Kentucky Equality Federation and Northern Kentucky University Reach Agreement

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Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer is now satisfied with Northern Kentucky University’s response to an incident involving a gay student.

Kentucky Equality Association/Federation President Jordan Palmer stated today that he is now satisfied with Northern Kentucky University’s response to an incident involving a gay student.

On August 28th, Jeremy Phillippi said he found "(this word omitted by Kentucky Equality) you fag. I hope you get AIDS" on his dorm room door and that the decorations on a bulletin board had been torn down. Phillippi is a resident advisor at the university and a member of Common Ground, Northern Kentucky University’s Gay-Straight Alliance.

Phillippi filed a complaint with the Federation to push NKU administrators to take a more aggressive stance against acts of discrimination, intimidation and hatred.

The Kentucky Equality Federation requested university management assume a more "hands on" role in the investigation and issue a public statement condemning this action with consequences of targeting students because of their sexual orientation or gender identity clearly identified.

“After speaking to Vice President of Student Affairs Mark G. Shanley, I have a much better understanding of the situation,” stated Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer. “We had a very friendly, candid conversation about the incident and will keep an open dialog. I thought Mr. Shanley was both receptive and supportive, having made himself personally available to Phillippi if he encountered any additional problems.”    

Vice President Shanley and Dean of Students Kelso stopped by a Common Ground meeting this week and spoke with them about discrimination, tolerance, and a variety of other topics.

“I think Vice President Shanley making time to personally address Jeremy Phillippi’s concerns and speak directly to NKU’s Gay-Straight Alliance is very impressive,” stated Kentucky Equality Federation Awareness Coordinator Jesse Alexander.

Alexander’s comments where echoed by Common Ground’s Co-President Mike Volmer yesterday during a telephone conversation with Palmer.

“Because the reported misconduct also represents behavior inconsistent with our University’s values, it is important that we also respond in a manner that sends a clear message reaffirming the importance of civilized behavior toward all individuals and discouraging behavior which threatens the freedom and respect that every individual deserves. When the investigation into this complaint is completed, I will personally communicate this message to the entire Northern Kentucky University community,” stated Northern Kentucky University President James C. Votruba.

Phillippi partnered with another resident advisor to facilitate a two-day program focused on diversity, tolerance, and AIDS with the University Housing Department providing funding, marketing support and serving as co-sponsor.

Palmer stated Kentucky Equality Federation would continue to support its members and Gay-Straight Alliances across Kentucky.

Palmer and other management from Kentucky Equality Federation still plan to meet with members of Common Ground’s Board to discuss monetary and material ways the federation can support the Gay-Straight Alliance.

NOTE TO EDITORS:

The Kentucky Equality Federation currently has nearly 6,000 members throughout the commonwealth (as of August 31, 2006). The Kentucky Equality Federation has three authorized chapters operating in the Bluegrass, Jackson Purchase, Northern, and Southeastern Regions of Kentucky.

The Kentucky Equality Federation’s Advisory Council determines the Federation’s platform, candidate political ratings, and chapter management.

The Kentucky Equality Federation is a member of the International Lesbian and Gay Association™, a monetary supporter of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund®, and advocate/supporter of the Military Equality Alliance.

The International Lesbian and Gay Association is a world-wide network of national and local groups dedicated to achieving equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) people everywhere. Founded in 1978, it now has more than 400 member organizations. Every continent and around 90 countries are represented. ILGA member groups range from small collectives to national groups and entire cities.

ILGA is to this day the only international non-profit and non-governmental community-based federation focused on presenting discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation as a global issue.

For additional information, visit our official website at http://www.commonwealth-equality.org, or http://www.theequalityparty.org.

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