By Leanna Burton
Published: October 14, 2014
A new LGBTQ Resource Center will open at Brooklyn College this fall, and its administrators are planning events meant to inspire unity among the college’s LGBTQ community, according to David McKay, the Center’s director.
“After we set initial programming for the next few months, I plan to actively seek the input of students, faculty, and staff in creating new programming,” McKay said. McKay is an adjunct English professor and advises the student-run Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Alliance (LGBTA).
The Resource Center and LGBTA collaborated to host an internship and career event last Tuesday. “I was happy to see so many companies who advocate for LGBTQ community,” said Kevin Dennis, a transfer student who attended the event.
“We had a center like this at City College, and it was great to know there was a place for [LGBTQ] people to go to for information and help,” he continued. “I’ll definitely want to attend more events like this.”
According to the Center’s description on Brooklyn College’s home page, LGBTA originally came up with the idea for the Center, when the group saw a need for a specific institution meant to serve as a centralized source of advocacy and information.
“[One of the Center’s] primary goals is to help in creating a positive, welcoming, encouraging, and safe environment for Brooklyn College’s LGBTQ population,” McKay said.
Although the Resource Center estimated to officially open at the end of October, according to McKay, it is already working with the LGBTA to sponsor related events on campus, and encourages student participation.
“I wanted to work at the Center because I wanted to help give LGBTQ students a place to interact and communicate, which is hard to do for [sic] students sometimes,” Kadeem Swenson, who will work in the Resource Center when it opens, said.
In addition to working in the Center itself, students will also host some discussion groups later in the fall, such as the Queer Book Club at Brooklyn College. According to McKay. Brooklyn College students Sunny Wilder and Allen Gurfel suggested making the discussion group and will run it.
“We believe it is important to build and strengthen the LGBTQ community, and increase LGBTQ visibility on campus as a means of helping LGBTQ students succeed at Brooklyn College,” McKay said.
“I was shocked to see that a resource center like [this] doesn’t exist in some schools,” Dennis said. “I hope that other colleges start to realize the value of advocacy organizations like this.”