The West Virginia University community is welcomed to attend a town hall meeting called “Bullying in the LGBTQ Community.”

All students, faculty, staff and community members are encouraged to attend this event, held in the Mountainlair Ballrooms on Tuesday (March 20) from 7-9 p.m. It will be the first of its kind at WVU and is intended to draw attention to bullying.

The event is hosted by Brian Jara and Melissa Chesanko, professors from the Center for Women’s Studies, Daniel Brewster, a professor from the Division of Sociology and Anthropology, Barbara Copenhaver-Bailey, the assistant vice president for Student Success in the Division of Student Affairs and Benjamin Seebaugh, a board of governor in the Student Government Association. Additional sponsors include the Carruth Center for Psychological and Psychiatric Services, the President’s Office for Social Justice and former SGA President Chris Lewallen.

“We want people to walk out knowing what bullying actually is, who is doing it, who is a victim and what we can do to stop it,” Seebaugh said.

The event is presented as a discussion rather than a lecture, and attendants will participate in real-time surveys similar to the clicker quizzes that WVU students are accustomed to in their classes. Other components of the event include videos and statements from students, faculty, administrators and community members.

“We realize that bullying is a problem on our campus and of others nationwide, and recognize that bigotry toward LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning) people leads to self-loathing, a feeling of being ostracized and sometimes even death,” Seebaugh said. “That is unacceptable anywhere, and we want to do our best to make sure that it doesn’t happen at WVU.”

The hosts of the event have additional plans for an anti-hate campaign in the future.

“A take-away from the event will be that people will be educated on some of the problems faced in the LGBTQ community in Morgantown and everywhere,” Seebaugh said.

Seebaugh said this event is not an end of the road for the movement against bullying at WVU but instead a starting point for what will grow to be a campus-wide campaign to support the community.

“I want everyone at this event to feel empowered to make a tangible difference to help our fellow Mountaineers,” Seebaugh said.



CONTACT: Benjamin Seebaugh, Student Government Association

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