Student Engagement and Wellness
Ch ... Ch ... Ch ... Changes (for the better)!
By Steve Willich, director
LGBTQ Student Resource Center
Have you noticed all of the changes in the LGBTQ Student Resource Center over the past few months? If not, stop on by and check it out!
Change can be a long, slow process, but we’ve had a lot going on recently.
First, we have been able to add an additional staff position. This is huge for us, as we try to provide services and programming to all three schools here. We are currently in the hiring process for a new assistant director, and hope to have them on board soon. We had a very large number of applicants, so we have some excellent candidates.
In adding this position, we needed to find space for a private office for them, so we found the funding to completely remodel our office in Tivoli 213. It. Looks. Awesome! Not only did we add another private office for the assistant director, but the remodel also gave us the following:
- A larger and more comfortable student lounge space
- A space to consolidate our library materials
- More privacy and confidentiality for students utilizing our services. The large window has been frosted, so everyone is not “on display”. We added an additional pane of frosted glass between the student employee work area and the student lounge to provide another layer of confidentiality.
Finally we have a new name and logo. With all of the other changes, we figured it was time to update our identity as well! We are now the LGBTQ Student Resource Center. We chose this name for a few different reasons:
- First, we switched the first two letters in the acronym, putting lesbian identities at the front of our name. Most organizations are moving toward this model, as it is more socially just. Men, even within the LGBTQ community, possess more privilege than women, so by changing the order of the letters, we are acknowledging the oppressions that women face in society.
- Second, you’ll notice that we added a Q at the end of the acronym. Q is used to describe two different identities within our community. First is questioning. This is when someone is just starting to explore their sexual orientation or gender identity, and is still figuring things out. More often, Q stands for queer. Many of our students on campus are using queer as their identity. Not only is queer an increasingly accepted umbrella term for the LGBTQ community, but the word is being appropriated as a word of power. Queer can be used to describe both sexual orientation and gender identity. With sexual orientation, queer simply means that you do not identify as strictly straight. With gender identity, queer means that you do not identify on either end of the gender binary.
- Last, we changed the descriptor of our old name (Student Services) to Student Resource Center. This new phrase is much more descriptive of what we do here on campus. We are here to serve mainly students. Staff and faculty are more than welcome to utilize our services, but most inquiries from these groups is ultimately how to better serve our students on campus. We also added Resources to the name, as one of our primary functions is to provide LGBTQ students the resources that they need to be successful here on campus
We’d love to have you come in and find out more of what we do here on campus. Stop by anytime!