The Journal, University of Illinois at Springfield Weekly Campus Newspaper

LGBTQ Resource Office a safe haven for students

Center provides education, mentoring

Ocotober 01, 2008
By Amanda Dahlquist
Editor

Photos by Amanda Dahlquist

The LGBTQ Resource Office is located in the Student Life Building, around the corner from the Student Center.

To those students that visit it, the LGBTQ Resource Office is the ideal place on campus.

“We offer a safe place for students to come and be themselves without being judged,” said Bret Tate, President of QSA and head of the Office’s advisory committee. “Students are free to come in and just sit around on the couch and listen to music, watch t.v., or read a magazine.”

Co-worker Jessica Enock echoed his sentiments, claiming the LGBTQ Resource Office is “a place where any issue can be discussed and where anyone is welcome to find a friend or a listening ear.”

Located in the Student Life Building, the LGBTQ Resource Office serves two purposes, according to Tate. The first is to provide educational material and resources regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual, transexual, queer or questioning, and allied issues to the UIS commuinity.

“Whether trying to find out about the history of the GLBT movement or how to have legal rights over your partner, we either have information here in the office or we can find it for you,” claimed Tate.

Its second job is to provide a safe place and mentoring for LGBTQ students.

“The role of the Resource Office is to help promote a sense of awareness and safety on campus,” said Enock. “I have seen firsthand the usefulness that having an LGBTQ Resource Office has provided for students to find a safe place to talk about LGBTQ issues.”

The presence of a LGBTQ Resource Office on campus has had a positive effect on the entire UIS community, according to Tate. “The Resource Office has helped to promote understanding of sexual diversity at UIS,” he said.

Aside from advocacy and mentoring, the LGBTQ Resource Office plans events year-round. They are celebrating National Coming Out Week, Oct. 6-11, with a number of events, including the raising of the Pride Flag on Monday Oct. 6 at 9 a.m. and a performace by speaker Erin Davies, who will speak about hate crimes against LGBTQ individuals on Oct. 10 at noon.

For those students seeking information about the events of National Coming Out Week or the Resource Office in general, Tate encourages students to call the Resource Office at 217-206-8316, e-mail its workers at lgbtq@uis.edu, or stop by.

The LGBTQ Resource Office has an open door policy, though its volunteers are happy to make appointments for those in need after hours. Tate would tell interested students, “As long as our door is open, come in.”

 


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