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Kent State to Open New LGBTQ Student Center March 11

Posted Mar, 3, 2010

On Thursday, March 11, Kent State University will open the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Student Center. Located on the second floor of the Kent Student Center, the LGBTQ Student Center will serve as the academic and social hub for the university’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer students.

A grand opening event for the new center takes place March 11 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Room 204 of the Kent Student Center. It is free and open to the public. The opening reception will include tours of the center’s office; remarks from Kent State President Lester A. Lefton, Equality Ohio Executive Director Sue Doerfer and two Kent State students; and the presentation of the first Diversity Trailblazer Award to Professor Emeritus of English Delores L. Noll. The award will be presented by Kent State’s Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Alfreda Brown with Lefton.

The new center will house the university’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies and offer varied services and resources to university students. The center will serve as a liaison between LGBTQ students and the administration and faculty. The office will also maintain a calendar of activities and events related to the LGBTQ community and coordinate programs with LGBTQ centers at other universities.

“The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Student Center represents a unique collaboration between the College of Arts and Sciences, the divisions of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Enrollment Management and Student Affairs at Kent State,” Brown said. “Several students have been asking for this type of center, and to provide support from the collaborations of three major units is to be commended.

“The new center will serve as a gathering place, offering a way for students to feel more connected at the university,” she continued. “The center will raise awareness of LGBTQ communities and cultures, promote inclusion of and safe spaces for LGBTQ at Kent State and in the community, and promote dialogues about sexuality, gender and race.”

Kent State’s history of supporting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender studies goes back almost 40 years when Noll became the first professor to teach a gay and lesbian issues course at Kent State in 1972. She also is a founding adviser to the Kent Gay Liberation Front, which is now called PRIDE! Kent, one of the oldest gay rights student organizations in the country.

In 2001, Kent State began offering the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies minor, becoming the first university in Ohio to do so. The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies minor is designed to allow students to explore sexuality and sexual minorities from a variety of perspectives.

The LGBTQ Student Center is located in Room 226M in the Kent Student Center. It is staffed by volunteers from Kent State’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies faculty and directed by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies Co-Coordinators Molly Merryman from the Department of Justice Studies and Daniel Nadon from the School of Theatre and Dance.

For more information on the LGBTQ Student Center, call the center at 330-672-8008 or e-mail Merryman at mmerryma@kent.edu.

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Media Contacts:
Molly Merryman, mmerryma@kent.edu, 330-672-0315
Emily Vincent, evincen2@kent.edu, 330-672-8595