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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Abortion is... Pro-life?

I have a feeling that the majority of women who get an abortion are not very excited about it. Abortions, while necessary, aren't an enjoyable process to go through, both physically or emotionally. Yet they are exactly that: necessary. Whether a woman chooses to undergo one for financial, medical, or personal reasons, it is a necessary procedure that unfortunately many women still do not have access to and are denied.
Savita Halappanavar, died at 31 as a result of being denied an abortion.
One instance of denial of a necessary abortion occurred in the Republic of Ireland last year. Savita Halappanavar, 31, was informed that she was having a miscarriage by doctors, and requested the termination of the pregnancy. Halappanavar was denied the abortion, as the doctors believed that she wasn't at risk of dying, as well as abortion being illegal in Ireland at the time. Halappanavar died a week later, due to septicaemia. By the time her life was considerably at risk, an abortion would have been too late to save her. A year later, Halappanavar's widower, Praveen, has now taken legal action against the Health Service Executive (Ireland's health service), as well as the couple's obstetrician.

Earlier this year, Ireland passed a law that would allow abortion on the condition that the procedure would save the mother's life. The legislation was brought up as a result of Halappanavar's death.

I believe that any woman who needs an abortion for whatever reason should gain access to one. In these cases, an abortion is definitely necessary. How is it that the life of a fetus, even a dead one, is still more valuable than that of the woman carrying it? Ireland's steps towards more women's reproductive rights is starting to look promising, no matter how small the steps may be. But in this predominantly Roman Catholic country, the steps will have a lot of space in between them. It's hard to say when any more change will happen.

Personally, I am appalled that the death of a woman with a life, a future, and the promise of a family full of love is the motivation for change. Change should happen to prevent any more women like Savita Halappanavar from dying because the value of a fetus is more than that of a woman.

Adrianna McCain

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The AS Gender and Sexuality Center brings you QUEER WEEK!

CHICO, Calif.- The Associated Students Gender and Sexuality Equity Center (GSEC) is putting on Queer Week! Queer Week aims to educate students and members of the Chico community on Queer issues and show support for the LGBTQ+ community. This is a week-long series of events spanning from Saturday October 5th to Friday October 11th culminating in a Pride March for National Coming Out Day. The theme of the week is “What Does Queer Mean To You?”
·       Saturday October 5th is the Focus Film Festival (with an additional panel) which will be showing “Valentine Road” & “For Spacious Sky” at 6:30pm in Colusa Hall. Tickets are $5 at the door. For more information visit
·       Monday October 7th will be the “What does Queer Mean to You?” Panel. This is at 6pm in the Cross Cultural Leadership Center (MLIB 172).
·       Tuesday October 8th we will have an information tabling fair from 6-8pm outside of Sutter Dining. Also on the Shasta/Lassen lawn from 6-8pm there will be Tie-dying. The first 200 people get free shirts!
·       Wednesday October 9th we will have an information and tabling fair as well as a photo booth from 10-2pm in the Trinity Commons. Later that evening at 7pm at the UHUB there will be a showing of the film “For The Bible Tells Me So” and a discussion facilitated by Reverend Jim Peck.
·       Thursday October 10th there will be a Step Into the Closet Interactive Exhibit from 10-2pm in the Trinity Commons. There will be Safe Zone Training at Studio A in the Meriam Library from 11-1pm. There will be a discussion called “LQBTQ+ 101” in the Cross Cultural Leadership Center (MLIB) at 4pm hosted by Chico Pride.
·       Friday October 11th is National Coming Out Day! Wear rainbows all day! There will be a Pride March at 5pm at the Trinity Commons. Prior to the march there is a gathering at the GSEC (BMU 005). From 6-11pm is the Coming Out For Art Show at the 100th Monkey Café and Books at 642 West 5th Street hosted by the Stonewall Alliance of Chico.

The Associated Students Gender and Sexuality Equity Center [GSEC] is a student run activist organization which strives to empower all students through its two programs: the Women’s Program and the LGBTQ+ Program. The GSEC challenges societal norms that have been used 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.

For more information or questions, feel free to visit our office in BMU 005, call us at (530)898-5724, or email us at 

Friday, September 20, 2013

The American Face

I’ve lately been wondering what the future will look like for America.  Will we look back on our time now and say “we’ve come a long way since 2013”, or are we going to be disappointed with what we’ve done? In response to the recent crowning of Miss America, I’ve got some mixed ideas on what kind of a future we’re headed for.  24 year old Nina Davuluri was crowned as the first American Indian to win the title of Miss America.  The Miss America pageant hasn’t seen groundbreaking history like this since Vanessa Williams won the title for the first African American Miss America in 1984.  I’ve got a newsflash for the American still trapped in the 1960’s with the white = power mentality: the future of American beauty is being rocked. 

            Quickly following the results of the new Miss America winner, an outpour of malicious tweets and hate mail were flooding the Internet, targeting Nina Davuluri.

No, her skin isn’t white. So that makes her a terrorist? How long are we expected to live under a white patriarchy and conform to its ideologies, values, and rules of what it is and what it’s not to be beautiful? Nina Davuluri won this pageant because she out-dressed, out-talented, and out-worked the competition, and the judges knew it.  It’s the ignorant America that’s been throwing a fit, and America that is shaming its own name.
            Let’s take a look at Nina Davuluri and America’s “Choice” aka Theresa Vail (Miss Kansas).

Side by side, the only differences between these two women are the color of their skin, and that one has a tattoo.  In addition to the passage tattoo on her ribs, Miss Kansas also has a military insignia on the back of her shoulder.  At a glance, Theresa Vail is seen as a stereotypical honorable member of the US military and a real American woman.  Yet, how is it that just by looking at Nina Davuluri’s blank canvassed body, she is somehow perceived to be a terrorist? Nina doesn’t have any symbols of Al Qaeda tatted across her chest, nor any signs that she’s anti-American.

All I see is a beautiful human being.

What drew me to this story was seeing the reaction Nina Davuluri took to the backlash.  Though the racist criticism and vulgarity had to be painful, Nina stood above it all.  She says, “I always viewed myself as first and foremost American.”  To respond to words of hate and discrimination with that kind of dignity, Nina truly encompasses what it means to be Miss America.
            No one can ensure the outcome of the American future.  Will we continue to segregate, classify, rank, and debase each other based on the colors of our skin?  Or will we actually become an equally synthesized blend of cultures, colors, and genders?  Newsflash for the ignorant, once again: America IS multicultural, IS multiracial and IS continuing to grow.  Nina Davuluri is a woman with a vision, a true activist courageous enough to put her vision into action: “I'm thankful there are children watching at home who can finally relate to a new Miss America.” And relate, they will.

Thank you, Nina Davuluri.


Maddison LeRoy

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Fall Semester 2013: The Line-Up

Ah, a new school year. The weather betraying us, making us believe it's still summer; the rush of new freshman wandering the campus; tables lining the Gauntlet, shouting to join their paintball club, or their sorority, or to have a free copy of the Orion.

This new year feeling also entails a new bunch of great staff and interns here at the AS Gender and Sexuality Equity Center. Here's our staff and interns for the Fall Semester of the 2013-2014 school year.

Katelyn Alvarez
Program: LGBTQ+ Program
Position: PDA (Public Display of Activism)
Likes: making silly faces in front of a camera and sushi (and has pretty mean chop-stick skills.)
Fun fact: Katelyn used to think that “valedictorian” was “valid victorian.” The same with “Ellen DeGeneres” and “Ellen: The Generous.”

Hannah Clause
Position: Intern Coordinator
Likes: happy hour with her friends and exploring San Francisco with her partner.
Fun fact: Hablo español (especialmente español chilena po!) aunque no estoy fluido.

Alex Dooley
Program: LGBTQ + Program
Position: Radio DJ & Button Maker
Likes: Tegan & Sara
Fun fact: Alex is an only child.

Eliza Dyer
Program: LGBTQ+ Program
Position: Current Events
Likes: cooking and discussing politics.
Fun fact: Eliza has been to the Alhambra in Spain, a cloud forest in Costa Rica, and Machu Picchu in Peru.

Brettoni "Toni: Foshee
Program: LGBTQ+ Program
Position: Librarian
Likes: food and concerts
Fun fact: Toni's favorite style to dance is hip-hop.

Sarena Kirk
Position: LGBTQ+ Program Coordinator
Likes: miniature versions of things and Tracy Chapman
Fun fact: Sarena has worked as a nude model!

Maddison LeRoy
Program: LGBTQ+ Program
Position: Blogger
Likes: exploring Bidwell and reggae music
Fun fact: Maddison has broken her collar bone rollerblading.

Remo Macartney
Position: Intern Coordinator Assisstant
Office Job: Admin duties and Radio DJ
Likes: Singing and weight lifting
Fun fact: Remo produces and raps on his own hip hop beats.

Adrianna McCain
Program: Women's Program
Position: Blogger
Likes: corgis and the color pink
Fun fact: Adrianna was lucky enough to see Sir Paul McCartney in concert this summer!

Laura Napoliello
Position: Women’s Program Coordinator
Likes: seeing live music and thrifting
Fun fact: Laura can count to ten in five languages.

Katie Prather
Program: Women's Program
Position: PDA (public displays of activism)
Likes: elephants and flowers
Fun fact: Katie has never seen falling snow (but hopes to very soon)!

Kristin Rounds
Position: Intern Coordinator Assistant
Likes: festivals and coconut water
Fun fact: Kristin and her cat are the same age.

Brooke Silveria
Program: Women's Program
Position: Spark Newsletter and thank you note writer
Likes: traveling and cats
Fun fact: Both Brooke's parents and step-mom are all librarians.

Rae Seifert
Program: Intern Coordinator Assistant
Position: Photographer, calendar and inventory
Likes: swimming and playing frisbee in one mile
Fun fact: Rae may seem "normal" right now, but she is completely insane! (Muhahaha)

Sarah Sullivan
Position: Director
Likes: feminism and her adorable tuxedo cat, Winston
Fun Fact: Sarah's hair color is au natural for the first time in 9 years!

Whitney Urmann
Program: Women's Program
Position: Spark Newsletter
Likes: tea and documentaries
Fun fact: Whitney owns a blueberry farm!

Christy Walowit
Program: Women's Program
Position: Co-Photographer and Co-Button Maker.
Likes: vegan cooking and anything outdoors
Fun fact: Christy plays violin, viola, and ukulele, and can eat almost anything with chopsticks.

Jordan Walsh
Program: Women's Program
Office job: current events
Likes: candy and Disneyland
Fun fact: Jordan runs for Chico State's Cross Country and Track teams.

There's a lot in store for this fantastic group of people, and we've got a lot planned for CSU Chico. Come visit us in BMU 005 and get to know the staff and interns of the 2013-2014 Fall Semester!

The LGBTQ+ Welcome Reception Presents Opportunity to Make Alliances on Campus

CHICO, Calif.- The Associated Students Gender and Sexuality Equity Center (GSEC) and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion are hosting an LGBTQ+ Welcome Reception for students who are looking to build new alliances and friendships on campus. The reception gives students a chance to learn about the services and resources on campus, along with getting to know the faculty, staff, and students in the LGBTQ+ community. There will be a raffle and free food available at the event. Please come join us on Wednesday, September 25th, from 3:30pm-5:00pm in Selvester’s Café on campus for new friendships, alliances, and some fun!
The reception will be kicked off with an introduction made by our LGBTQ+ Program Coordinator, Sarena Kirk, and the LGBTQ+ faculty and staff of California State University, Chico. Students will have the opportunity to hear about, and network with, community and campus organizations who will speak briefly about their programs and upcoming events in addition to informational tabling. Attendees can enjoy Roots Catering vegetarian appetizers and raffle prizes provided throughout the event.
The Office of Diversity and Inclusion is committed to cultivating a culturally inclusive environment where diversity of thought and expression are valued, respected, appreciated and celebrated. It serves as a resource to our campus community by providing information, referrals, advocacy, coordination and support for diversity-related events, activities, initiatives and discussions.
The Associated Students Gender and Sexuality Equity Center [GSEC] is a student run activist organization which strives to empower all students through its two programs: the Women’s Program and the LGBTQ+ Program. The GSEC challenges societal norms that have been used 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.

For more information or questions, feel free to visit our office in BMU 005, call us at (530)898-5724, or email us at