Friday, August 10, 2012

Getting My Goat

There are few things that really get my goat. Even though there are a legion of things I don't understand and ask lots of questions about, very few things actually get me all worked up or hot under the color.

But one of the things that does make me irate is the slow moving pace of my undergraduate institution in regards to alumni relations and cultural competencies.

When MacTroll and I got hitched in 2000, I sent in the little announcement to go in the alumni magazine that comes out Quarterly. It got printed correctly, but I realized that mall from Millikin started coming to Mr. and Mrs. MacTroll Non-Blogger.

WTF? MacTroll and I don't even have the same last name.

MacTroll didn't go to the same school I did. He wasn't writing any checks to them. Why in the world would they dump my identity for his? Yeah, yeah, I know socially there are some elderly people that actually liked to be called Mrs. John Doe. But the thought, personally, makes me gag.

I called the alumni office and was told that it was their protocol. Some Emily Post-like bullshit. So then I sent an e-mail to the university president, who had been one of my greatest supporters when I was the editor of the student newspaper. He did his thing...

The next peace of mail I got was to Ms. Looseyfur Blogger and Mr. MacTroll Non-Blogger. Nice.

Fast forward 12 years.

Strangely, for the first time, Millikin has a marriage notice from a same-sex couple. And for some really awful reason, they run the announcement not under the "marriage" headings but under another heading. So even though seven states recognize gay marriage and a few others civil unions, they hadn't had the forethought (even though we had a pretty large gay/lesbian community at Millikin) to think about what to do when a notice came in.

Well, it's not a shock that the two women who got married legally in another state were horrified to receive the separate but equal treatment. So a little Facebook/e-mail campaign ensued, and I found out from a friend of mine who got married last October that mail came addressed to the Mr. and Mrs. You Have No Identity protocol again.

Not happy, I told MacTroll about it. His response... no more money to Millikin for any of this crap.

So, instead, I wrote an e-mail to one of the people in charge of donors. I explained to her the protocol for name changes that I had always used at home and at work, and she totally agreed. She and her spouse hyphenated their names together. She wasn't sure how far changing the whole system was going to go with those that had obviously been around over a decade ago when they refused to change it for me, but she said she would go ahead and change my friend's information.

I told her to make sure she included the prefix Dr. as my friend had just spent half a decade and a crap load of money and brain power earning her PhD.

And out of the information campaign, came a lot of letters of concerns, complaints and a lot of online feedback about how they could make the Quarterly a better publication... They even came up with a poll for readers to talk about where they think gay married/civil union companies should be. And all of those options were MUCH better than the separate but equal.

Funny how a pretty forward thinking school has such a backwards acting alumni department, sometimes. Sigh.

No comments: