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University of Iowa News Release

April 14, 2004

GAYLA Week Events Highlight Anti-Discrimination Efforts

A Day of Silence to protest the discrimination, harassment and abuse against gay students will highlight this year's GAYLA Week April 19 to 23 at the University of Iowa.

Also during the week will be an appearance by a start of MTV's The Real World New Orleans, a drag show and a series of roundtable discussions.

The Day of Silence will be held Wednesday, April 21, to protest the silencing of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students and their allies in schools.

"The Day of Silence is especially relevant to the University of Iowa because gays and lesbians students are a part of our campus community just like any other students," said Rob Anderson, educational programs coordinator in the UI Office of Residence Life. "We hope that by taking a vow of silence on April 21st, we will help bring awareness to the inequality that members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community face everyday."

The national Day of Silence, a project of GLSEN (Gay and Lesbian Student Education Network), will be held at schools across the country. Participants will wear stickers and pass out cards that explain why they are not speaking.

"GLSEN's 2001 National School Climate Survey found that four out of five lesbian, gay or transgender students report verbal, sexual or physical harassment at school and 30 percent report missing at least a day of school in the past month out of fear for their personal safety" said Anderson. "The Day of Silence is one way students and their allies are making bullying, harassment and name-calling unacceptable in American's schools."

GAYLA Week is sponsored by the UI Department of Residence Services, Associated Residence Halls, and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Faculty and Staff
Association, with additional support from Stepping Up.

Other GAYLA events include:

--"What is Straight? The Concept of Metrosexuality." Monday, April 19, 12:10 p.m. to 12:50 p.m., Burge Hall Lobby.

--"The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert." The Oscar-winning movie will be shown Monday, April 19, at 7:30 p.m., in the Van Oel Room, Currier Hall.

--GLBT Resource Faire. Tuesday, April 20, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Hillcrest Hall Lobby.

--"Gays in the Media: A Collegiate Readership Program Panel Discussion." Tuesday, April 20, 8 p.m., Quad Hall, Multi Purpose Room.

--"Day of Silence...Night of Compassion." A Bohemian evening of sharing and remembering, with poetry readings and music. Wednesday, April 21, 9 p.m., MC's Coffeehouse, Mayflower Hall.

--"Sexuality and Spirituality: Can They Mix?" Thursday, April 22, 12:10 p.m. to 12:50 p.m., Riverview Lounge, Hillcrest Hall.

--"An Evening with Danny Roberts from MTV's The Real World New Orleans," Thursday, April 22nd, 8 p.m., Van Oel Room, Currier Hall.

--"Drag in the City: Iowa Style!" Live Cabaret/Drag Show. Friday, April 23, 8 p.m., Van Oel Room, Currier Hall.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010,