The new CU Boulder Pride Office is now open (virtually) on campus and is designed to serve campus LGBTQ+ students, staff and faculty.
The Pride Office will be housed under the Center for Inclusion and Social Change (CISC), which has been serving underrepresented students since its formation, according to Morgan Seamont, who has worked with CISC since its inception and will direct the new Pride Office.
“We are very excited to launch our new office and provide resources for a community that continues to experience significant discrimination due to their identities, and we believe that we can provide a positive community for our queer and trans students to grow, become confident in their identities and overcome the unique challenges they face,” said Seamont, who uses he, him and his pronouns.
Seamont, an out queer transgender man, said the Pride Office was created by the CISC after garnering student feedback and examining national and campus statistics regarding retention and support for LGBTQ+ undergraduate and graduate students. The new office will dedicate two full-time staff members to supporting, providing resources for, and advocating for LGBTQ+ inclusion across campus and residence halls.
“Since we are currently forced to make this announcement virtually, rather than in person, we hope you will visit our new website and start to learn what we will be offering queer, trans and allied students, and sign up for our list serve so we can share our upcoming plans for the fall 2020 semester,” Seamont said.
The vision for the Pride Office is to create programming and space where LGBTQ+ students, staff and faculty can come together and create a community where they feel safe, supported and able to find connections with others who identify in similar ways.
“Data shows that LGBTQ+ students often feel unwelcome and may lose the support of friends and family when they disclose this facet of their identity,” Seamont said. “We want to create and sustain a feeling of belonging, while providing opportunities for students to explore and value their identities, strengths and the resiliency their experiences have taught them.”
To foster a sense of community and belonging, the office will host a wide variety of events and programs including fun social events like silent disco dances and ice-skating nights, as well as more in-depth learning opportunities, including discussion nights on topics such as racism within the LGBTQ+ community or cross-cultural examinations of non-binary gender identities.
Seamont said the new office is calling on students, staff and faculty to contribute their suggestions for what programming and events the community would like to see.
“Because we are in this unique health situation right now, we want to take advantage of getting more feedback from students and then hit the ground running in the fall,” Seamont said. He recommends students, staff and faculty provide some feedback directly to the Pride Office through the newly launched website.
Seamont also wants to ensure that LGBTQ+ students know resources are still available to them while they attend classes virtually. Any students who would like to talk to a him one-on-one—through either email, Skype or Zoom—can reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a time.