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We found ourselves disappointed in the quality of a recent editorial (“Foster acceptance,” 1/26/2011). Although we are always open to suggestions on the projects we are pursuing, and we are always glad to hear differing opinions, the piece was regrettably misinformed on several levels. It also appeared to lack any substantive critiques or suggestions about how we could improve our programming or get a “grassroots effort” started. The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender education program for fraternity pledges is not mandatory, nor is it different in any way from the other new member education programs. Also absent from the piece were the various other aspects of our campaign, including collaborative philanthropy events with fraternities and a network of LGBT-identifying Greeks.

A grassroots movement would be ideal, and we hope that this program will serve as an impetus for individuals and fraternities as a whole to take initiative. Historically, grassroots actions on this issue have been problematic because many LGBT-identifying fraternity members are afraid of stigmatizing their house as the “gay fraternity.” There are people entering the Greek system who have no exposure to LGBT individuals. This program educates pledges about potentially difficult situations — such as a brother coming out — and helps them become more mindful of the effect of gay slurs. Just as importantly, and often overlooked, is that there still exist frat brothers and pledges who have not come out to their frat simply because they were not out when they joined. These are the brothers who suffer in silence, and it is our mission as an LGBT-advocacy organization that with this program we can foster inclusive fraternity leaders.

-- Lambda Alliance Board 2011 The Lambda Alliance is Penn’s umbrella organization for the LGBT community.

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