Jul 9, 2012 7:37 PM by Elizabeth Hill
UL Lafayette is the first university in the state to offer a unique minor. Students can now minor in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender studies. Proponents of the new minor say the goal is education and acceptance. "The more that mainstream America is becoming more and more accepting of openly gay people, we in the South have not been as open," said Sociology Professor DeAnn Kalich, Ph.D. She spearheaded the development of the minor after a campus climate survey revealed a need and desire for more inclusion of LGBT students in all areas of campus life. Kalich says the campus is ideal for introducing what some might call a controversial area of study. "Inequality is something that UL does address and does so often before many of the other universities across the state."
Kalich and Assistant Coordinator Chiristina Newgebaver say students, whether or not lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender will learn more about the LGBT community. "Having something like this where other LGBT people or people that are just interested in being an ally can go, can get more information, can get the right kind of education and not the misconceived stereotypes," said Newgebaver.
Because of budget cuts, the LGBT minor will not include new classes, rather students will take classes already offered at the university. Not everyone is in favor of the new minor. Some professors have asked their courses not be included. The minor requires 18 credit hours and includes a 400 level course, including field study.