The State – 04/03/23

Rachel Fulton

Happy April!

Today’s weather forecast is predicting partly cloudy skies in the morning which will gave way to cloudy skies during the afternoon with a high of 62 degrees and a low of 41 degrees.

Awareness week brings sexual violence prevention campaign to MSU campus

Bringing sexual assault prevention education programs to campus, Michigan State University’s spring “It’s On Us Week of Action” will begin today and will run through Friday, April 7.

MSU’s Prevention, Outreach and Education, or POE, department hosts a week of student-led programs and events twice a year as a chapter.

POE peer education manager Alex Babbitt said a primary mission is to make the nationwide campaign specific to MSU. Babbitt said the department is particularly proud the initiative is “student-driven, but staff-supported.”

The week will open with two events today: a tabling event outside of Wells Hall from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. featuring free giveaways and a healthy relationships vision-boarding activity in the STEM Teaching and Learning Facility from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

On Tuesday, students, faculty and staff can attend a “Lunch and Learn” about healthy boundaries at Brody Hall in room 175 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. The program, which focuses on determining personal boundaries and how to enforce them, is part of a three-part personal empowerment series hosted by POE throughout the year.

On Wednesday, a Bandana Project activity will be held in Brody Square from noon to 2 p.m. The Bandana Project is a national campaign that raises awareness about sexual violence in farm worker communities.

A virtual and cyber safety workshop will take place on Thursday from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. in Brody Hall room 175. Lastly, the week will end with a plant pot painting activity outside Wells Hall on Friday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Michiganders rally for acceptance on transgender day of visibility

Braving the rain and wind, a group of LGBTQ+ advocates and allies took to the steps of the Capitol last Friday morning to both celebrate transgender people and demand justice for members of the transgender communities.

Transgender Day of Visibility, an international holiday, provided a backdrop for the event, and speakers emphasized the importance of protecting transgender youth in the face of several bills that have been introduced in multiple states across the nation which target transgender people.

Cassandra Harding, a transgender woman who spoke at the rally, said efforts around the country to criminalize gender-affirming healthcare are equivalent to child abuse.

Harding shared her obstacles with the health care system as a trans adult. She said that many doctors did not know how to prescribe her hormone medications and she would often wait months to receive gender-affirming care.

The American Civil Liberties Union maps states with anti-LGBTQ+ laws both in action and that is a pending passage. The map has bills and laws in 27 states that would restrict or ban access to gender-affirming healthcare services, including access to puberty blockers or gender reassignment surgeries.

Organizers of the rally in Lansing said these types of regulations, even if they’re still stuck in state legislatures, can be harmful to the mental and physical well-being of transgender people, especially youth.

Speakers at the rally said even though bills threatening transgender rights may not be on the table in Michigan because of the Democratic majorities in both chambers, they still pose a danger to transgender people throughout the country.

GSCC to host annual Pride Prom in celebration of ‘resilience, community’

Prom is often cited as a rite of passage for high school students. Gender and Sexuality Campus Center assistant director Oprah Revish said many members of the LGBTQIA2s+ community don’t get the opportunity to celebrate prom during their high school years.

This led the GSCC to the idea of hosting a ‘re-do’ in college.

The Gender and Sexuality Campus Center, or GSCC, hosted its annual Pride Prom this past Saturday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center.

Pride Prom is a tradition that has been upheld on campus for over a decade. Revish said the purpose of the event is to celebrate resilience and community.

The theme of the event was ‘Pixels and Power-Ups.’ Revish said this resonates with a lot of the students she knows, who have an interest in video games.

This year’s prom, Revish said, was especially important due to recent legislation that has been passed throughout the country — citing attacks of gender-affirming care, the barring of transgender athletes from sports teams and the banning of books that showcase queer characters.

Based on original reporting by Vivian Barrett, Lily Guiney and Jaden Beard.