Editor, Daily Nexus:

This letter is written in praise of the UCSB students, staff and faculty who hosted the 12th-annual UC systemwide LGBTA Conference held over the past weekend on our campus. In particular, congratulations are in order for the entire UCSB Conference Committee chaired by undergraduate Mary Watts and advised by QRC Director Maurice Hudson. The conference drew some 400 attendees from all over the state and nation who converged over the weekend to build coalitions, create change and to recognize the incredible gains made in ensuring basic human rights for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered students, staff and faculty. As a UCSB delegate to the UCLGBTA Steering Committee, I took great pride in the amount of praise received by the conference committee for its role in creating the most well-attended, comprehensive and cutting-edge conference in the history of the UC system.

As a result of all the hard work and dedication shown by the UCSB Conference Committee, other UC students, staff and faculty from across the entire state benefited greatly and have returned to their respective campuses renewed with vigor, commitment, honor, self-respect and pride. The success of the recent conference has done much to assist the entire UC system in realizing the goal of creating campus living and learning environments in which all community members are valued positively and treated with dignity and respect. Beyond simple tolerance for differences, the courage and commitment of a new generation of students is responsible for helping to create a UCSB campus and UC systemwide atmosphere in which differences are both valued and celebrated. I respectfully salute the efforts of these remarkable students and take great pride in my affiliation with the UCSB queer community.