Ode to the Good

It’s been a crazy week everyone. I don’t just mean homework and closing in really fast on midterms. I mean there were tragedies in Boston and Texas and the bomb threat just yesterday. Life gets kind of scary sometimes and when bad things happen they are all we can think about and it becomes very easy to lose hope.

But please remember that good exists. Let me say that again, GOOD EXISTS. It’s not always breaking news or a front page story but it is real. The small daily kindness adds up to something much greater than the terrible events that transpire sometimes. I ask that you use this time to examine what and who is really important in your life. If you love someone tell them, if there is a grudge you’ve been holding let it go, if you made a mistake, apologize and if someone else did, then forgive.

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Today and every day, offer a smile to a stranger that needs it, offer an ear to a friend having a hard time, spend a day helping the less fortunate, and spend a day hanging out with your family. Tell the important people in your life just what they mean to you. Let go of your pride, your ego, your fear, live honestly and openly. And if you think these things are not enough, that they are drops in the bucket compared to the bad then please look harder. We are all connected in an infinite web of humanity and every action has reverberations that touch each one of us. Here is my ode to good, asking you to help me overwhelm that web with good vibes that will drown out the bad. I’m asking you all to be good to eachother, kind, gentle, brave, understanding, and loving especially when life gets difficult and frightening.

You may be an individual but what you do matters even if you can’t see it right away.

I’ll leave you with three quotes from three great philosophers:

 “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” –Fred Rogers

“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”- Dalai Lama

“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

― A.A. Milne (author of Winnie The Pooh)

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Take Back the Night: A History

The CCC’s annual Take Back the Night event will be taking place on Thursday, April 18th from 530-8pm. This is an event designed to shine light on the issues of domestic and sexual violence. It’s a chance to give voice to those who have survived and those who have been struggling in silence. It’s an act of solidarity as we collectively reclaim the night and show that we are unafraid and that there is no place for domestic/sexual violence in our world.

The movement was ignited by Katie Koestner, one of the first women to speak out about date rape and publicizing the issue on a national scale. The first event took place in October of 1975 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Concerned citizens gathered to commemorate the tragic murder of Susan Alexander Speeth, a microbiologist who was stabbed to death while walking home at night just a block away from her home.

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Since then, Take Back The Night has become an internationally held event, and through it survivors and supporters have found unity and strength in the face of terrible crimes and we continue and will always continue to fight as a community to protect the most basic and scared right, the right to be free from violence.

Such issues are especially salient today with the Steubenville case and also the recent suicide of Canadian teen, Rehtaeh Parsons, who was blamed and mocked mercilessly by peers after being sexually assaulted. These are just the cases we hear about. The sad truth is there is still much more progress needed in the public’s awareness and understanding of sexual violence issues.

Take Back the Night is our way of saying to all those who have experienced violence in their lives: you do not walk alone. We see you, we hear you, we love you, we stand with you and you are not forgotten.

Join us for the event as we march and light the night to take back what was taken, to take back what is ours!

Gender Q: Free To Be You

 Spring is in the air. The weather is warm, the flowers are blooming, and the birds are singing. The quarter has just begun and there is the opportunity to try something new.

So if you’ve looking to get involved in a student organization, have I got great news for you!

There is a new org on campus, called Gender Q, which I am proud to be an officer of. This club has been several months in the making and was officially recognized by CSI just this quarter. Even though we are just starting out, we have ambitious goals!

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So just what is Gender Q all about?

The primary mission of Gender Q is to create a safe space for discussion, support, and interaction for the Genderqueer, gender questioning, transgender, two-spirit, and gender non-conforming, and agender communities. The president, Lysander Valenzuela and the VP, Desiree Ross noticed that there was a lack of visibility and resources for individuals of these communities both on campus and off. This marginalization was of great concern to them and being awesome opossums, they set out to make a change and BOOM, Gender Q was born.

I invite everyone and I mean everyone whether you identify with the above communities or are an ally to those who do, to come to our meetings to socialize, discuss, and learn.

Meetings are every other Tuesday from315-415 in the CCC’s Gender & Sexuality Resource Center; the next meeting will be on 4/16/13.

Hope to see you there!