SGA board brings ‘It Gets Better’ campaign creator to campus

Photo by Josh Morris

In 2010, columnist and author Dan Savage and his partner Terry Miller created an eight-minute video for young people facing harassment as more LGBTQ students started committing suicide because of bullying.

The video had a simple message: It gets better.

Butler University is hosting its own “It Gets Better” week, culminating in Savage speaking in the Reilly Room tonight.

It is hosted by Student Government Association’s Podium Expressions with help from Butler Alliance, the PuLSE Office and R.E.A.C.H.

“We’re really excited,” said Chris Ring, Podium Expressions co-chair and senior digital media production major. “It’s something different Podium Expressions hasn’t done before. Rather than just entertainment, we wanted to have a cause and raise social awareness.”

Taylor Meador, Alliance president, said that Dan Savage has been awesome starting this movement. She said his own life was pretty rough, as he was a gay man being raised in a Catholic family and going to a Catholic school.

The week started Monday at Starbucks, where students could answer trivia questions about the project and enter a drawing if they were correct.

On Tuesday, video tape sessions took place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., allowing students and faculty and staff to share their stories in their own

“It Gets Better” videos. The segments will be compiled into one Butler video. A script will also be offered for those not comfortable with making up their own.

Ring said he hopes the video will be edited in time to show at Savage’s speech.

Tonight, Savage will speak, and the Blue Crew will be handing out purple “It Gets Better” T-shirts. From 1 to 4 p.m., Counseling and Consultation Services in the Health and Recreation Complex is offering Safe Space Training.

“The subject [LGBTQ rights] isn’t taboo, but it’s definitely a concern that we need to address,” said senior Sarah Kuchinsky,  Podium Expressions co-chair. “We have an active LGBTQ community, and we need to support them.”

Meador said it’s important to remember that even if bullying stops in college, the effects can still remain, and the Butler community should be active.

“In college, we become educated and learn about individuals rather than groups [and their stereotypes],” Meador said. “I think Butler accepts the lifestyle, but we need to start helping further the rights of people outside the bubble.”