Slider 1

Monday, November 21, 2011

Mississippi Personhood Amendment

By Carina Gutierrez

Earlier this month, Mississippi took a vote on a proposed state constitutional amendment. This amendment sought to define the word “person” as “every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the equivalent thereof.” This would equate abortion with murder without making exceptions for rape, incest or even when a woman’s life is in danger.

Although it did not pass, let’s take a moment to consider how our lives as women would have been affected by a positive vote: had this passed in Mississippi, it is likely that the rest of our country would have followed suit and possibly led to the US Supreme Court revisiting its Roe v. Wade decision. It would cut off our access to birth control, such as the morning after pill or the intrauterine device, as well as discourage physicians to carry out in vitro fertilization for fear that they may be criminally charged if the embryo didn’t survive.

The voting for this amendment was very close and perhaps was due simply to its ambiguous wording. So, women of America, vote to keep your body yours. If you are Pro-Choice, the voting results in Mississippi were too close for comfort, defeated 58-42, and unfortunately may foreshadow a coming change. Already a similar personhood amendment is planning to be proposed to Georgia's General Assembly next year. And these aren't the only attacks on women's rights; bills and legisation are constantly being created to stop our access to complete family planning. Just ask yourself, can we afford to lose our right to choose?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

TTF - Transgender Task Force

By Nicole Walker

The gender of a person paves the way of one’s life at the first gift of a pink or blue blanket after birth. There are men, women, gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender and transsexual students.
           Chico State has a wide range of people that are supported by organizations varying from different sexualities, cultural backgrounds, beliefs, values and experiences.One organization that exists - one that CSUC students are not as aware of - is the Transgender Task Force (TTF), which was created three years ago.
TTF creates an ongoing awareness that there are trans students on campus, through tabling and events such as Transgender Day Of Remembrance, as stated by Aydin Kennedy, a Grad student in Social Work and co-founder of TTF.
TTF works to remove many of the barriers that trans students face, such as finding safe bathrooms on campus, changing university forms to create a more streamlined system for name and gender changes, collaborating with others campus resources to help get trans students connected to supportive allies and advocates and creating educational opportunities to the campus community to directly make Chico State a more trans-inclusive campus and community, Kennedy said.
Although the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer community is very known on campus, the trans students aren’t always comfortable identifying in that community, he said.
Transsexual has two meanings; one indicates medical interventions such as hormones or surgery, while the other refers to someone who feels as if their assigned sex (Male or Female) is not related with their actual sex, Kennedy said.
Transgender also has two meanings, one being an umbrella term that throughout its history has included many different expressions of gender and gender identity similar to the use of gay to include gay men and gay women, and the second referring to someone who feels as if their assigned gender, man/masculine or woman/feminine is dissimilar with their gender identity.
“I am both transgender and transsexual,” Kennedy said.When Kennedy transitioned as an undergraduate student in 2007-08, he felt and proved to be very alone.
“I came up against a lot of road blocks,” he said, “many of which have been rectified by the activism and education of TTF.”
Although Chico is a smaller town, there is a strong and very present trans community here, and many of them are students, he said. TTF brings awareness to those who are not trans and hopes to be an ally, support system and advocate for those who are.
“As trans people we have to go through a lot to tell our truth and step out from behind the shadows of our former selves,” he said.
Most students aren’t even aware that there are trans students sitting in classrooms with them, he said. Students aren’t aware that TTF exists and for those who are, they don’t see or understand how it may be relevant to them, Kennedy said.
After noticing the number of students who were coming to counseling because they were dealing with being transgender or in some other way feeling that they didn’t “fit” into society’s binary gender system, Lana McKnight, Counseling and Wellness Center Counselor and founder of TTF, decided to start meetings in order to change and act on these feelings, she said. 
            TTF had a number of challenges to face, such as trying to deal with the school system and the larger community of Chico. Although there was PRIDE/Safe Zone on campus, and other LBGT groups in the community, there seemed to be nothing aimed specifically at the gender non-normative population at the time, she said. 
           “Sexual orientation and gender identification are two different things, so their needs were sometimes not as readily addressed in general LGBT organizations,” McKnight said, “all students benefit from awareness of diversity personally and professionally, I believe.”
            However, finding people who are passionate about the topic, willing to be advocates and comfortable educating people about an often-marginalized group is difficult, she said. 
“My hope is that through TTF, people can find a place within themselves to see and understand that the rigid notions of the gender binary negatively impact all of us, not just trans or gender non-conforming people,” Kennedy said.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

LGBTQ school bullying: when will it stop?

Bullying in the LGBTQ community has always been a problem but no one decides to do anything about it. The bullying problem has been arising in high schools and many of the students have committed suicide because they do not want to live with the pain of going to school. They get to a point where they can no longer take the torture and judgment from their classmates. Sometimes even then no one does anything to stop the violence that is silencing so many innocent children and teens. There are children as young as 11 who are self-silencing because they can no longer live with the daily harassment and torture of the continuous verbal and sometimes physical abuse.

Jamey Rodemyer, 1997-2011
That was the case for Jamey Rodemeyer. He had asked for help repeatedly but no one would listen to him. On September 9th Jamey wrote, "I always say how bullied I am, but no one listens, what do I have to do so people will listen to me?"  What is most astonishing is Jamey was bullied on school grounds; didn’t teachers and faculty realize what was happening? Or were they too concerned with what would happen to the school if they challenged his bullies? Jamey Rodemeyer is just one of many students who have committed suicide because of verbal and physical abuse through bullying. There are still people in the world who do not accept anyone in the LGBTQ community. When are people going to realize that there is nothing wrong with those who define themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer?
 The worst part is there are so many others like Jamey Rodemeyer who are committing suicide at such a young age, and they have so much life ahead of them. It is so horrible to think that these children can go to such a dark place where they no longer want to live.  The time for change is now and people need to realize the lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders, and queers are no different from you and me. Due to the increasing amount of suicides and extreme LGBTQ based bullying schools have been forced to create an anti-gay bullying law.  Fortunately schools now have to come up with a way to protect their students from anti-gay bullying. Finally something is being done to help prevent the violence going on in our schools, and to protect the LGBTQ community.

        If you or your loved ones are experiencing bullying there is help out there.
24/7 LGBTQ Youth Helpine: 866.488.7386
GLBT National Youth Talkline: 800.371.4373 OR
It Gets Better Project:
Butte County 24 hour Youth Crisis Services Line: 800.371.4373; Adult Crisis Line: 800.334.6622

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Are We Moving Forward? Part 1

By Nikki Allair

Every time I see a new article about women and/or girls, I have to weigh the pros and cons of the said article. I ask myself certain questions: do these people have agency*? What is my situatedness* with this article? What layers of intersectionality* are affecting these people? Is there too much control from – government, patriarchy, family life, etc. fill in the blank? I cannot look over these articles without investigating it with my feminist magnifying glass. This process is both enlightening and exhausting, but well worth every moment.

Nicholas D. Kristof
A few articles written by Nicholas D. Kristof caught my attention for it’s negative and positive aspects. The article was about a rape treatment center in Sierra Leon, Africa, where he met a three-year-old girl. This young child was raped and infected with gonorrhea. Solutions for rape are extremely difficult to come up with and/or implement within a community and especially one that is so intimate. “Ultimately, the only way to end the epidemic of sexual violence is to end the silence and impunity and send people to prison. But that almost never happens,” said Kristof. In places that do not have the resources to help them, ending violence against women is almost impossible, but there are women out there that are trying to change that. (

Kristof came across one young fifteen-year-old girl in particular. Her name is Fulamatu and she wanted to fight against the destructive patriarchal society that had tried to claim her body. A local pastor in her village took advantage of her and other young girls in their community. Fulamatu’s bravery is commendable and shocking within such close-knit village. She filed a police report, got the pastor to come back to the village through some maneuvering, but ultimately he was let go. Fulamatu’s family even forgave him and then tried to kick her out of her village. Even though this is a terrible aspect of this case, without Fulamatu’s statement, other young women from the village would not have come forward. “As more girls show Fulamatu’s courage, we can some day break taboos about sexual violence and inch toward a global recognition that it is more shameful to rape than to be raped.” (

A group of Sierra Leone girls

It is easy for us as Americans to look at other countries and think that situations like the three-year-old child could never happen here. We are sadly mistaken. Women and girls in our nation are constantly having their rights slashed and their lives put in danger. Next week, I will discuss how legislation and the work force reflects our devaluation of women still.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Transition

By Hannah Clause

Many people have been wondering what the Gender and Sexuality Equity Center is, how it came about, and where the AS Women's Center went! Well hold tight, because there is no need to worry! Here is a break down of our transition.

The Associated Students Women's Center was created in 1971 by a small group of dedicated women who realized the importance of developing and organizing a space where women could explore their mutual concerns and raise awareness in the community about progressive women's issues. With financial help from a memorial fund and support from the community, the AS Women's Center was born, flourishing and operating under that title for 40 years.

The Associated Students Gender and Sexuality Equity Center (GSEC) was implemented this fall semester, 2011, as an expansion of the Women's Center in an effort to further promote human rights and the equal representation of marginalized students on Chico State's campus

Nikki cleaning out the old office!
This year we have transitioned from the AS Women's Center to the Gender and Sexuality Equity Center because of the rising importance of establishing a brand new program, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer program! We will absolutely still continue to offer the Women's Program, which will operate side-by-side with the LGBTQ program. Together, these two programs make up the Gender and Sexuality Equity Center! With this addition, we are able to further our efforts in creating a campus that is understanding and accepting of all sexual and gender identities.

This change has been a long time coming... Let's face it, the AS Women's Center has been putting on all kinds of LGBTQ events and raising awareness for the gay community for several years now. It's about time we established a safe space for those who identify with and support the LGBTQ community and expanded our office to the AS Gender and Sexuality Equity Center, and we couldn't be more PROUD (pun-intended). As we like to say, 'We're finally out of the closet!' because along with our new transition we have a new space (BMU 005). So come check out the new, wonderful office.

Women's Center staff Spring 2010
A special thanks is in order for all of the hard and tedious work it took for this transition to happen. Thank you to the Women's Center staff of '09, '10, and '11, the Women's Center advisory board, and especially Jillian Ruddel, Kate Knutsen, Kimberly Edmonds, Katie Seifert, and Amanda Atkinson.

If you are still confused about what exactly this transition means, here our the mission statements of the center as a whole, and for each program.

The Associated Students Gender and Sexuality Equity Center (GSEC) is a student run activist organization, which strives to empower all students through two its two programs: the Women's Program and the LGBTQ Program. The GSEC challenges societal norms that have been use to oppress and marginalize by providing opportunities for leadership, personal development, and referral services. We offer a safe and inclusive space where the campus and community can effectively support the academic mission of the university.

The Women's program utilizes feminist ideologies to offer educational opportunities and programs that are centered in women's experiences to create and sustain a university environment that promotes the personal, educational, educational and professional growth of women.

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Program is dedicated to promoting a safe environment for people of all sexual and gender identities through educational opportunities and programs.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Meet the GSEC staff and interns!

Kimberly Edmonds


Kimberly is the director of the Associated Students Gender and Sexuality Equity Center. She is double majoring in Political Science and Women's Studies. She first got involved with the Women's Center through an internship her freshman year, and then became a program coordinator for the next two years. Now as the director, she is very excited to oversee the Women's Center's expansion to a Gender and Sexuality Equity Center.
Fun Fact: Kim has 7 siblings! 

Nicole Walker


Nicole Walker is the intern coordinator for the Gender and Sexuality Equity Center. This is her third year at CSU, Chico where she is majoring in journalism with a double option in news editorial and public relations, and a minor in women's studies. Beginning her freshman year, she has been an intern at the AS Women's Center for three semesters in addition to writing for the student-run, award winning newspaper The Orion and working at the Student Activities Office.
Fun Fact: She writes for the award-winning Chico State newspaper The Orion. She writes reviews, previews, and bios for local and visiting artists and bands. 

Nikki Allair


Nikki Allair is the Women's Program Coordinator at the GSEC. She is finishing up her last year as a Women's Studies Major with a minor in Sexual Diversity. She was an intern at the Women's Center for a year, giving her the tools she needed in order to become the ever growing activist she is. She is a strong believer in equality for everyone and promotes it in the activities she participates in.
Fun Fact: Nikki doesn't like any kind of nuts. 

Abilgail Teicheira


Abigail Teicheira is the LGBTQ Program Coordinator for the Associated Students Gender and Sexuality Equity Center. She is a fifth year student at CSU, Chico majoring in Women's Studies and Spanish. Abigail first got involved in activism on campus through the internship at the AS Women's Center and as a member of Pride Safe Zone.
Fun Fact: Abbie can solve a Rubix cube in under 5 minutes!


Natalie Nguyen

Natalie is technically a Psychology major, but will must likely be switching to Sociology by the end of the semester. She's interning at the GSEC because she wants to help make our society more understanding and inclusive.
Fun fact: One of her goals in life is to own and perform in a burlesque club in San Francisco!

Christin Huckabee

Christin majors in Multi Cultural Gender Studies with an emphasis in Women's Studies and Sociology. She is interning at the GSEC because she believes in fighting for something that she is passionate about and wants to help raise awareness about issues that have been marginalizing people for centuries.
Fun fact: She has two Chiweenies

Carina Gutierrez

Carina's major is currently undeclared. She is interning at the GSEC so that she can learn more about activism and be a
part of a worthwhile cause.

Fun fact: She absolutely cannot stand it when people chew with their mouths open. This is, in her own words, "Pet peeve numero uno!"

Karissa Daisy Dickinson

Karissa is an Exercise Physiology major. She is interning at the GSEC because in the small town she  grew up in she was not privileged enough to have these kinds of opportunities. She saw prejudice, hate, and judgment every day of her life. Being around that made her want to help end all these issues and be apart of something bigger. Plus, there are so many great people here at the GSEC!
Fun fact: She's Italian and proud of it!

Lindsey Pevar

Lindsey is an Animal Science major in the hopes of becoming a veterinarian. She is interning at the GSEC because over the summer she spent a lot of time at and LGBTQ center in her home town in Long Beach, CA. She learned so much from the program called MYTE that she wanted to give back for everything that they had given her. She also loves the GSEC motto and how we want to create a safe space for people where we can give them any kind of information that we have.

Fun fact: She recently cut all of her hair off and gave it to Locks for Love.

Sarah Sullivan
Sarah is a Health Education major. She is interning at the GSEC because she is passionate about promoting equal rights for all, and is excited about getting involved in community activism!

Fun Fact: She can't wink with her right eye! ;)

Hannah Clause
Hannah is a Multicultural Gender Studies major with an option in Women Studies. She is interning at the GSEC she is a radical feminist who wants to break down societal norms and be the change she wants to see!

Fun fact: She is going to be studying abroad in Chile next school year.

Jessica Arriaga
Jessica is a Multicultural and Gender Studies major with a Women's Studies option. She is interning at the the GSEC because she had such a great experience interning for the Women's Center last year! Since the center was transitioning into a new office she wanted to continue to be a part of this new, more inclusive space that we now have to offer Chico State students. The GSEC is such a great activist outlet that allows her to do work I she loves and is passionate about! 
Fun fact: When she was a little girl her dream job was to be an Egyptologist.

Alex Brown
Alex is a Psychology major with a Multicultural and Gender Studies minor and an option in Women's Studies.  She became an intern at the GSEC because she wants to surround herself with like-minded people, spread awareness about women's and LGBTQ issues, and to immerse herself in diverse experiences.
Fun Fact: Alex has a munchkin breed tabby cat named Tyson!

Chantel Edwards
Chantel Edwards is majoring in multicultural and gender studies, with a minor in sexual diversity. She previously interned at the Women's Center for two semesters and decided to intern a third time after the transition to the Gender and Sexuality Equity Center. 
Fun fact: She hopes to become a sexologist after she graduates from college.          

Tiffany Alioto

Tiffany is a double major in Business Finance and Psychology, along with a minor in Women's studies. Tiffany is interning at the GSEC because she is an activist who believes no one should wait to be negatively affected by ignorance to join a cause they believe in.
Fun fact: When she was in the 8th grade, she ripped her jeans while dancing to the credit music of the original "The Fast and The Furious" movie! 

Ashley O'Sullivan

Ashley is a Health Care Administration major. Ashley says, "I want to be a part of an organization which strives to empower all students at CSU Chico. I want to be a part of a community of determined individuals that come together to promote the personal, educational, and professional growth of women. I want to be a part of a program and a community that is passionate about the understanding of equity for all. I want to advocate for the LGBTQ community. Furthermore, I want to be a part of what the GSEC is advocating for. I am a feminist and I believe in establishing equal opportunities to all. I want to empower people to look outside of societies norms that have been used to oppress and marginalize and stand up for what is right. I want to help with sustaining an organization like the GSEC; that offers a safe place to all students who may feel silenced. I have a passion for advocating for gender sexuality equity and I look forward to the activist work I will be doing."
Fun fact: Ashley is an only child!