A safe and welcoming place
Live in Iris House with other LGBTQ+ students. Join the Union Pride club. Take part in annual events such as the Pride Walk and the LGBTQ+ art exhibit. Find support related to coming out or being out from designated members of the campus community who have trained to be Allies.
In short, feel free to be yourself and express your sexual orientation and gender identity, no matter what form it takes.
Union is committed to fostering and maintaining an environment that is welcoming and safe for all students and employees. We offer an array of resources to help members of the LGBTQ+ community fit in, grow and thrive; to end discrimination and bias; and to promote awareness, understanding and acceptance of gender variations.
The Ally program identifies and trains faculty, administrators and staff who make up a visible network of individuals ready to offer support and information to LGBTQ+ students, employees and others across the full spectrum of gender expression.
Begun in 2008, the annual LGBTQ+ at Union fall exhibition shines a light on works in all media by students, faculty, staff and alumni. It strives to stimulate conversation, showcase LGBTQ+ life, and give LGBTQ+ individuals and Allies an occasion to share their perspectives. The show is held in the Wikoff Student Gallery in the Nott Memorial.
The committee on LGBTQ+ affairs
Established in 2014 by the Office of the President, the committee promotes visibility, education and advocacy for equity and equality for LGBTQ+ issues. It monitors the campus climate for students, faculty, administrators and staff who identify as LGBTQ+; reviews policies and programs that might affect the community; and helps the College’s senior leadership address these specific needs and concerns.
Multiple disciplines address issues related to LGBTQ+ life. For instance, a Spanish class in Otherness and Citizenship in Contemporary Spanish Theater and Cinema looks at the portrayal of LGBTQ+ communities as “the other” (along with women, North African and Latin American immigrants, Roma people, and the poor). A philosophy course discusses debates surrounding gay marriage, a political science course on Policy Making and American Society addresses the impact of gay rights policies, and an English seminar in literary theory discusses various schools of literary criticism, including queer theory.
Numerous student clubs, offices, academic departments and Minerva Houses sponsor visits by LGBTQ+ artists, activists and creatives. Among those who have come to campus in recent years are poet Richard Blanco, actor and singer Tituss Burgess, actress Laverne Cox, writer and editor Daisy Hernandez, writer and teacher Jay Michaelson, actors Jonathan Cameron Mitchell and Anthony Rapp, and novelist Colm Tóibín.
Health and wellness
The Wicker Wellness Center offers confidential and comprehensive medical, mental health and health education services for all students. Health Services and the Eppler-Wolff Counseling Center staff are Ally-trained and sensitive to the needs of the LGBTQ+ community. Services offered include general medical care; reproductive and sexual health care; counseling and testing for sexually transmitted infections; individual, couples and group therapy; counseling and advocacy for sexual assault survivors; health education; nutritional counseling; substance abuse counseling and education; and educational outreach services.
The Wellness Center has local and regional referral sources for anyone seeking services off campus or for those in need of specialized services that cannot be offered in-house. The Counseling Center also offers numerous online resources.
Office of Intercultural Affairs
This office aims to enhance collaboration among campus organizations and provide programming assistance for LGBTQ+, religious, multi-faith and other programs.
Orientation for all new students includes programming on “LGBTQ+ & U.” Members of Iris House introduce the LGBTQ+ campus culture and describe resources and classes that address the interests and needs of the community. Students and administrators also share their personal experiences.
This annual walk celebrates the diversity of sexual orientation, identities and gender expressions. There are typically performances by student a capella groups, the African Dance Club and the Union Dance Team.
The library has a core database and additional databases dedicated to LGBTQ+ studies, women’s issues, gender studies, homophobia, heterosexism, transsexuality and cross-gender.
STUDENT ALLIES FOR EQUALITY
This alliance educates the Union community on LGBTQ+ concerns and also serves as a support network. Members’ names are kept in strict confidence.
This supportive student club educates the campus about topics of LGBTQ+ concern.