Dec 24, 2012

December's Blog - Paul's take on xmas!

We have this new thing we are doing, one of our exec members will be posting a blog, v-log or something of the sort every month. This month it's Paul's turn, and here's a piece he wrote for December... 

I have just returned home from an afternoon of Christmas shopping and as I throw back my espresso and feel the comfort of my radiator slowly warming my room I begin to reflect on the scenes that I witnessed as I navigated through the throngs of people clamoring through the shops in search of the perfect gift. 

I saw mothers lurching as they dragged their gaggle of kids away from the toy store windows so that they could get on with her shopping, the odd couple trying desperately to draw hints from one another as they sluggishly window-shopped, and large groups of loud, energetic teenagers cacophonously calling dibs on which smart phone or tablet they wanted to receive from their parents.  
It reminded me that for all the chaos Christmas brings with it, it also brings a great sense of community and togetherness.  It’s a time for gathering with family and friends, for enjoying life and its simpler things.  

I also became aware of the suffering that this month can bring, especially to those people who for whatever reason are carrying a burden inside, be it coming out or any other concern.  Something about seeing all this happiness and togetherness around you seems to heighten one’s sense of solitude.  I remember when going through my issues with being Gay, Christmas always made me feel more distant from the one’s I loved.  

So I encourage you all this Christmas to reach out to these people, people you know are carrying any kind of burden and try to lift some of the weight.  After all Christmas is a time of giving, and giving time to someone who needs someone and who needs to be reached or heard can be the greatest gift of all.

Happy Queermas Everyone J


Dec 5, 2012

Looking back on... (part 2)

In 2011
 our main aim was to get university senate recognised, the pros of this are many. From having a vote in the KPS (Social policy commission) and therefore having a say in matters at the University, having the chance to gain some office space on campus, as well as being seen as more of a permanent organisation. 
We were also aware that the original founding members would not be students forever and needed to make sure we set our roots at the University of Malta. 
Weekly meetings were set up and friends of friends started to show up for them, we were networking more and it was awesome!

As in our first year we attended some more workshops and conferences abroad and even organised our very own workshops in Malta! The first one, last September, was an Introductory Workshop on Gender and Sexuality, held on one day and facilitated by Collette Farrugia. 
Then just one month ago, in November, we held a follow-up workshop over a span of two days. Thanks to the support of the American Embassy in Malta we were able to host Jordan Long from IGLYO, who facilitated a very interesting workshop on Gender, Sexuality and Education. 

Our main goal in our second year, that of getting Senate Recognition was reached. But we also managed to gain office space, and for the first time in our third AGM (annual general meeting) elections were held for the board positions! 

More about that next time, in one week, when we explain what is happening with We Are now! 

Dec 2, 2012

Looking back on.... (part 1)

Looking back on our first year as a university organisation

In November 2010 we had just started out as an organisation on campus. We were new, just had our first AGM, and held our first event (a stand on World AIDS Day). 

Our first uncertain steps in the world of students organisations led us down many interesting paths. What we lacked in experience (a lot) we made up for in enthusiasm. 

Our aims that year where to get out there, and make sure people got to know us. We participated in as many University weeks as possible; from Christmas on Campus to Human Rights Weeks to Organisations Days to the following (academic) year's Freshers Week.

Not having much financial support at the start, our efforts were either online or very environmentally friendly. We had to constantly think outside the box to come up with economically-feasible ways to express our ideas. This included a lot of paper crafts and home-made posters to decorate our information stands. 

By the end of the year we were a bit more well known, we had participated in our first Pride March as an organisation, as well as having a joint event with MGRM for IDAHO (International Day Against Homophobia). 

Finally we also became a member organisation of IGLYO and had the opportunity to attend workshops and conferences abroad and in Malta. This helped the executive members gain experience in the field of LGBT activism as well as more knowledge with running student organisations.

What we learnt in our first year we made sure to carry on to our second one, which was even more successful... But you can read more about that in three days time. 

Written by Romina Tolu - Communications Officer