From: Out in STEM
Date: January 15, 2023
Subject: oSTEM: GIM Next Friday 1/20

oSTEM logo.

Queers Read This!

How was your first week of classes?

    We had so much fun meeting you all at the Winter Activities Fair yesterday! The variety of majors was refreshing, remind all your non-STEM majors we are open and have opportunities for all majors. As usual (and mentioned in the Activities Fair), this weekend we will be doing a little snack restocking (dietary restrictions mindful, as always) for the GIM next week so come hungry! Also, apologies for the semi-scattered email today since it’s the second one of the week, future ones will be one a week. :P 

Next Week

    Our General Interest Meeting is just around the corner! Please come by next Friday, January 20, from 5-6 pm at Genesee 308 and meet the E-Board, hear all about our plans for this semester, and meet all our new members! oSTEM is not just focused on STEM majors, both our national organization and U of R chapter are open to LGBTQ2A+ students of all majors. Feel free to bring along a couple of friends and/or make new friends!

Coming Up

- Spring Semester GMMs: 
    Our regular schedule has been set for the semester, meeting bi-weekly on Fridays from 5-6 pm in Genesee 308. The next meeting dates will be on February 3, February 17, March 3, March 17, March 31, and April 14.

- In The Works: This semester
    On top of Northeastern University’s visit next month and the RVA speakers coming over again soon, we are working with queer speakers from various fields (alumni, industry professionals, talent recruiters) to come by and share their experience, knowledge, and resources. We are also working with the Greene Center to host a queer career fair later this semester, to promote authenticity in professional settings and the value you bring to them.
    In addition to professional & academic development, we also have interpersonal, queer development as our organization’s pillars. As such, we’re working to host a drag brunch/performance event during Springfest Weekend this semester (yup, drag queens as seen on Fox News!) to bolster queer visibility on campus while also supporting local queens. 

- Northeastern University Visit: February 7, 2023
    The Roux Institute is one of Northeastern University’s newest campuses in its global university system, located just 90 minutes away from Boston in Portland, Maine. They will be coming next month to talk about their graduate program specifics, co-ops available, and their scholarship awards. 
    Event specifics will be shared soon. Here are visit flyers with more information. College Visit + Graduate Programs

- oSTEM National Membership: oSTEM website
This gives access to all of oSTEM's resources and scholarships. There is also a ton of information to explore!

- Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship (MLEF) Program: Due January 23, 2023 @ 3pm ET
    The MLEF Program is now accepting applications for 10-week summer research fellowships, for undergraduate (at least in sophomore year) and graduate STEM majors, working with the DOE and getting “bi-weekly living stipends”. Find more information here

- Amgen Scholars Program w/ John Hopkins: Due February 1, 2023 @ 11:59 pm EST
    John Hopkins, as a part of the Amgen Scholars Program involving other universities, is accepting applications for summer research positions with mentors, symposiums, and weekly stipends. Underrepresented sophmores (or higher) in STEM with financial need are encouraged to apply, find more information here

- Boston University Summer Internships: Due March 15, 2023 @ 12 am EST
    Boston University is accepting applications for their 10-week summer research program with opportunities in the fields of nanotech, material science, BME, ME, computing, and more. Underrepresented groups in STEM (that’s you!) are encouraged to apply, find more information here

- UR Fellowship Office Opportunities:
    The UR Fellowship Office is a great resource for students, of all majors, helping you find fellowships, awards, and scholarships. Here is a flyer compiling several undergraduate & graduate STEM student opportunities. You can also find a year-by-year list of opportunities for all majors here, which also includes their database for opportunities they have available and can *help you* apply for! 
    We are actively looking for new opportunities for you all, if you know of an opportunity that could benefit your queer peers (trademark pending), feel free to bring it up at our GMMs, email us the details, or DM us on Instagram (@ur.ostem)! 

In The News

Conversion Therapy Legislature (Wisconsin)
    The barbaric, yet legal, torture that is conversion therapy is still a debate and another reminder of the progress left to achieve. As mentioned in our email earlier this week, political awareness & literacy are vital in working towards that progress, evolving ‘Trans rights are human rights’ into targeted advocacy, pointing towards specific protections & legislature. 

RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 15 Is Airing 
    16 new queens enter the werkroom this season to compete for $200k and reign as America’s next drag superstar. RPDR is a queer gem that has infiltrated mainstream media, and while their past mistakes should not be overlooked, instead learned form, the show compiles so much history, culture, and art. Art that ignorance continues to denigrate, like with Arkansas’s censorship bills, working to stigmatize drag’s misuse of gender, disuse of identity, and its historic failure at assimilation with its BIPOC, queer roots (highlight will make this make a little more sense).

Queer Misuse & Failure 

The instruction to use organs properly assumes that organs have a proper use, a use that is associated with health and happiness. Let me advance a speculative thesis: compulsory heterosexuality too can operate as a form of intended functionality; we are allowed to play with our organs, to roam over each other’s bodies as well as our own, but eventually, we must use them for what they are for. Compulsory heterosexuality can provide a series of assumptions of how bodies are supposed to function, as a thesis of what bodies are for (and who they are for).
What’s the Use? By Sara Ahmed (p. 205)
    Author, Jack Halberstam argues in his book, The Queer Art of Failure, that the perpetual & systematic designation of marginalized groups as ‘failures’ can (and has) been used as a political tool for empowerment rather than for *purely* its intended form of oppression.
    Expanding on Halberstam’s concept of the art of failure, Sara Ahmed establishes a new framework in her book What’s the Use?, further shifting the affect surrounding failure. Ahmed breaks down ‘use’ into three types: proper use (normal & expected), misuse/queer use (queering the establishment), and disuse (not used at all). 
    Ahmed’s book is one of my favorite readings! Some political examples include feminism’s use of ‘failure at womanhood’ critiques and challenges patriarchal ideals that determines ‘gender failure’ and asexuality’s ‘disuse of sexuality’ shows Ahmed’s separation from Halberstam’s binary failure framework (ie.queer sex is the misuse of sexuality, gender nonconming is the disuse of gender).
    This week’s highlight is a bit busy, I know, but I couldn’t talk about one without the other and keep its queer theory impact intact. Both readings really help shift our perspective, defaulted to prioritize specific lives and reconsider areas we feel like we fail at. We are all masters in the art of failure in some aspect of our life (not always based on patriarchal/neoliberalist/cisnormative ideals), but realizing that failure, misuse, and disuse are not universally bad, can help us free ourselves and thrive not just survive. 
I hope you misuse/disuse something new next week!

oSTEM Spring GIM & First Member Meeting Logo


oSTEM Spring GIM & First Member Meeting

Friday, January 20, 2023
5:00pm - 6:00pm
Genesee Hall 308, 500 Joseph C. Wilson Blvd, Rochester, NY 14627, United States
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First Member Meeting of 2021, and Spring General Interest Meeting