lambda

This spring semester ushered in a new board of the Penn Lambda Alliance. | Courtesy of the Penn Lambda Alliance

Lambda Alliance, the umbrella organization for LGBTQ constituent groups on campus, held board elections in November. The Daily Pennsylvanian sat down with the new board members to see what their visions are for the upcoming year.

Name: Ian Jeong

Position: Chair of Lambda Alliance

School and Year: Nursing junior

Daily Pennsylvanian: Can you describe your position?

Ian Jeong: I schedule and call all [of Lambda’s] GBMs. I represent Lambda and our constituent groups in meetings with the Vice Provost, Office of the President, student government and the press. I sit on University committees and councils. I also work to maintain communication between Lambda and the LGBT Center, and Lambda and 5B [an umbrella coalition of minority groups].

DP: What do you want to work on this year?

Jeong: Our GBMs feel almost too matter-of-fact; we only do executive board updates and constituent group updates. We’re thinking of ways to make it more engaging and fun. We’re also going to take another look at the constitution. There are a few parts that we are not entirely sure are relevant. Cody [Smith, vice-chair of political affairs] and I want to take another look at that sexual assault survey [AAU Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct] and see how Lambda can help. There are several things we want to work on as a 5B collaboration. One thing is faculty diversity. [It’s] a little different from the LGBT side because there are only a few student groups that are already working on it.

DP: What is your guilty pleasure?

Jeong: My favorite nut mix is from Kirkland. I think my guilty pleasure would be ... nuts.

Name: Cody Smith

Position: Vice-Chair of Political Affairs

School and Year: College junior

DP: Can you describe your position?

Cody Smith: Ian and I are in charge of meeting with the administration and pushing through initiatives with administration. Outside of campus, Ian and I are in contact with the Pennsylvania Youth Congress, which is an LGBT organization, to put on the Pennsylvania Youth Action Conference sometime in the spring here on campus.

DP: What do you want to work on this year?

Smith: Increasing LGBTQ-specific resources [within] Student Health Services — making sure there are healthcare providers who are sensitive to queer people and taking care of their specific health needs, making sure that healthcare providers do not assume that people are heterosexual or cisgender because that can be really uncomfortable. Increasing CAPS resources for LGBT individuals is also really important.

DP: What is your guilty pleasure?

Smith: Sugar and melodramatic television — it’s the best combination in the world.

Name: Sean Collins

Position: Vice-Chair of Internal Affairs

School and Year: College sophomore

DP: Can you describe your position?

Sean Collins: [I’m] in charge of ensuring the health of the constituent groups. Other than that, it’s ensuring the health of individuals who don’t fall into a constituent group and making sure that they’re included in Lambda’s goals because they wouldn’t have an official voice otherwise.

DP: What do you want to work on this year?

Collins: We just want to make the bureaucracy of the group — of all the groups — work better than what we’re currently at. We’re trying to restructure the GBMs for attendance. The thought is that we will add some type of additional program to the GBM so that it’s more applicable to people who aren’t in our community and to give people who are in our community another incentive.

DP: What is your guilty pleasure?

Collins: I will just sit in bed and watch YouTube for hours. I’m particularly a Connor Franta and Troye Sivan fan, which is very stereotypical of me.

Name: Julia Pan

Position: Vice-Chair of Outreach Programs

School and Year: College freshman

DP: Can you describe your position?

Julia Pan: I am responsible for maintaining and strengthening a queer presence in the lives of incoming freshmen — whether that be through Quaker Days or NSO — and I work closely with the Admissions Office to ensure that the needs of queer students are represented.

DP: What do you want to work on this year?

Pan: Because there are so many niche groups under Lambda, people sometimes self-segregate in the queer community. We want to have a more united front and a time where the entire community comes together. I want to be able to be the point-person so when students come on campus, they’ll have a noticeable face, and they’ll know all the resources available to them. I feel like if you’re not in the community, you don’t know it exists and what’s available.

DP: What is your guilty pleasure?

Pan: Ally McBeal

Name: Kai Kornegay

Position: Vice-Chair of Finance and Development

School and Year: College sophomore

DP: Can you describe your position?

Kai Kornegay: As vice-chair of finance, I sit on different funding groups and I’ll be able to vote and really push for Lambda constituent events to be funded. I also assist the finance chairs of the individual constituent groups and make sure that they know about the processes for applying for funding.

DP: What do you want to work on this year?

Kornegay: Primarily this year, I really want to push constituent groups to apply for funding because Lambda constituent groups don’t generally apply for outside funding as much as other 5B constituent groups do.

DP: What is your guilty pleasure?

Kornegay: Watching marriage proposal and baby announcement videos on YouTube.

Name: Kathryn DeWitt

Position: Vice-Chair of Communications

School and Year: College sophomore

DP: Can you describe your position?

Kathryn DeWitt: I oversee Lambda’s aesthetic presence on campus, create the newsletter, take minutes and work on publicity.

DP: What do you want to work on this year?

DeWitt: I’m really excited to serve as communications chair. I hope to use technology to improve the way Lambda functions and communicates with its constituent groups. One initiative I’m hoping to work on is a community calendar where groups can submit their events for both publicity and more public recognition.

DP: What is your guilty pleasure?

DeWitt: Binge-watching crime dramas on Netflix.

These interviews have been edited for brevity and clarity.

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