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Friedman creates group to unite LGBT organizations
Ashley Leever
Antelope Staff
Robert Friedman

As students venture into the new and often terrifying world of college, through organizations they often are able to find their niche in the college atmosphere. But when these organizations have no national or state backing, they can easily disappear.

Robert Friedman, a junior accounting major from Plattsmouth and the vice president of the student organization, Queer Straight Alliance, knew that his organization faced this dilemma and chose to do something about it.

Friedman took it upon himself to create the Nebraska College Queer Ally Network or NCQAN in order to unite lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) groups throughout the state into one network. “There is no state or national group looking after any of the LGBT organizations, and this can cause these groups to easily die out. I created this group, because I noticed we didn’t have much connection with other LGBT groups at other colleges in the state,” Friedman said.

“Our goal is to create dialogue between all the groups throughout the state, as well as to do some activism and to learn from each group. We want to be able to learn from each other and create goals for Nebraska,” Friedman said.

As an active participant of UNK’s forensic team, Friedman decided one of the best ways to get the word out about NCQAN was through forensics. Friedman’s speech about NCQAN and uniting LGBT groups at the state level has already qualified for the national tournament. It has also helped UNK to reach out to other LGBT groups on campuses across the state including UNO, UNL, Hastings College, Doane College and Creighton University.

“Each group has their own movements going, but we are hoping to come together to do an activism project in November. Also, later in the year, we plan to do a statewide meeting talking about the LGBT college groups, what we want to see happen and goals for us overall as a state,” Friedman said.

As LGBT hate crimes and bullying have led to tragic circumstances with many students across the nation, Friedman insists the most important aspect of LGBT groups uniting is to gain more acceptance and progress forward. “This group is important, because it shows us that we as a society are progressing forward. Basically by doing this, we are saying we are going to sustain and keep this movement going. That’s why it’s important for UNK to recognize that we do have a gay population here and that we are being progressive,” Friedman said.

If you would like to learn more about NCQAN Friedman will be performing his speech at UNK’s speech meet in November. You can also join NCQAN’s Facebook page or attend QSA meetings Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. in Martin Hall.

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