At Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania, students were already set to mark this week with events for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community, but many of those events have taken on a different tone — and more enthusiasm — in light of last week’s shocking suicide by Rutgers student Tyler Clementi.
Bob Schoenberg, director of Penn’s LGBT Center, called the timing of the school’s events fortuitous.
“I expect that this is going to have somewhat of a ripple effect and there will be additional activities and programs in the near future,” Schoenberg said.
Penn was ranked first on a list of gay-friendly colleges and universities in a Newsweek report. The school has expanded its student health care coverage to include transgender students and have numerous policies prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Kevin Williams, Temple’s director of resident life, said the campus has been buzzing around the issues of bullying and support for LGBT students. Last night, students held a previously-scheduled panel discussion called “Invisible.”
“I came from a staff meeting where we talked about this very issue,” he said. “They want to know, are we doing everything we should be doing?”