Student Diversity and Inclusion (SDI) provides a comprehensive range of education/training, cultural, social and educational programming, support services and advocacy services to the entire VSU Community. SDI works to create and maintain an open, safe, and inclusive environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, asexual, intersex. and questioning students and the campus community at large. SDI support students around issues of gender identity, expression and sexuality. Our office seeks to provide a comfortable, yet challenging place for students, faculty, and staff to examine the multitude of issues around gender. SDI offers programs and services for all members of the VSU community and is a place for research into and exploration of gender issues that extend into and beyond the classroom. We recognize that sexual orientation and gender identity and expression work through and are influenced by race, ethnicity, gender, culture, age, disability, class, faith and other social characteristics. In keeping with the ideals of VSU we commit to justice, equality, and respect for all persons in all of our endeavors.
SDI is committed to fostering an environment of inclusiveness and supporting students' preferred form of self-identification.We will work with our students to provide definitions, and proper uses of preferred names and pronouns within the campus community. SDI realizes the wider implications for the university community and recognize there are different reasons why an individual goes by a name other than their legally asigned name. Feel free to reach out to our office with any questions and/or for help in exploring pronouns and other dynamics of gender inclusive language.
Lavender Ceremony is a special ceremony for LGBTQ+ and Ally undergraduates and graduate students to acknowledge their achievements, contributions, and unique experiences at Valdosta State University. This is an opportunity to celebrate the graduating students and bring the community together, along with other distinguished guests, to share in our history and progress.
Why a Lavender Recognition Ceremony?
The Lavender Ceremony is a time for recognition and inspiration: connection and accomplishment; and most of all celebration of the LGBTQ+ students of all races and ethnicities.
Lavender Graduation History
The tradition of Lavender Graduation began at the University of Michigan in 1995 with just three graduates. Dr. Ronni Sanlo, then Director of the University of Michigan LGBT Campus Resource Center, coordinated the first Lavender Graduation in order to acknowledge the achievements of LGBTQ graduates. By 2001, there were over 45 institutions holding Lavender Graduation Ceremonies and the tradition continues to expand to additional colleges and universities across the country. The color lavender plays a historic role in LGBTQ+ history and in the community. For more information and a list of colleges and universities across the country, please visit the Human Rights Campaign at http://www.hrc.org/resources/lavender-graduation.
The Significance of Lavender
It's a combination of the colors pink and black, which were once used to identify and discriminate against gays and lesbians. The LGBTQ community has reclaimed lavender as a symbol of pride and community.
For more information contact our office at (229) 253-4446.