After staff members approached the Office of Civil Rights seeking more information about the correct use of gender pronouns, the office organized a presentation for staff and administrators to learn more about the topic.
On Jan. 25, Aaron Eckhardt, interim executive director of Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization (BRAVO), gave a presentation to administrators and staff of the College on LGBTQ+ identities and gender pronouns. The presentation was held in the Kenyon Athletic Center (KAC) theater. Similar presentations were given to Community Advisors, Sexual Misconduct Advisors and Peer Counselors earlier that day.
BRAVO works to address violence and discrimination from within and outside of the LGBTQ+ community, according to the mission statement listed on their website. Eckhardt was named Interim Executive Director of BRAVO just weeks before on Jan. 11.
Meredith Harper Bonham ’92, vice president for student affairs, was one of a number of administrators and staff who attended the talk. The Office of Civil Rights requested that a director or representative from every department attend. Bonham estimated that the theater, which seats 120, was mostly full.
“As an attendee, I can attest that [BRAVO’s] presentation was extremely informative and helpful as we seek to become a more inclusive community for all,” Bonham said.
Over the summer, several staff members reached out to Civil Rights/Title IX Coordinator Samantha Hughes and Deputy Civil Rights/Title IX Coordinator and Professor Emerita of Psychology Linda Smolak seeking more information about identity and gender pronouns, according to Hughes. Some staff had noticed more students clarifying their preferred pronouns in their interactions and wanted to avoid offending anyone.
The talk consisted of a slideshow presentation that included basic definition and language issues.
Hughes hopes to bring BRAVO back to campus to do more training sometime in the upcoming fall semester. She does not have a specific date in mind, but says it is on the radar. She would like to eventually host BRAVO again for a presentation open to the whole community.