TAMIU Student Group Dates First Rainbow Unity Confab March 29, 2005

TAMIU Student Group Dates First Rainbow Unity Confab March 29


Texas A&M International University's Gay Straight Alliance (GSA), an officially sanctioned student organization, will host its first conference, the Rainbow Unity Conference, on Wednesday, March 29, 2005 from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Tori Cuddigan, GSA president, said the Conference offers an opportunity for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and straight (GLBTS) students and community to interact and explore common concerns.

"We're hoping to capture the diversity of our community and how we are an integral part of all communities. Our Conference hopes to encourage opportunities for dialogue and for working together to address common concerns," Cuddigan said.

There is no cost to attend the Conference and the community at large is welcome to attend.

Rosie Hinojosa, GSA vice president and event chair, said the Conference is the second public event the group has held.

"We had a gender illusion show and benefit last semester to help raise visibility and encourage our community. This effort is designed to further communication, encourage more dialogue and more understanding," she said.

Registration will be at 8 a.m. in the Student Center Ballroom, followed by opening ceremonies and an icebreaker from 9 a.m. - 10 a.m.

The Conference will include six distinct hour-long sessions. The first, from 10 - 11 a.m., will include faculty participation. The second, from 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. will feature students addressing gay student issues and parents sharing their thoughts as parents of gay children.

The third session, from 2 - 3p.m., will feature Jason Stuart, an "out" comedian from the Los Angeles area who has appeared on "My Wife and Kids," "Fat Actress," "Will and Grace" and is currently touring with his comedy show, "The Looking For Mr. Right Comedy Tour."

Session four, from 3 - 4 p.m., will offer an Open Forum Debate on "Religion vs. Homosexuality" with Dr. Phoebe Godfrey and Sister Rose Tresp.

Session five, from 4 - 5 p.m., will feature Yvonne Gribble providing a presentation on sexually transmitted diseases and HIV prevention. HIV testing will be offered throughout the Conference in conjunction with Student Health Services and STACADA.

Session six, from 5 - 6 p.m., will offer a closing Q&A Session featuring a panel of representatives from the TAMIU GLBTS community. Closing ceremonies will follow.

For additional information, contact Cuddigan at aquario2681@hotmail.com or call 251-7244.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu