activity planning, coordinate speakers bureaus, provide
publicity sometimes through regular newsletters, and plan
he basic structure of each group depends on
the needs of the individuals which comprise
the membership . As the needs of each group
vary, so do the activities of different groups. Within the
last year, many exciting and creative activities and publica–
tions have come forth throughout the nation . It was the
Gay student groups which were instrumental in organizing
regional and national conferences on homosexuality at
Rutgers University in New Jersey, at the University of
Minnesota in Minneapolis, at the University of Texas in
Austin, at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, and
at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. At these con–
ferences, the local Gay campus groups organized workshops
and panels dealing with the struggles and goals of Gay
people on and off campus. These workshops, panel dis–
cussions and Gay rap groups were organized for the dele–
gates to supply them with new ideas and insights to take
back to their campuses.
Aside from these regional and national Gay conferences,
individual Gay campus groups have expanded their activi–
ties and projects this past year; a large number of groups
have organized Gay consciousness-raising groups for their
members as well as for non-Gay students on campus. These
groups are generally referred to as "consciousness-raising,"
rather than, say, encounter groups or therapy groups, in
order to get over the stigma of the oppressive Freudian/
psychoanalytical therapy situation. The consciousness–
raising groups usually do not have a "leader" or "trained"
psychotherapist and are based solely on the input of each
individual in the group.
While Gay consciousness-raising is one expression com–
mon to large numbers of Gay campus groups, there is also a
trend underway, in which Gays have formed communes and
living centers where Gay men and gay women live together
under one roof for the purpose of developing a lifestyle
which they have chosen on their own.
Another phenomenon which is relatively recent to the
college scene but which is growing gradually is the Gay
campus coffeehouse. One in particular is the Gay coffee–
house at the University of Maryland in College Park called,
of all things, "The Closet Door."
On entering, one is struck by the casual relaxed atmos–
phere which surrounds the place. The lights are soft and the
mellow voices of judy Collins and James Taylor often fill
the air. Maybe fifty or so men and women pour Cokes and
coffee and eat cookies and potato chips, for a while at least
shutting off the oppressive straight world outside. Coffee–
houses also provide good places for Gay people under
twenty-one years of age to get together.
Another place where Gay people get together in a
non-hurried and upfront atmosphere is at "Gay House,"
run by the Gay Liberation Front chapter at the University
of Minnesota. This house is, in essence, a three -story Gay
community center funded by a private foundation and
offers counseling and other services lo the student and en–
tire Gay community of the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Other
Gay community centers are either already in existence or
are being planned for other cities across the country.
Gay consciousness is reaching campuses even where no
organized group exists. One example of how a single Gay
person can raise the issue of homosexuality effectively
comes from Mary Washington College, a women's college in
Fredericksburg, Virginia, where a previously undeclared
Gay editor of the campus newspaper "came out" with an
issue of the paper devoted entirely to the topic of homosex–
uality and students' attitudes toward it. It was the editor's
position that Gay people on her campus were discriminated
against whether it be in the dormitories or in the classroom.
She mentioned specifically that the attitudes of the other
women toward homosexuality made it extremely difficult
for an open Gay person to function on her campus. These
attitudes were evident in a poll which she conducted among
222 students representing about ten percent of the Mary
Washington College population. In the poll, it was dis–
covered that more than three-quarters of those questioned
believed that homosexuals are basically psychologically dis–
turbed and more than one-fifth would make a personal