which Andrew stresses will help better serve their community.
“Whether students are pursuing careers as school counselors, social workers, HR trainers, managers or any number of professions, this minor will prepare them to better serve our community at the local, national and international levels,” he said.
Students also have the possibility to study the LGBTQ community at The University of Alabama.
“New College is home to the interdisciplinary studies B.A. and B.S.,” said Barbara Jane Brickman, assistant professor of media and gender studies. “Therefore, any student who wanted to pursue a degree in gender and sexuality studies, queer theory, gender studies or gay and lesbian studies, all interdisciplinary fields, could do so in New College.”
Brickman said she sees a need for students to study the LGBTQ community.
“I think the University certainly should have a major in gender and sexuality studies,” she said. “The issues of the LGBTQ+ community are the civil rights issues of our times and are very important.”
In addition to a major program, the University has a minor option.
“Students can also minor in gender and sexuality studies, queer theory, gender studies, gay and lesbian studies, etc., through our ‘Self-Designed Minor’ program,” Brickman said. “However, the University already has a department where students can minor in women’s studies, the department of gender and race studies, where their course work would necessarily include topics and courses on issues of gender and sexuality.”
Students like Angie Bartelt, a leader in the Mallet Assembly, said she feels the University can do even more.
“Our gender studies program is wonderful, with very knowledgeable and impartial professors,” said Bartelt, a senior majoring in telecommunication and film. “We could always do more, especially based on the region of the country we live in. There is still a lot the University can do to teach about the LGBTQA+ community.”
For more information about New College, students can log onto nc.as.ua.edu.