To the Editors,

I applaud President Barry Mills and Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster for their recent letter to the community, which was also posted to the Bowdoin Daily Sun, entitled, "A Message about Civility and Respect from President Mills and Dean Foster." Thank you for your excellent leadership on this issue that affects not only current Bowdoin students, staff, faculty and their children, but alumni and the surrounding Brunswick community as well.

The recent suicides of gay and questioning youth on college campuses and in high schools are certainly shocking, but are unfortunately not a new trend. According to the Trevor Project—the leading national organization focused on crisis and suicide prevention efforts among LGBT and questioning youth—suicide is the third-ranked cause of death for individuals aged 15 to 24, and the second-ranked cause of death for college students. Gay, lesbian and bisexual students are four times more likely than their straight peers to attempt suicide, while nearly one in four transgender youths have attempted suicide.

I bring up these staggering statistics to illustrate that the LGBTQ community needs our full support. Next week—October 25 to 29—is National Coming Out Week at Bowdoin. There are a slew of fantastic events taking place throughout the week, including three films on Thursday and Friday.

The "Wear Yellow!" event that was scheduled for Tuesday, October 26 has been postponed until November 4 because an initiative to order yellow shirts was so popular that over 1,000 shirts were ordered by students and staff. This show of support and massive order set the printing company back a week and a half in production. Over half of the orders came from athletic teams and coaches, highlighting the continued leadership that Bowdoin athletics is taking on this issue. There will be extra shirts available for purchase in early November in Smith Union. Wearing yellow on November 4 is a way that you can show your support without saying a word.

An additional way for faculty and staff to get involved is to join Queers and Allies. This group meets monthly to discuss ways to foster a supportive and thriving community on campus. The Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity also puts on a variety of student programming throughout the year. Students of all sexual orientations—including straight—and gender identities are encouraged to participate in these events. Please contact Kate Stern if you would like to get involved.


Colin Joyner '03 Men's Tennis Head Coach ASB Coordinator McKeen Center for the Common Good