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BOND Requests Council's Anti-Homophobia Funds

By Adam M. Lalley, Contributing Writer

When the Undergraduate Council voted last spring to allocate $1,000 to combat homophobia on campus, members expected a competitive bidding process.

Months later, with a looming deadline for submission, they have perhaps as few as one.

Cliff S. Davidson '02, a co-founder of the social group BOND, submitted his request last week, hoping to spend the money to pay prominent athletes to speak on homosexuality in sports.

Reggie Rivers, a television broadcaster for ABC who played for the Denver Broncos, charges at least $1,500 per speech. Rivers, who is not gay, advocates tolerance in professional sports.

Davidson also hopes to pay the fee for David Kopay, an NFL running back from 1962-72 who publicly disclosed his homosexuality in 1975 and subsequently had several offers for coaching positions withdrawn. Kopay charges at least $1,000 per speaking appearance, the application states.

According to the grant application, BOND has $1,216.65 to spend, and estimates the total cost of the event at $3,725.

Two openly gay Harvard athletes, including water polo player Michael E. Crosby '02, would also speak at the event, as would Jennifer Allard, Harvard's head softball coach who is also a first-year proctor.

The deadline for further applications is 5 p.m. today.

Paul A. Gusmorino '02, chair of the council's student affairs committee, said he is expecting at least two more applications.

"I'm expecting at least three, but no more than 10. If we get any more than 10 it's going to be a very long meeting," Gusmorino said of tomorrow's committee gathering.

But if they get a glut of last minute applications, the council may decide not to allocate the money at all. Gusmorino said that many members--himself included--were disappointed by the relatively small amount of money given to student groups by the council.

The full council, when it votes Sunday night, might choose to return the money to the general grants fund.

The BOND event is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 3, and would be the first forum of its kind in the Boston area, according to Davidson.

"A lot of people take their examples from athletes, and it'd be nice if that example were a good one," he said.

Davidson is planning to integrate this event into BOND's current monthly speaker series aimed at exposing students to issues concerning lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.

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