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Story and Photos by Ryan Fotenette-Mitchell
Thought provoking conversations took center stage at the Nov. 21 Leadership and Diversity Conference. Attendees at the Highland Campus event explored lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender issues.
Austin Community College Student Life staff member Angela Roberston discussed the main objective for conference.
“So today, our intent was to challenge students to learn to love and respect one another even when they disagree,” Robertson said.
A religious panel addressed LGBTQ issues in the context of faith and Biblical references. Michael Saenz, a student at ACC, said that we should consider a more modern approach than that laid out in the Bible.
“A lot of people are basing what they believe on what was written thousands of years ago. The views that were applied then don’t apply now,” Saenz said. “If someone loves someone else, it baffles me that its illegal for them to get married.”
Robertson talked about how she challenged students to make their own opinions and beliefs, as well as having respect for people with different beliefs than them.
“There were people that were challenged. There were people that were emotional,” Robertson said. “And that’s kind of what has to happen. We have to get uncomfortable so that we can grow.”
ACC student Elizabeth Cognetti felt called into action by the event.
“I’ve always been empathetic towards people who struggle day by day.” Cognetti said. “It makes me want to be able to stand up and really do something about it.”
ACC holds a Leadership and Diversity Conference every year. For more information visit the Student Life website.