New group works to gain domestic partner benefits

David Yochum

While it won’t be recognized as an official campus organization until January, members of Kent State’s Queer Liberation Front are planning to make noise.

The group started preparing for a Nov. 8 rally to support domestic partner benefits at its weekly meeting, held last night in room 314 of the Student Center.

Members of the organization, which started last week, said faculty have left the university because Kent State does not offer domestic partner benefits, unlike other Ohio universities.

“Domestic partner benefits are benefits for your employment with the university,” said John Barham, senior applied conflict management major. “A major reason we formed this group is because we want to see action.”

Danielle Flink, organization co-chair, said groups such as Faculty Senate, Undergraduate Student Senate and Graduate Student Senate all support domestic partner benefits, but it is up to the university to take a stance on the issue.

“We would like a public statement,” she said. “Right now the university says that it is illegal to offer domestic partner benefits because of Ohio Issue 1, passed in 2004.”

The group also plans to analyze campus security, with hopes of improving emergency phone systems and adding lighting to unlit areas on campus and in downtown Kent.

Extra safety steps are being considered after a gay student was attacked last year on Front Campus.

Contact minority affairs reporter David Yochum at [email protected].