LGBTQ student center prepares for new school year

Amy Cooknick

Why should I care?

The LGBTQ student center is a unique resource for LGBTQ students and allies. Students and faculty are working to broaden the reach of the Center by creating a permanent campus location for LGBTQ programming.

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Center for students will continue to update and improve this semester in order to better meet the needs of LGBTQ students on campus.

According to Heather Adams, interim director of the LGBTQ student center, the center has undergone several changes since last semester, including updated office hours Monday through Friday, increased campus-wide programming, and more direct involvement with campus LGBTQ student organizations.

Opened March 10, 2010, the LGBTQ student center located in Room 226M of the Student Center has been a resource to LGBTQ students and allies since its inception.

“The center is a gathering place,” said Alfreda Brown, vice president for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, at the freshmen welcome reception Aug. 28. “(It is) a way for students to feel more connected and more valued at the university. The LGBTQ center is evidence of the wide reach of diversity (at Kent State), whether it is diversity of ethnicity, gender or gender expression.”

At present, the LGBTQ center is experiencing a pause in activities due to the recent illness of Dr. Dolores Noll, director of the center and faculty adviser to PRIDE!Kent.

“At this point we haven’t released our official schedule yet,” said Chris Clevenger, student assistant for the LGBTQ center. “As soon as our new director has been hired we will be releasing our official schedule for the entire year.”

Office Hours:

Monday: 2:30 – 5:00

Tuesday: 1:30 – 5:00

Wednesday: 2:30 – 5:00

Thursday: 1:30 – 5:00

Friday: 9:00 – 5:00

Adams wrote that she will continue to act as interim director until such time as Noll is able to return to the position or until a new director is hired later this semester.

Clevenger said Noll is still director of the LGBTQ center until Nov. 15 when her position is scheduled to expire. He said information relating to the hiring of a new director has yet to be released to students.

Adams declined to comment further on Noll’s condition.

Noll founded PRIDE!Kent in December 1971, and was the first professor to teach a gay and lesbian issues class at Kent State.

LGBTQ events planned for this year include an ally training series for students, faculty and staff, and the 40th anniversary of PRIDE!Kent Oct.15. The anniversary will be celebrated with events within the LGBTQ student center in October, and a reunion for former members of PRIDE!Kent (originally Kent Gay Liberation) in April.

Adams added that the center’s staff has also discussed the possibility of relocating the center, although no solid plans are in place for the near future.

“(Our) efforts are aimed to provide constant and consistent resources for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and ally students,” Adams wrote. “Both graduate and undergraduate, at all times throughout the semester and year.”

Contact Amy Cooknick at [email protected].