Queer Liberation Front discusses safety

Tim Magaw

Campus group discusses safety goals and domestic partner benefits with Lefton

Queer Liberation Front chair Josh Sebrasky said President Lester Lefton was impressed with the amount of research the group had done about safety on campus.

“He was totally online … He loved it,” Sebrasky said, adding that Lefton agreed safety is something that needs to be addressed.

Members of QLF met privately with Lefton yesterday in his office to discuss issues such as safety on campus.

The group members presented Lefton with a map that showed areas on campus where they think emergency phones are needed, and where phones are broken or obscured. Sebrasky said the group would like to see a panic button on all campus phones.

Lefton refused to comment following the meeting.

QLF co-chair John Barham said the group discussed domestic partner benefits with Lefton. Barham said Lefton fell back on Issue 1 of the November 2004 election as a block to offering domestic partner benefits. Issue 1, now Article 15, Section 11 of the Ohio Constitution, states a marriage can only exist between a man and a woman.

“If domestic partner benefits are illegal, how can universities continue to offer them?” Barham asked after the meeting, adding that the universities of Cincinnati and the Miami continue to offer the benefits.

Barham said the group also presented a request for an LGBT resource center on campus.

“Finances is a deterrent,” Barham said about the center. “$75,000 a year is a lot of money.”

QLF co-chair Danielle Flink said the meeting went well.

“I think that he is genuinely concerned about our issues and is willing to work with us to accomplish our goals,” she said.

QLF co-chair Katie Troha said she thinks Lefton would like to work in the group’s favor.

“He really wants all of this to happen,” she said. “He just has to be careful about what he does.”

The group tentatively planned another meeting with Lefton in February.

Contact ethnic affairs reporter Tim Magaw at [email protected].