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Archive for Thursday, September 10, 1992

KU SENATE CONDEMNS OREGON GAY REFERENDUM

September 10, 1992

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The Kansas University Student Senate on Wednesday night unanimously condemned an anti-homosexual measure Oregon voters will consider this fall.

"We, the University of Kansas Student Senate, hereby condemn the Oregon Citizens' Alliance's anti-gay and -lesbian referendum on Oregon's November 1992 ballot," the senate's resolution states. "Furthermore, we encourage other student government organizations around the country to join us in expressing outrage at this flagrant assault on the civil and human rights of gays, lesbians, and bisexuals by a state government."

The KU resolution was written by graduate student senator Patrick Dilley. Students at other universities have passed or are considering similar measures, he said.

THE OREGON Citizens' Alliance, an anti-homosexual organization, obtained enough voter signatures to place a referendum on that state's ballot to allow the Oregon Legislature to restrict funding of programs that address alternative lifestyles, or fire state employees who are homosexual, speakers at the senate meeting said.

"I'm appalled and horrified that an organization like the Oregon Citizens' Alliance could even exist," said Tim Dawson, chair of the senate's minority affairs committee.

Dilley said the measure was "far-reaching" and would legalize censorship.

He said efforts would be made to publicize the senate's resolution throughout the region and in Oregon through KU's Office of University Relations.

IN ANOTHER matter, the senate, meeting for the first time this semester, voted to allocate $360 for a new KU Student Veterans Organization.

Michael Levy, KU freshman and Navy veteran who served in Operation Desert Storm and formed the new KU organization, said the veterans group would help student veterans obtain information on government assistance in student loans and other matters.

"Veterans do have specific needs that aren't being met," he said. "Their views are different from traditional students.' "

Levy said that as the U.S. government scales down its military, more men and women who are forced out of the military will enroll in school.

He said the Student Veterans Organization would help answer students' questions about available benefits through the federal Department of Veterans Affairs and the G.I. Bill.

"We plan on making the whole campus more aware," he said. "We're open to anyone."

Levy said about 380 veterans now attend KU, but that the number was expected to grow.

IN OTHER ACTION, the senate:

Allocated $229 for the KU Homeless Coalition, which seeks to raise awareness about homelessness.

Allocated $2,750 for half the salary of a part-time administrative assistant in the graduate student council.

Allocated $304 for Best Buddies, a program that allows college students to work one on one with community members who are mentally retarded.

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