Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Fulbright Scholars' Orientation - Gender and Sexual Harassment

I was asked to speak to a group of visitors to our campus who are Fulbright Scholars from around the globe.  They are at SMC for an orientation before heading out across the country to study for the next two years.  My topic was on Gender and Sexual Harassment.  Too often, we just assume that visitors to our country completely understand OUR customs and laws when, in reality, much of their education comes (shudder) from television and the movies.  These people are from Brazil, Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Pakistan, Botswana, Kyrgyzstan, Colombia and Libya.  They were so attentive and asked great questions.  While I DID have to explain the term "fondling", I gratefully, did not have to explain the word "penetration."  Three of them explained that in their country, LGBTQ (they asked me to explain what I meant by those letters) must exist BUT they are not open because they could be killed......  It was an amazing two hours and I appreciate their attention, their willingness to go way out of their comfort zone and to better understand the influence that culture has on all of us.

As always, please keep all of the members of our military and our veterans in your thoughts and prayers.  We recently held a campus-wide meeting with 25 folks from all areas of the College to discuss how we can better serve the needs of our student-veterans - a good meeting.