Sunday, July 21, 2024

Senate approves dining dollars charity

The Student Association Senate has granted the Zeta Kappa chapter of Lambda Theta Alpha with the privilege of fundraising for The Trevor Project during the biannual Dining for Donations event.

Of the three potential organizations seeking the philanthropic opportunity, Zeta Kappa was elected for the position. The two alternative organizations seeking approval were the Sigma Gamma chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon and the medical chapter of Global Brigade.

Subsequently after each organization presented their charity, each Senator voted in favor of one of the three possible organizations.

The referendum resulted in a three way tie between each organization.

“It’s always tight, I can’t think of a year where there was a clear winner. Although I don’t think there has ever been a three way tie before,” said Senate secretary Nicole Anzovino.

The deciding vote was allocated to the Speaker of the House Joseph Lewis who consequently decided to enable Zeta Kappa the ability to collect dining dollars for contribution to The Trevor Project.

The Trevor Project is a nonprofit charity organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth. On its website, the organization’s mission statement is outlined four-fold: to provide crisis counseling to LGBTQ young people thinking of suicide; to offer resources, supportive counseling and a sense of community to LGBTQ young people to reduce the risk that they become suicidal; to educate young people and adults who interact with young people on LGBTQ-competent suicide prevention, risk detection and response; and to advocate for laws and policies that will reduce suicide among LGBTQ young people.

The Trevor Project began in the wake of 1994’s Academy Award winning live short action filmed named “Trevor,” directed by Peggy Rajski. Four years later during a HBO premiere, Rajski simultaneously launched the Trevor Lifeline, the first national crisis intervention and suicide prevention lifeline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.

In the 18 years since its inception the Trevor Lifeline has remained the only 24/7 crisis intervention and suicide prevention lifeline for LGBTQ young people and has expanded into multiple mediums to communicate with at risk youth.

The American Association of Suicidology’s 2014 study, “Suicidal Behavior Among LGBT Youth,” finds that, “high school students and students unsure of their sexual orientation were 3.4 times more likely to have attempted suicide in the last year than their straight peers.”

Additionally, the report includes the results of a survey of young adults.

“30.1 percent of transgender individuals surveyed reported having ever attempted suicide,” according to the study.

In addition to the Trevor Lifeline, the organization has created both TrevorChat – a free, confidential, secure instant messaging service for LGBTQ youth that provides live help from trained volunteer counselors, as well as TrevorText, a free, confidential, secure service in which LGBTQ young people can text a trained “Trevor” counselor for support and crisis intervention.

Enabling diverse platforms for outreach provides the Trevor Project with the ability to create and maintain dialogues.

Anzovino commended Plattsburgh State’s chapter of Lambda Theta Alpha acknowledging that while on a national level the organization has selected St. Judes as the benefactor of fundraising events, our local chapter has instead specifically chose to focus on The Trevor Project because of how important they find this issue to be.

“I think it comes down to who I’ve heard from the least and who deserved the biggest chance. While i have heard of the Trevor project before, I wasn’t fully aware of everything behind it,” Lewis said. “I think they [Lambda Theta Alpha] did a really great job explaining exactly what is was all about.”

Those struggling with depression can contact the Trevor Lifeline 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386, online at TrevorChat everyday of the week between 3:00- 9:00 p.m., and via TrevorText by texting “Trevor” to 1-202-304-1200, Thursdays and Fridays between 4:00- 8:00 p.m.

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