LGBTQA+ Center Hosts Discussion on New Director
By Nicole DeJacimo, Staff Writer
As the nationwide search for a new president for Gettysburg College is underway, a lesser known search for a new Director of LGBTQA+ Advocacy & Education is also taking place. The Women’s & LGBTQA+ Center is a safe space for education, discussion, and building relationships between members of the community and, in the eyes of students who attended the meeting, needs someone who can handle the extensive tasks of upgrading and maintaining programming to support LGBTQA+ students.
As of this semester, the LGBTQA+ side of the center has been without permanent leadership and has opened up forums to hear the opinions of the public before deciding on nominees. This week, they held over half a dozen discussions to hear from the community what they felt they needed from this director. Previously, the director’s job was to organize student and faculty events, monitor discussions, and maintain the space so it continues to be a safe space for all students and staff
The big picture goal for the director is to “bridge the gap between students who don’t get or are even against these issues and students who need these resources.” Current issues brought up in the discussion were that students and staff are unaware of the center’s purpose or that the center exists at all. Someone who could make the program more visible and support a better outreach program to people of the LGBTQA+ community and allies. Once this information is more accessible, the center becomes more accessible to everyone.
Ways to improve outreach included taking advantage of social media outlets, student representatives, and an advertisement of safe spaces during orientation. After speaking to administrators and students, about half of those questioned either did not know where the Women’s and LGBTQA+ Center was or that one even existed. More outreach would allow students who need the center’s resources to take advantage of them.
Finally, many advocated for the separation of the two groups to make each seem more inclusive, although funding and space on campus are factors that must be taken into account. The center is open to any and all students and is located in Apple Hall on the first floor. If you have any questions or feedback on the search for a new director Gretchen Natter, Interim Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated on November 30, 2018 to correct a prior assertion that the search in question is for a new director of the Women’s & LGBTQA+ Resource Center. Valentina Cucuzza currently serves as the Director of the Women’s Center, and the search in question is for a new Director of LGBTQA+ Advocacy & Education, a position vacated last spring. Executive Director of the Center for Public Service Gretchen Natter has filled the role of Interim Director of LGBTQA+ Advocacy & Education this semester. (-B. Pontz)