University Relations and Marketing

Contacts:
Tammy Rea, Diversity Center Coordinator,  896-5902
Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269

October 6, 2010

MSU Billings Diversity Center celebrates
National Coming Out Day

Information, resource forum, open house part of event on Oct. 11

MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — As Montana State University Billings continues to grow as an academic community, the university is becoming more diverse.  But the diversity stretches beyond ethnic origin and efforts are under way to ensure all students feel welcome.

""As a part of that continuing effort, the MSU Billings Diversity Center will be joining universities, cities and organizations around the country to celebrate National Coming Out Day on Monday, Oct. 11. An event that involves thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their supporters across the country, National Coming Out Day is a way to raise awareness of diversity.

“We should promote efforts in every way to support all members of our student body so that the university becomes a comfortable atmosphere where they feel inclined to take part in activities and take ownership of the opportunities here,” said Tammy Rea, Diversity Center coordinator. “This is a big part of that.”

This is the first year that MSU Billings has celebrated National Coming Out Day, a national event since 1987. As part of day, the Diversity Center will:

  • Have informational signs around the university
  • Host a resource forum in the Liberal Arts/Library area from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • Host an open house for students, faculty, or staff that are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or an ally to this community in the Student Union Building from 3-5 p.m.

The event takes place in the aftermath of a death related to anti-gay harassment of a college student in New Jersey. 

Rutgers freshman Tyler Clementi killed himself last month after his roommate allegedly videotaped a sexual encounter with another man and posted it online. His death is the latest in a disturbing series of teen suicides believed to have taken place after anti-gay bullying.

Rea said the tragedy sheds light on the need for increased awareness of diversity.

For more information on the MSU Billings Diversity Center, contact Rea at 896-5902 or email her at trea@msubillings.edu.


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