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Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter

IN THE SPOTLIGHT


GLBT Resource Center a foundation for community

by Annie Scott, junior, psychology

The Gay Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center (GLBTRC) opened its doors in March of 1995 as a place for education, outreach and advocacy on the CU-Boulder campus. The center provides a supportive environment in which to promote equal opportunity for the successful academic, social and personal development of GLBT students, staff, faculty and their allies. "It is extremely important that the university works to create safer spaces and a campus climate that is supportive of LGBTQ students, faculty and staff," said Steph Wilenchek, center director.

While the primary focus is GLBT issues, members also advocate on behalf of other campus communities. The center has a number of services including workshops, campuswide awareness events, and a library that houses fiction and nonfiction literature and videos, all of which are available for checkout.

Safe Zone training is offered to expand campus community advocacy. Presented in conjunction with the Interactive Theatre Project, the training sessions provide participants with the skills to create a safer and more welcoming space for GLBT students, faculty and staff. Peer education workshops are also being developed, and volunteer opportunities give students the chance to educate and reach out to people on campus through presentations and events.

There are a number of scholarships offered through the GLBT Resource Center, as well as funds coordinated through both the LGBT Studies Certificate Program and the Alumni Association. The College of Engineering and Applied Science offers a scholarship as well.

Perhaps most importantly, the GLBT Resource Center helps students to understand that they are not alone. Facilitated support groups provide trusted interaction and discussion to address a variety of topics important to the GLBT community as a whole, and to individuals and their unique experiences. The Gather support group is an informal group of GLBTQ people who come together to discuss personal issues relating to sexuality and other topics, while CU Transform is a student facilitated group that reaches out to transgender, gender queer and questioning individuals.

“My hope is that the GLBT Resource Center is a place where many students can find a second home and feel more comfortable in their identities,” said Wilenchek.

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