The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Queer and Questioning Student Center office grew out of a conversation during the search process for the vice president for the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Committee members Greg Jarvie, interim vice president for enrollment management and student affairs, and Molly Merryman, associate professor of justice studies, were discussing the need for Kent State to have a LGBTQ Student Center, particularly given the legacy Kent State has both in the nearly 40-year existence of Pride! Kent and the first Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies program in Ohio (founded in 2001). Jarvie proposed having his division provide office space in the Kent Student Center, while working with the College of Arts and Science and the new Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Merryman offered to work with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies faculty to get volunteers to staff the center.
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Queer and Questioning Center office represented a unique collaboration between the College of Arts and Science, the Divisions of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Enrollment Management and Student Affairs. The Center staff would serve as a liaison between LGBTQ students and the administration and faculty. Center staff will develop programs and maintain a calendar of activities and events related to the LGBTQ community. Following its opening, the LGBTQ Student Center would work with a wide representation of students to determine needs, programs and services.
It would be staffed by volunteers from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies faculty and coordinated by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies Co-Coordinators Molly Merryman, Ph.D., Department of Justice Studies and Daniel Nadon, Ph.D., School of Theatre and Dance.