John Bartelt, associate professor of education and technology, gave a lecture for the Colloquium Series on Diversity entitled “Gender, Identity, & Sexual Roles” on March 11.
The speech focused on ways, both on and off campus, that people can be more accepting and tolerant of people from different sexual categories and identities.
Bartelt compiled the information presented in the lecture from facts and statistics that he collected over the years from sources such as journal articles, studies and other data on different topics of interest.
“To do a presentation on a subject such as identity and sexual roles I go through my vast collection of information and find appropriate materials,” Bartelt said. “I think speaking out about issues such as these are important because it hurts me when I see deliberate cruelty and I feel I have an obligation to stand up against it, and educate others to help make La Verne a safe place for everybody.”
Bartelt’s wife, Linda Bartelt, who is a masters student at ULV, also attended the lecture and agrees with her husband’s mission to make the University of La Verne, and everywhere else, a more tolerant environment.
“I think that the University of La Verne does a great job of being open-minded and accepting of the different members of the student body, regardless of their sexual orientation,” Linda Bartelt said.
“It’s great to see a welcoming open campus like this that is not only tolerant to different ways of life, but that also has lectures to put topics such as these out there on people’s plates, and help create more broadmindedness,” she added.
“Sometimes we can get a bit of tunnel vision, and just go through our school days without really seeing the broad range of people around us. Attending lectures such as these not only helps us become more invested in our campus, but also helps to make us more wholly educated,” Linda Bartelt said.
Some of the activities mentioned to help create a more accepting environment on campus include film festivals, graduation ceremonies, and events and meetings put on by the Rainbow Alliance on campus, which is an undergraduate and graduate student club for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students as well as their straight allies at ULV.
Throughout the lecture, there was a theme of creating acceptance and openness for members of the student body with different sexual orientations.
Jason Neidleman, a political science professor at La Verne, believes that lectures such as this one will help change the environment at ULV.
“I believe that ULV has a general climate of openness,” Neidleman said.
“If we can create an atmosphere of tolerance on campus, it will make it easier for the student body, and make students, either gay or straight, to feel more open to saying what is on their mind, and how they are feeling,” he added.
“I just want to thank all the students of the University of La Verne for being exactly who they are, and for helping to make this campus a safe place to be more all students enrolled,” Bartelt said.
Erin Foltz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.