Page 6

Culture

Page 6

October 8, 2012

Coming Out Week offers multiple events around campus Peter Farrell

pfarrell@uccs.edu National Coming Out Day, Oct. 11, has been celebrated on campus before, but this year’s festivities will be different. “This is the first time we’ve had the resources to do more than one event,” said Vanessa Delgado, LGBT program director at the Multicultural Office for Student Access, Inclusiveness and Community (MOSAIC). Coming Out Week, beginning today and culminating with National Coming Out Day, is a series of events in which members of the LGBT community on campus encourage each other to be open about their sexual identities. National Coming Out Day has been a part of the LGBT community since

1987. MOSAIC and the SPECTRUM club on campus have created their own tradition with Coming Out Week. The purpose of Coming Out Week is to cre-

event,” she said. SPECTRUM is the main sponsor for the week and is supported by MOSAIC. SPECTRUM’s mission is to act as “an openforum on sex, sexuality and gender on campus,” said It’s about building Deanna Kitchawareness and incluen, the previous SPECTRUM sion, showing that we president. are not alone here, The week and we are supported starts today with a Safe here as a community. Zone training - Vanessa Delgado session at 7 LGBT Program Director p.m. in University Center ate a place for students 116. The session aims to of lesbian, gay, bisexual, educate participants about transgendered and queer terms, the coming out sexual identities to find a process, combating hocommunity and publically mophobia and becoming affirm their identities. part of the growing visible Samantha Kennedy, the ally population. president of SPECTRUM, On Oct. 9, a Healthy hopes the program will be Relationships workshop a success. “I just hope to sponsored by Respect continue that [on-campus on Campus will be from supportiveness] for Na- noon-1 p.m. in the Upper tional Coming Out Week Lodge, and that evening at because it is our first huge 6 p.m. in University Cen-

ter 302 is Buddy Night, a series of coming out stories. The week will conclude on Oct. 11 with the Guess Who’s Gay panel at 7 p.m in University Center 116. After Coming Out Week, Zach Walls will speak at Cafe ‘65 on Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. Walls became famous last year via YouTube when a video of him defending his two moms to the Iowa House of Representatives went viral. MOSAIC acts as the LGBT resource center and headquarters for diversity on campus, aid for before, during and after Coming Out Week. Delgado said, “It’s about building awareness and inclusion, showing that we are not alone here, and we are supported here as a community.” Kitchen encouraged students who are thinking about coming out to prepare themselves mentally and emotionally. “I think the most important

Photos by Chelsea Lewis

Right: Vanessa Delgado is the LGBT program director. thing you can do is a personal inventory: ensure

that you’re prepared,” she said. S

UCCS alumnus publishes first book in ‘Mobster’ trilogy Kellie Alves

aalves@uccs.edu Pikes Perk was alight with the sounds of conversation and brewing coffee while the smells of homemade pastries wafted through the air. Megan McAndrew Cox, author of the new Young Adult “Teen Mobster” trilogy, UCCS alumnus and former reporter for The Scribe, sat at a table surrounded by friends, family and fans for a book signing. With a mother who discouraged cable, Cox developed a love for reading at a young age. Entranced by authors like Michael Crichton and Lauren Oliver, she found herself brewing a story of her own. The first book of her trilogy, “Accidental Mobster,” a story about a teenage boy who becomes part of a mob family, was not published when originally sent out to publishers in 2007. Cox braved the publishing world again in 2011, and one week after her daughter’s first birthday, Bluewood Publishing offered Cox a contract for her “Teen Mobster” series. “I was very excited,” she said. Cox added that she is a strong believer in

the value of higher education and the opportunities it provides for students. She is thankful for the contribution that UCCS and The Scribe made to her success, instilling her with a level of confidence that she says she could not have attained without her degree. “At UCCS, I had two or three professors there that told me if you put your mind to it, you can find the opportunity. You can go and do things and go places,” Cox said. She recalled fond memories of her time at The Scribe as a reporter, saying that although the editor was always hard on her and fellow reporters, the experience helped prepare her for the real world. “The work ethic that you learn at school is what gets you to the next level.” But even with a strong work ethic, getting inspired can become a frustrating obstacle for any writer. Cox, a mother of two, an author, blogger and marathon runner, keeps herself inspired by envisioning a good scene toward the middle or the end of her story that she wants to get to or by setting a word count for herself, especially when be-

ginning new projects. “Some days you’re inspired, and some days you’re just doing work. But it’s always fun.” Concerning her trilogy, Cox said that she has always loved the Young Adult genre. “The characters [in Young Adult] are people you can understand because we have all been there,” she said. Many people can still look back to the books that left an impression on them as teenagers. High school is a time when teenagers experience revelations about who they are in relation to the world around them. Cox hopes to be a part of that experience through her Young Adult series. And the publishing process? “It’s painful,” Cox said, laughing as she remembers her struggles. She stresses the fact that you must believe in yourself if you want to become a writer – even if that means subjecting your work to criticism and possible rejection. The outcome – that moment when you are published – makes the experience well worth the fight, she said. “Keep your options open. Be willing to write anything and everything

Photo by Tyler Anderson

Megan Cox signs copies of the first book of her trilogy at Pikes Perk. because you never know what will open the door,” Cox said. The first book of her

“Teen Mobster” series is on shelves, and she has already signed a contract for a new series. To con-

tact Cox, for more information or to purchase her books, visit teenmobster. com. S

Profile for The Scribe

Oct. 8, 2012  

Vol. 37, Iss. 5

Oct. 8, 2012  

Vol. 37, Iss. 5

Advertisement