As a visible educational and social organization, the GRG, otherwise known as the Gay Rap Group of Baldwin-Wallace College, is now in existence. The group has been formed in response to the needs of the B-W community.
Gay organizations have already been formed throughout the state, particularly on the college and university level (Kent State Gay Liberation Front, Cleveland State Gay Activists Alliance, and Case Western Reserve's Dignity to name a few), recognizing that many are misinformed about gay people, generally believing in stereotypes, and desire to raise their level of consciousness. Gay people are a growing minority. Recent surveys report that 12% of all male's and 8% ' of all females in the United States are homosexual in orientation, and the number is growing.
The GRG was formed through the efforts of three B-W students: Joan M. Bennett, Joe Stanley, and Mark J. D’Alessio. Their constitution was approved by the Student Senate on May 4, and the group met "officially" for the first time on May 6 in the Alumni Lounge.
"Attendance was great. We had a few new members join, several of them B-W students, and everyone was enthusiastic about the group's potential. It's going to be a vital organization here on campus," Joan stated.
Elections were among the first issues decided, and Joan was elected President, Mark Vice-President, and Joe Secretary. "As there are no funds as of yet," Joan reported, "there wasn't any need to elect a treasurer."
After elections, the guidelines for the group were discussed. Two major purposes will be stressed: To instill in gay people a sense of pride and self-worth and to promote a better understanding of homosexuality among homosexuals and heterosexuals alike, in order that mutual respect and understanding may be achieved.
Functions were then brought up—the manner in which these purposes may be met. There_ were described as:
1) To hold discussions at the general meetings on pertinent topics proposed by anyone attending the meeting, member or not.
2) To present speakers who can enlighten and inform our members and the B-W community on homosexuality.
3) To provide counseling for gayness and other related orientations to whomever desires this service.
4)To provide speakers for any class or organization, on or off-campus, who desire serious discussion and presentation on the topic of homosexuality and/or bisexuality.
5) To distribute pertinent literature on campus, and
6) To hold social functions for GRG members and the B-W community. Including field trips and dances.
Additional ideas were proposed, voted on, and approved. One such policy will be the donation of at least one book a month to Ritter Library on the topic of homosexuality. These books may be fiction or non-fiction, the genre and title to be selected by the members.
May's selection will be The Front Runner, a novel by Patricia Warren, concerning the relationship between an Olympic track star and his coach. The novel is soon to be a major motion picture starring Paul Newman as the coach and either Jan-Michael Vincent or Richard Thomas of The Wai tons fame as the track star. Future donations will be announced.
The first active concern of the political committee will be a petition to be distributed on campus concerning the recent Supreme Court's decision on the Consenting Adult Acts.
"Many people are unaware of this decision," said D'Alessio. "It affects us all, straight and gay. What the justices have ruled is that our private affairs fall under the jurisdiction of the court. They can rule what sexual acts we may perform in bed in the privacy of our own homes. If a heterosexual is unmarried and admits.to not. being a virgin, he can be tried in a court of law, punishable. by fine and/or imprisonment. A gay person also can be tried.
"The strange factor in the case, though, is that the justices would not hear any discussion on the topic, and ruled in favor of Virginia's lower court decision In a simple, one-sentence statement. The petition will request that pleas for a repeal of their decision be heard. Writing privately to your Congressman can also help. The case in concern is Doe vs. Commonwealth's Attorney 75-896."
Two public events have been slated on the GRG's calendar. The film "The Gay Mystique" will be shown on May 20 at 7:30 p.m. in the Alumni Lounge. It is approximately 45 minutes long and will be followed by a discussion.
The other event will be a presentation by Dan Richmond, Minister of The Metropolitan Community Church in Cleveland, on May 27, same time, same place. The topic will be "Religion and Homosexuality" and will be followed by a question and answer period.
The GRG has already been active in campus life, with two discussion session; to their credit. "Both went extremely well. The questions were serious and corrected a lot of misconceptions," commented Stanley.
The first session was over WBWC on May 5. Topics ranged from the Senate meeting at which the GRG constitution was ratified to the moral concerns of the community. Questions were asked over the telephone and answered on the air.
The second session was also a question-and-answer session, this time in person during Professor David Prok's class on Social Problems (Prok, incidentally, is co-advisor for the GRG; the other is Ann Berlin).
Many of the questions were the same ones posed by telephone on the "Issues Unlimited" program. The GRG was assisted in the discussion by two members of the High Gear staff, a gay publication based in Cleveland which serves the eastern Ohio area.
With only two general meetings behind them, the GRG is going strong. Membership is open to anyone interested who wishes to join: the sexual orientation of the individual is of no concern.
As the purpose of the group is to promote a better understanding between both homosexuals and heterosexuals alike, the organization needs members of both persuasions, but one need not be a member to attend the meetings. Discussions are open to all.
The GRG meets every Thursday evening at 7 p.m. in the Alumni Lounge, in the College, Union.
This year marks the establishment of a new organization on the campus, the Gold Quill, an honorary, co-educational journalistic club. This honorary club displaces the Delta chapter of Alpha Phi Gamma, but sets its standards even higher than the national fraternity.
To be considered for membership, a student must have shown outstanding literary ability and have had at least two hundred inches of copy printed in a campus publication. Cleland Garber was awarded the honor of being the first president of the Gold Quill. Programs of the year have starred "Whitey" Lewis, sports commentator; newspaper exhibits; outside speakers, and a recognition dinner.
One of the outstanding organizations on B-W campus is the Baldwin-Wallace Gospel Team. The work of the Gospel Team is a co-operative effort participated in by both the Y. W. C. A. and Y. M. C. A. The Gospel Team has its own officers and if results are any criterion of efficiency, it has been well managed by Captain Daniel Stahmer and the managers.
The purpose of the Gospel Team is first of all spiritual, in promulgating God's Kingdom here on earth. The pastors of the many churches visited have enthusiastically endorsed the religious program of the Team, especially appreciating the evangelistic trend of the services. With a few exceptions the Team has taken entire charge of Sunday evening services throughout Ohio, furnishing the finest <type of music and speeches.
The Team is indebted to the loyal co-operation and assistance of Rev. Kennedy, Dr. D. C. Grover, Professor D. T. Burns, Dr. C. Stiefel, Professor F. Roehm, Dr. C. Hertzler, Dr. S. Franklin, who so ably coached and directed us.
The Gospel Team with Leonard Dittman as captain and under the guidance of Rev. Kennedy has had a very busy year. Every week groups have gone out to lead services in churches of Cleveland and vicinity. These services are of quite a varied nature-morning worship, evening worship, young people's services, vespers, or fellowship suppers. This offers fine opportunity for development of versatile leadership among church people.
The efforts of each member of the team have been made to skillfully present and uphold the Christian interpretation of life at all times. The aim of the Gospel Team during this year has been twofold: the development of Christian character and leadership in students of the college and conservatory, and the presentation of the ideals of Christ to churches visited by these college students.