Northern Illinois University College of Law and the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) were recipients of the 2010 Ally Awards hosted by the Presidential Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Resource Center and the LGBT Studies Program. The Center kicked off LGBT Awareness Month with the annual Ally Awards ceremony on April 1, recognizing individuals, departments, and groups who have done something positive for or on behalf of the LGBT community.
NIU Law and the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), a law student organization, were among this year’s recipients who were recognized for their work with the Center. Specifically highlighted was the College of Law and GSA’s efforts for working with the LGBT Resource Center to bring noted transgender activist Diane Schroer to campus. Schroer spoke at the 2nd Annual LGBT Alumni Presentation, which was held at the College of Law. GSA has also sponsored numerous roundtables held to discuss LGBT issues and hosted social events to increase networking opportunities for GSA members.
An academic and social organization, the Gay-Straight Alliance is dedicated to furthering a continuing dialogue on issues surrounding the LGBT community. The group was begun by six first-year students during the fall 2009 semester and is the first of its kind to exist for several years at the Law School. The founders wrote a new constitution, petitioned for and received official recognition by the Student Bar Association and set up operations. With over 50 student members, it is one of the largest student organizations at the College of Law.