Charlotte: College opens LGBT center

Carolinas News Notes

DAVIDSON, N.C. — Davidson College’s LGBTQ Resource Library & Lounge held an open house on Oct. 17 as part of its grand opening launch.

Fondly called the Lavendar Lounge, the support facility is housed in the Residence Life Office. Visitors can simply follow the rainbow arrows to enter the Belk Dorm building from the parking lot side. It is open to students, faculty, staff and academic departments and student organizations are able to use the space for meetings and film showings. It is in Belk B06.

The event was “a huge success! Almost 100 people came to the open house. We ran out of rainbow cookies very early,” Assistant Dean of Students Becca Taylor told qnotes. Taylor serves as the college’s LGBTQ coordinator.

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With approximately 200 books, films and documentaries, TV shows, health-related resources and educational materials from advocacy organizations, the lounge provides a safe space for the LGBT campus community. Taylor facilitated the assembly of the materials for the space. Her office is across the hall from the lounge.

A”s far as plans for ongoing speakers, Taylor shared, “The college does host a lot of excellent queer-related speakers and programs already, before we even had this space.  Groups that have organized these programs include Q&A (our student organization, Queers & Allies), the Union Board, the Gender and Sexuality Studies academic department, the Multicultural Life department, etc.”

“The resource library includes important and seminal texts on queer theory and queer identity — texts we don’t have elsewhere,” Taylor said in a Davidson College news release.

Taylor commented that the center was a safe space and told qnotes, “There are weekly meetings for a couple organizations there, and we’re going to be developing lots of little events and gatherings to entice visitors.”

The project took a year to get off the ground. It was tasked by a Student Government Association task force, along with staff from the office of the Dean of Students and Residence Life.

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“It is our goal to expand to a bigger space within a couple years. This lounge is a temporary solution for us, but we’re able to accommodate groups for meetings, small film showings, etc. The larger events will continue to take place in our big event spaces on campus and the LGBTQ student organizations also maintain an active presence in some specific places like our Multicultural House,” Taylor added.

Advisory duties from the college are varied, Taylor commented. “Lots of other folks are engaged in advising the LGBTQ student organizations, including their other official advisors (one staff member in Health Education and one from the Physical Plant), staff from the Student Activities office and members of the LGBTQ Caucus (our faculty and staff affinity group).”

The school also has the Gay-Straight Alumni Network of Davidson, career development support, curriculum track on gender and sexuality studies, as well as an LGBT advocacy caucus.

info: davidson.edu/student-life/multicultural-life/lgbtq-at-davidson. LGBTQ@davidson.edu. 704-894-2225. betaylor@davidson.edu.

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Does your organization or special interest group have events or great information to share with our readers? If so, be sure to send in your information to specialassignments@goqnotes.com. In the upcoming months, we’ll feature one of you in our news notes section in each issue. Are you a part of a Meetup, Yahoo or Google group and do you do something that’s really newsworthy? Do you provide a service for the community or hold fundraisers for worthy causes? Do you educate the public about LGBT issues or concerns? Of course, this is only a sampling of things we are interested in. It’s the aim of these pieces to inform, enlighten and educate our readers about what we’re doing here in the Carolinas to champion LGBT rights, as well as offer resources for those who may be interested in what your group is doing.

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Posted by Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen is QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director. She can be reached at specialassignments@goqnotes.com and 704-531-9988, x205.