Campus Pride Blog

Queer It Up! Friday: Strategies for Creating Awareness on Red Cross Blood Drives



In this week’s edition…

  • HOT LIST! Cameron Mack, Speaker/Lecturer
  • Don’t forget: Campus Pride early bird rates end soon!
  • OUT TO PLAY! nominations still open
  • Yale Under Federal Investigation For ‘Sexually Hostile Environment’
  • Strategies for Creating Awareness on Red Cross Blood Drives
  • Let us feature your campus!

Check out this week’s great features after the jump…

HOT LIST! Cameron Mack, Speaker/Lecturer

Through his middle and early high school years Cameron began experiencing symptoms of depression. He dropped out of high school, experienced a series of 10 hospitalizations, and was eventually diagnosed with bipolar disorder. After years in the system of care, he was placed with a loving foster family. With the support of his foster family, parents and friends Cameron worked hard at getting well and finishing high school. As a high school student in Burlington, Vermont, Cameron became interested in advocacy while speaking on panels about his experience as a queer transgender youth. In college, he joined Active Minds and became involved with mental health activism. Today, Cameron works as an EMT and with children and attends the University of Vermont. With tremendous energy and a fun and quirky style, Cameron’s presentation beautifully illustrates the growth that comes from struggle and how one can live well with a mental illness. Learn more about Cameron…


Don’t forget: Campus Pride early bird rates end soon!

Don’t forget: Registration for Campus Pride’s fifth annual Summer Leadership Camp is open online.

The five-day event will be held at Vanderbilt University, July 19-24, 2011.

Our Happy Camper Discount ends on April 16, so start registering today!

OUT TO PLAY! nominations still open


Campus Pride and Compete Magazine have announced a new initiative to rank and reward the most LGBT-friendly collegiate athletic programs in the United States.

Nominations for our OUT TO PLAY rankings are still open. Click here to skip right to the nomination form, or learn more about the new initiative.

Yale Under Federal Investigation For ‘Sexually Hostile Environment’

The Associated Press reports that Yale University is under federal investigation for allegations that it created a “sexually hostile environment” for female students and that university officials failed to respond properly.

The AP’s John Christoffersen writes:

    The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights confirmed Friday that it has begun investigating the school. The office gets about 7,000 complaints per year and investigates about one-third of them.

    The complaint, sent March 15, alleges that the university failed to respond promptly or effectively to incidents of harassment, resulting in the denial of equal opportunity to education, the office said.

    The students cite incidents in which fraternities held up a sign “We love Yale sluts” outside a women’s center and chanted “no means yes” on campus last fall. They also say incoming female freshmen were ranked on attractiveness.

    The complaints also include allegations that Yale failed to adequately respond to reports of rape or attempted rape and stalking, said Alexandra Brodsky, a Yale junior who is one of the 16 complainants. She would not disclose the number of complaints or the documentation the students filed.

The Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights enforces civil rights regulations in elementary, middle and high schools as well as institutions of higher education. Released late last year, new guidelines and interpretations of several statutes have allowed the office to investigate cases of anti-LGBT bias and discrimination, as well.

Strategies for Creating Awareness on Red Cross Blood Drives

Blood Drives are popular service projects on campuses nationwide. In the face of the Japanese earthquake tragedy, many campuses will be holding relief and aid events — some of them featuring blood drives as a tool to engage students.

However, an FDA policy excludes gay men from donating blood. How is a campus to deal with the discriminatory impact of such events?

In 1983, the FDA recommended donor-screening procedures to exclude individuals at increased risk for transmitting HIV. The FDA policy screens out all potential donors who are men who have had sex, even once, with another man since 1977.

An explanation of the policy and the rationale for keeping it in place can be found at:

So, how can you use campus blood drives to build awareness? Consider these possible strategies for your campus:

  • Conduct outreach to the campus community. Many people don’t know about the exclusionary policy.
  • Encourage students who would be banned to approach the donation table and discuss the policy with Red Cross volunteers.
  • Put together a list of how many viable pints of blood the collection agency is missing out on because of this outdated policy.
  • Advocate working with other blood collection agencies that do not support the FDA policy.
  • Write letters to the FDA, your congressperson and Members of the Congressional committees that control the FDA.
  • Get faculty members involved, as well.
  • Hold a petition drive.
  • File formal discrimination complaints with your school and/or state system.

Let us feature your campus!

As Queer It Up! Take Action Fridays continue to gear up, we want to feature student leaders, campus organizations and other student-led and -initiated efforts. We want to praise your successes and examine your challenges. Profiling them here gives other students the opportunity to learn from your mistakes as well as your achievements. All-in-all, we can help each other make better campuses and communities for LGBTQ people! If your student-led campus or community group has something to share, shoot an email off to

Want more? Check out our past Queer It Up! coverage.