Month: March 2012
Diversity Program of the Month
GLBT Diversity Week
||Texas Tech University
|Person in charge:
|Target Population: 600
||Time Needed to Organize: 1 Month|
|Number of People in Attendance: 600
||Date(s) of Program: April 25-April 31|
|Number of People Needed to Organize: 20
||Cost of Program: 1000|
|On-Campus Population: 6491
||Chapter Size: 64|
|Origin of Program:|
To those who do not know, West Texas is a very conservative region.
Located right in the middle of the Bible belt, it is not shocking that
the Texas Tech University and Lubbock community follow this sense of
conservation. This is why it is surprising that in the spring of 2010,
the Texas Tech Residence Halls Association (RHA) in partnership with the
Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) hosted the first Texas Tech University Drag
The idea of a Texas Tech drag show was founded by the 2009-2010 RHA
president, Jesse Saldivar. Saldivar was also a very active member in the
Texas Tech GSA. From there the partnership of the event blossomed.
Little did Saldivar know that this event would not only be widely
accepted by the Texas Tech and Lubbock community, but also become an
This year, the RHA Vice President of Programming Traditions and
Leadership Development, Erin Evans, had the opportunity to plan the 3rd
annual Texas Tech Drag show. Evans decided to expand this event into an
entire week of GLBT awareness with events happening every day throughout
This OTM is to nominate the GLBT awareness week as March’s program of
Word Count: 200
|Please give a short description of the program:|
At each event throughout the week, the RHA and GSA handed out VIP
tickets. These tickets permitted attendees admission into the Drag
Show approximately 45 minutes early, allowing for first choice seat
On Monday, volunteers from the Residence Halls Association and the Gay
Straight Alliance reserved a table at the Texas Tech Student Union
Building (SUB) to hand out information about the GLBT community.
Additionally, the students promoted the Drag Show by handing out
approximately 250 VIP Drag Show tickets to passersby.
On Tuesday at the RHA general assembly meeting, a speaker presented
information about the Lubbock chapter of PFLAG (Parents, Families, and
Friends of Lesbians and Gays). The speaker gave out pamphlets about
the organization and shared many insightful stories about her two
homosexual sons. PFLAG’s main principle is to act as a resource to its
members and create awareness about the GLBT community.
On Wednesday the RHA and GSA hosted a screening of “The Birdcage” in
the Student Union Building Theater. This event attracted around 150
people, proving to be quite the sensational experience. As people
poured in, volunteers jumped at the opportunity to pass out more VIP
On Thursday, the RHA and GSA, in surprise to all in the Student Union
Building courtyard, spontaneously created a powerful freeze mob. Each
of the 50 volunteers received a shirt that said “I Support Diversity.”
At precisely 12:27 PM the volunteers scurried together and quietly
assembled as one, freezing for 3 silent, yet powerful minutes. After
the event the volunteers handed out more information about the Drag
Show and GLBT community.
Finally came the Drag Show on Friday. About 600 people attended with
about 20 volunteers. The Drag Show commenced at 8:30 PM, kicking-off
with amateur drag performances. Outside the event, tables were set up
with information about the Lubbock PFLAG, GSA, and RHA. RHA sold extra
“I Support Diversity” t-shirts with all the proceeds going to PFLAG.
Students ID’s were scanned as they walked in and a tally was kept of
whether the attendee lived on campus, lived off campus, or was a Texas
Tech staff member. Bins were placed at the entrance, and volunteers
roamed to collect donations for the Lubbock PFLAG. All tips that the
Drag performers earned went to the Lubbock PFLAG. The event went on to
raise approximately $1350.
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|Goals of the program:|
GLBT is an acronym for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or Transgender. The
goal of the RHA and GSA GLBT awareness week was to promote awareness
to this underrepresented population of people in the Texas Tech
community. Each event throughout the week ensured to have some aspect
of awareness tied to it.
Tabling allowed for hundreds of students primary access to information
about the GLBT community. The Freeze mob of 50 spread a subtle, yet
eloquent message relaying to several passing by students the feeling
that we stand as one, though diverse we may be.
The RHA general assembly meeting speaker delivered an even more
personal message to a few people. The speaker was open to questions
and the forum created a comfortable environment for students to ask
about GLBT issues that they may not have felt comfortable asking their
friends. The movie night had a more indirect awareness aspect, but
presented multiple relatable themes to the GLBT members.
Though the Drag Show garners awareness for this group of people, the
ideal rationale is to raise money for the Lubbock PFLAG. With this
money, PFLAG generously distributes multiple $1,000 scholarships and
is open to the public.
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|Positive and lasting effects of the program:|
The first and foremost apparent, lasting achievement is the
responsiveness and appreciation that is beautifully envisioned and
uplifted by the week of events. One attendee stated that he was in a
class that discussed various minorities and had to go to an event that
was out of his comfort zone; he chose the Drag Show. He said he went
into the event solely for class credit, and ended up leaving with a
broader and more open mind in regards to the GLBT community.
The second achievement for the Texas Tech RHA is the lasting
relationship we have established with the GSA. We now have an open
opportunity to partner with them on other events that will allow for
continuous support of each other in various ways.
The most thrilling thing about hosting this 3rd annual event is the
fact that most students living on campus next year will not have known
a time when there was no drag show; it will just be considered
something that Texas Tech hosts each year. An event started three
years ago continues to take positive steps in the community and will
hopefully keep spearheading the way and help others be more tolerant.
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|Short evaluation of the program:|
Overall, expanding the previously one night Drag Show event into a
weeklong of GLBT awareness flourished into what has become prideful
tradition widely accepted by the Texas Tech community. The drag show
is specifically held on campus to permit students the opportunity to
experience what lies beyond their own comfort zone, but is done in an
environment in which solace can be attained.
The RHA and GSA used VIP tickets to allow drag show guests the
exclusiveness of entering the event 45 minutes early. Last year the
same was done, though with colored wrist bands; with it came pros and
cons. On the positive side, the ticket holders felt more elite for
having the opportunity to get into the event early. The tickets,
instead of wrist bands, were more customized and included information
about the event on them. On the down side, many students wrongly
thought that a ticket was required to gain access into the drag show.
This may or may not have hindered attendance.
In all, for the past three years, there has been increasing hype about
the drag show, as it continues to draw a diverse and more accepting
Word Count: 194
|How could this program be adapted to other campuses?|
As previously stated, West Texas is a conservative region. Three years
ago when the idea of a drag show was brought to the table, I honestly
believed that it would not gain any ground. Since then it has proven
itself a great stepping stone in raising the voice of the GLBT
community every year.
This event can be adapted to other schools by first evaluating the
current acceptance of the GLBT members in the community. Implementing
a small program at first will ultimately pave the way for bigger and
better events. Texas Tech followed this model in that RHA hosted a
drag show the first year and it was not until the third year that the
event expanded to a week long campaign.
The RHA found it extremely useful to partner with the Gay Straight
Alliance. They had several supportive members at every event, and I
would highly recommend partnering with any organization. Small schools
have the opportunity to extend an open arm and personally change the
way many people view the GLBT community for the better. For larger
schools, the opportunity lies within the RHA to plan large events that
can have an impact on a broader audience.
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