From November 2nd to the 4th, I went on my first weekend-long Alternative Service Break (ASB). An Alternative Service Break is provided by the Center for Volunteerism and Social Action at the Department of Student Involvement at University of Idaho. I am an ASB Coordinator, and my job is to create relationships with community partners to promote engagement and relationship building between the community partner and our student volunteers. Our mission statement is, “The Alternative Service Break (ASB) program gives students the opportunity to challenge themselves and develop leadership skills through service across the globe, grounded in social justice issues, including urban poverty, racism and domestic violence.” Our program offers a variety of ASB trips that are held during weekend, winter, spring and summer breaks. Weekend ASB provides short-term service opportunities within a five-hour drive from Moscow, Idaho. Winter ASB is a more extensive service break where student teams travel abroad internationally. Spring ASB offers week-long service trips based in the Pacific Northwest. Summer ASB sends students domestically, throughout the United States, to serve our national communities. Weekend ASBs are costless to the volunteers. To be a
volunteer, all you have to do is fill out an online application on orgsync. For longer trips, financial aid can be applied for. We want any students who want to participant to have the financial means to do so.
My first ASB experience was a weekend-long trip to Sandpoint, Idaho. We partnered with community non-profit, CCS (Community Cancer Services). CCS was originated in 2002
with the mission “to improve access to medical resources, spread information about public health in rural communities, and provided emotional support for individuals who have been affected by cancer.” We volunteered “at one of CSS’s largest annual fundraisers, “A Night to Remember,” to hear the stories of survivors whose lives had been forever shaped by the staff at CCS.”
It came to my attention earlier this year, simply by mistake, that the LGBTQIA+ community is not protected by hate crime laws in the state of Idaho. I have lived in Idaho as long as I have been out of the closet, since 2015. Same-sex relationships have been legal in Idaho, but same-sex marriage has not, until the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize Gay Marriage under federal law, nationally in 2015. I honestly believe that if same-sex marriage had not been legalized nationally, that it would still be illegal today in the state of Idaho.
She is perched at the top of a steep, concrete step, the curve of her calf accentuated by the strain of her pose. There are her legs, tan and endless; a flip of a sleek ponytail; the seductive pucker of her lips as she peeks over her shoulder and leers at the camera; the strip of her flat belly, framed by her tight black crop top and the Daisy Dukes clinging to her waist; then, finally, her perfect butt, like two crescent suns emerging from the clouds of denim.
I am almost salivating, wanting to shout, “Damn, look at her butt!” but I keep my thoughts to myself.
Yes and no. I mean my parents are Mexican, yes. But I have never been to Mexico.
So, yes, I am from Mexican descent. I speak the language and love my culture, the music (I jam to it every time), and oh gosh! our food is the best. The tacos, enchiladas, tamales, and mmmm posole. So good. However, I am also American. I was born in the United States. I have lived here my whole life. I grew up in a small town in Southern Idaho–Homedale. Out in the country, I was surrounded by endless fields of corn and many farm animals. Horses were in the backyard.
I also love hamburgers and pizza and enjoy watching American football. Don’t get me wrong, I love both cultures very much, because they are a part of who I am. My Identity. However, it is not easy in the United States. Somehow, I always find myself explaining to people why I am just as American as they are. And, just as Mexican. There is a scene in the movie Selena that explains just what I am saying. Here is the link to that scene. Continue reading “Being Mexican-American”→
A dozen University of Idaho students in the Planned Parenthood Generation Action group drove nearly 300 miles to the Idaho State Capitol to lobby a bill allowing women to receive up to a 12-month supply of prescribed birth control and promote better sex education on college campuses, according to the New York Times. However, when the students arrived Republican State Senator, Dan Foreman, canceled the scheduled meeting and yelled at the students.
“I’m a Roman Catholic and a conservative Republican. I think what you guys are doing stinks,” Foreman said in a video taken by a Generation Action member, according to The Argonaut.
As someone who believes in sexual health education and its need among college students, I believe that everyone especially students must have enough resources to get adequate information about safer sexual health. My past few posts on this topic reflect that there isn’t enough information or knowledge among students regarding safer sexual practices. Now imagine the knowledge or resources one might have who identifies as an LGBTQ community member!
Even in the present world, which is considered more open and welcoming to the community, there are some problems of discrimination and exclusion that the people of LGBTQ community still face. With that being said, there must be some special efforts that are to be made so that sexual health issues are properly and timely addressed. One of those efforts is the event or session that is organized by Inland Oasis this coming Sunday on Nov 19 from 12pm to 3 pm at 1912 Center Moscow, Idaho. Continue reading “Safer Sex-in a New Millennium – How to Teach LGBTQ+ Safer Sex Practices”→
The apartment my friends live in that summer is hot and thick, the air lazy, even the cars driving in from the empty nearby country roads seem slow. They don’t own a vacuum, but we lay on the carpet anyway, sit up with crumbs sticking to the backs of our arms. There are better and worse things ahead and behind us, so summer stretches on easily. It isn’t a space we need to fill, so we allow whole days to pass without acknowledging them. Continue reading “The Smallest Summer”→