From: Out in STEM
Date: February 15
Subject: oSTEM: RVA Visit + Buttons!

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Queers Read This!

Did Rihanna serve? [reply here]

    Last week we were blessed with so many pet pics, thank you!! Because we’d like you to appreciate them in full resolution (and avoid emailing probably 80GB of images), we made a sheet with your submissions along with the silly little pet lore you included. You can browse the sheet here and if you’d like to submit your pet, use the poll survey form [above] and we’ll gladly add them. Feel free to add comments to the sheet so their parents can pass along your adoration. 
    Speaking of furry little creatures, Nhuja and Kevin stopped by Sasha’s office hours yesterday, as promised. Below is a picture of us with the cutest University employee as well as our review of the meeting. Details on how to meet her are also mentioned further below. 

Navigating the Interfaith Chapel to meet Sasha was a treasure hunt at first but 
seeing her with her chew toy made me drop down to my knees. When you meet her, trust, you'll want to get one for yourself (chew toy or dog, both valid).

- Nhuja

I was very grateful Sasha did not have a waitlist to see us! She was incredibly professional and greeted us with a smile and opened up to us about her favorite chew toy. 10/10. I definitely recommend stopping by, tell her we sent you!

- Kevin

This Week

General Member Meeting: This Friday (2/17) from 5-6 pm at Genesee 308!

    For our GMM this week, we have invited representatives from the Rochester Victory Alliance to come over again this semester. The RVA is an NIH-funded clinic that is working on developing a vaccine for HIV and is led by a group of committed, local pioneers (including UR students and employees of the URMC). Although they will go in-depth about their work, this is not a clinical recruitment visit, but you are of course free to volunteer. They are coming over to talk about the kind of work they do which involves various fields of study for responsibilities like international communication, outreach committees, biomed innovation, etc. Feel free to prepare questions to make the most out of their knowledge and connect with them for future networking opportunities. Read more about the RVA via their website here
    On top of the RVA presentation/Q&A, we have a lot to update you on in terms of upcoming events and conference applications so make sure you come hungry (for knowledge, but also for snacks as always)! Thanks to our friends at the Creative Arts Club (CAC, join here), this second section of our meeting will feature a fun button-making-inator. It will be available to all members who’d like to make a pronoun button and all materials will be available at the meeting! Please read the important pronoun reminder included in the Updates section below.
    This week we also appeared on the @Rochester Newsletter, so basically, we are celebrities now (jk, but we’ll keep manifesting)! We are anticipating a slightly larger turnout and preparing for it through snacks and R&O logistics. In fact, Ellie (our president & publicity chair) is showing us a day in her life where later today she’ll be joined by the rest of our E-Board for a GMM snack run and has asked for your input! Find out more about her & vote on her polls through our oSTEM Instagram @ur.oSTEM

Coming Up

- Addressing Pronouns in Queer Spaces
    One of the privileges of predominantly queer spaces is a unique (and unfortunately rare) feeling of belonging. To further establish oSTEM spaces as one, we ask that everyone default to they/them pronouns at our meetings/events when referring to someone whose pronouns you don’t know. This practice is commonplace in spaces like O4U’s conferences because it simultaneously avoids misgendering someone (which if you do, apologize and move on, don’t prolong the moment!) and deconstructs our understanding of gender. 
    Gender is a very fluid thing and for some, it’s a journey, feel free to explore different pronouns in our meetings if you’d like (re: pocket gender) and/or update them anytime. Some people might be in a tricky place with their identity so instead of asking them for their pronouns, just share your pronouns (if you’d like) and if they don’t specify theirs, keep to they/them! You will not be pressured for pronouns or make a pronoun pin, it’s your choice to share/not share. :) 
- UR oSTEM Website: CCC Website Link
    Well, we couldn’t figure out how CCC files work and the University’s “tutorials” didn’t help a lot (for reference, this is what they are like, but no shade). Interestingly, building our CCC website was way simpler. Just one last reminder that open resources & opportunities (R&Os) are constantly kept up to date on this website. We will continue to include the link to it in our newsletters, just without this much lore attached, don’t worry.
    Since last week, we have done a lot of fixes and we’re aiming for it to be our new landing page going forward. If you find any issues or know of more R&Os for our database, please let us know through our Feedback Form (or any of our other platforms). 
oSTEM-Recommended Campus Resources/Organizations
- UR Interfaith Chapel Therapy Dog
    The University’s Interfaith Chapel has been fortunate enough to hire Sasha, the Chapel’s official therapy dog. Her “office hours” are Tuesdays and Fridays, 11 am - 5 pm (note that she usually takes a break between 12:45-1:30 pm). You can find availability changes, if any, through the Chapel’s Instagram here.
    As mentioned above, Sasha is oSTEM approved! Cuddling and adorability metrics were off the charts so you’ll have to gauge them for yourself. You can find her at the Chapel’s “middle level” by taking the stairs on the right as you enter. The floor is also wheelchair accessible through the Chapel’s elevator.
- Undergrad Continuing Student Scholarship: Due April 15, 2023
    This University scholarship has just opened today for all undergraduate students returning next academic year (except for Take 5/E5 students). It is a relatively selective scholarship, only being awarded to around 30 students/year and requiring a UR faculty/staff member recommendation letter. The award amounts range up to $2,500 for the next academic year and past winners can reapply. Read more and apply here.
- James A. Chin, Jr. Memorial Award: Due April 1, 2023
    This scholarship has also just been opened today. Eligibility requirements include those specified for the above scholarship and US residency, demonstrated financial need (based on the University’s FAO), and active University involvement. Read more and apply here.
- Jeremy L. Glick Memorial Scholarship: Due April 1, 2023
  This scholarship has also just been opened today. Eligibility requirements include those specified for the above scholarships and being an active member of an accredited UR sorority/fraternity. Read more and apply here.
    From our knowledge, these are the only scholarships the University’s Financial Aid Office has opened as of now but please let us know if we missed any.
Outside Opportunities
- Out For Undergrad Engineering + Digital Conferences: Round 1 Apps Due March 12, 2023 @ 11:59 pm PST
    O4U has opened their Round 1 application window (it is a rolling admissions basis, you only need to apply once in any of their 3 Round windows) for both their Engineering and Digital conferences, both of which are all-expenses-paid opportunities (ie. food, flight, hotel stay, etc.)! Their conferences are open to all LGBTQ2+ students, including those who are not out or selectively out, international and DACA students, and will accommodate all students with disabilities. 
    We will be discussing more details at our GMM this week and point to/offer resources as application guidance for applications like these. In the meantime, read more about O4U and their conferences here.

In The News

• oSTEM Makes Headlines: Link
    Did we mention we were included in yesterday’s @Rochester newsletter? We are continuing to improve our outreach to amplify our communal knowledge and campus impact. Queer nerds have been long overlooked so while visibility like this is often treated as a privilege, we reiterate: we each deserve this spotlight, and access to resources is still denied to us in some scenarios. With this ever-better outreach, we hope you benefit the most from it, we’ll discuss what this entails in our GMM this Friday. 
• RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 15 Returning to 90-Minute Episodes: Link
    As we are sure many of you are aware, RuPaul’s Drag Race has recently moved to MTV for its 15th season. Part of this transition, however, meant MTV would try to capitalize on this huge influx of viewers by cutting the main episode short and cramming in what was essentially an LA twink glorification show between the Untucked! part of Drag Race. 
    As a result, the United Nations mobilized a commission that has since imposed sanctions against MTV and the city of Los Angeles until this situation is amended (/nsrs). MTV has announced the episodes will return to normal starting March 10! 

Lesbianism: An Act of Resistance

For a woman to be a lesbian in a male-supremacist, capitalist, misogynist, racist, homophobic, imperialist culture, such as that of North America, is an act of resistance. (A resistance that should be championed throughout the world by all the forces struggling for liberation from the same slave master.) No matter how a woman lives out her lesbianism-in the closet, in the state legislature, in the bedroom-she has rebelled against becoming the slave master’s concubine, viz. the male dependent female, the female heterosexual. This rebellion is dangerous business in patriarchy. Men at all levels of privilege, of all classes and colors have the potential to act out legalistically, moralistically, and violently when they cannot colonize women, when they cannot circumscribe our sexual, productive, reproductive, creative prerogatives and energies. And the lesbian-that woman who, as Judy Grahn says, “has taken a woman lover” has succeeded in resisting the slave master’s imperialism in that one sphere of her life. The lesbian has decolonized her body. She has rejected a life of servitude implicit in Western, heterosexual relationships and has accepted the potential of mutuality in a lesbian relationship-roles notwithstanding.
- Cheryl Clarke
    Cheryl L. Clarke described in her book Feminist Theory Reader, specifically throughout Chapter 8 Lesbianism: An Act of Resistance, the threat Black lesbianism poses to “a male-supremacist, capitalist, misogynist, racist, homophobic, imperialist culture, such as that of North America.” An American lesbian poet, educator, and Black feminist activist, Clarke’s overlapping lived experiences further highlight the incompatibility between her existence and the presiding environment of oppression that is America.
    Looking at early queer theory and activism from BIPOC people helps us get a real timeline of influence and development for concepts like “intersectionality”, “biopolitics”, and “queer failure” which are often entirely credited to white theorists, activists, and scholars. Clarke sets the groundwork for future works like Jack Halbertstam & Sara Ahmed’s framework of politically weaponized failure. Clarke’s failure as a Black woman to “become the slave master’s concubine” is a ‘fuck you’ to the legacy history imprinted & the expectations of male-dependence, and her bluntness is an additional ‘fuck you’ to the assumed victim role marginalized groups are often expected to solely embody. 
    Next week, I hope to connect the works by Audre Lorde, Cathy Cohen, and Cheryl Clarke that we’ve covered this month through the concepts of ‘biopolitics’ and ‘necropolitics’. I know they deserve further expansion, but I really wanted to cover them now, not just because Black History Month is a short month st only 4 newsletters are within it (highkey rude), but also because they are works I plan on referencing a lot more throughout the semester. I hope you find them just as valuable (and also find the change of pace/revisiting coming up refreshing).
Because reading is what? (fundamental!)

oSTEM Bi-Weekly GMM Logo


oSTEM Bi-Weekly GMM

Friday, February 17
5:00pm - 6:00pm
Genesee 308, 500 Joseph C. Wilson Blvd, Rochester, NY 14627, United States
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Our bi weekly member meeting



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