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The Indiana University Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Alumni Association has launched the nation’s first-ever scholarship campaign devoted to assisting GLBT students and promoting leadership on GLBT concerns.
According to Doug Bauder, coordinator at the IU GLBT Student Support Services Office, the GLBT Alumni Association organized this dual scholarship.
One of the scholarships aims to help GLBT students who are cut off financially after coming out about their sexual orientation.
“If they choose to share that with their parents, and on occasion, these folks have lost support, financially,” Bauder says, “I became aware of that when students would share that with me and as I met with people in the alumni association, we came up with ways to provide them some scholarship money.”
Bauder says the campaign has been under development for over a decade, and that IU leading the way is no surprise.
“There’s been an appreciation of issues of sexual diversity since the days of Alfred Kinsey,” Bauder says, “There’s a tradition and a history of this community and this campus of understanding that not everyone is heterosexual. There are unique problems gay students face and this office opened 20 years ago to offer information and support to gay students. From the very first year our office was open, we’ve had alumni say they wish it had been open when they were in school in the 50’s or 60’s or 70’s.”
Full or part-time students enrolled at any IU campus may apply for the scholarships, which are awarded based on involvement in activities promoting diversity and raising awareness of GLBT issues.