Illustration by Laura Estrada.

Dear Queer: On-campus resources

An advice column about sexuality, gender, dating and overall queerness

By Molly Whuppie /// Staff Writer

Dear Queer: I want to learn more about gender and sexual identities. Where are safe places I can go to get good information, find reading material and talk to other students? —Curious Student

DEAR CURIOUS STUDENT: Visit these student groups to learn how to be an ally, get guidance on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer student issues and access educational materials. They’re all in the same building, and they’ve all changed the lives of students.

Queer Resource Center

“Often, when I tell people I’m trans, the word is wrapped in their head around concepts that are irrelevant to my life experience and what matters to me. Being involved with the QRC gives me agency to define myself as an open-minded individual with a big heart for listening, being there for others and advocating for my authentic self.” 

— Samson Harman (’16)

The QRC, not to be mistaken for the Symbolic and Quantitative Resource Center, is a student-run resource center that seeks to provide support, resources and advocacy for and on behalf of the queer community at Lewis & Clark.

Trained peer counselors hold office hours to support and empower members of the queer community and to provide support and knowledge to new allies. In other words, twice a day (usually 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.) on weekdays, someone in the QRC office would love to talk to anyone about gender, sexuality and/or life in general. They also have a library full of books whose topics range from different kinds of sex positions to super academic, queer theory jargon.

Feminist Student Union

“My personal experience with feminism before college was often overwhelming—I was either struggling with abstract concepts on my own or feeling helpless to solve anything. Being involved with the FSU gives me not only a practical but also an emotional outlet, whether it’s through group discussions, counseling survivors or providing reproductive health resources.” 

— Annabel Carroll (’16)

The FSU is located in Templeton (right next to the Trail Room), and according to its website,  “sponsors services that support the safety, leadership development, empowerment and community engagement of gender minorities.” They welcome all members of the community, regardless of gender, race, age, class, sexual orientation, religion, ability or ethnicity. They also hold office hours and are knowledgeable about campus life and events.

FSU Services

-Crisis intervention

-In-house peer sexual assault response advocates

-Community and campus resource referrals

-Event sponsorship

-Weekly community meetings

-Discussion groups

-Educational workshops

-DIY workshops

-Lounge area

-Lending library

-Reproductive health-care supplies

Multicultural Organizations Seeking An Inclusive Community

“Having this skin around hundreds of white people is a hard situation to be in. MOSAIC was a place where I connected with people who get that—that is not to say that all we do is talk about the crazy shit white folk do, it is to say that I know I can talk if I need to, and places like that at LC are scarce.” 

— Danni Green (’16)

According to its website, MOSAIC “provides space for identity exploration and support, as well as intercultural student engagement for the entire LC community.” MOSAIC includes members from Black Student Union, Gente Latina Unida, Native Student Union, Asian Student Union and members who engage with MOSAIC as a whole. MOASIC often works in collaboration with Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement to hold multicultural events, including a screening and panel discussion on Oct. 27 of Jose Vargas’ film “Documented”  in Council Chamber.

United Genders and Sexualities

“I think that both UGS and the QRC have helped form my experience at LC for the better.  Talking last year with QRC counselors helped me ease into college life and accept myself, and having a leadership in UGS, at least so far, has been great for meeting other members of the queer/trans community.” 

Michael Daellenbach (‘17)

The UGS holds meetings to discuss and organize events, as well as to provide support to LGBTQ students. If you need a place to have fun and engage with queer students, check out UGS.

What was the point of highlighting all of these peer resources in one article? Well…take advantage! These are opportunities for greater education outside of the classroom. We are not just students walking around campus, but human beings with unique identities, thoughts and personalities. This is one of the only times in your life where such a diverse group of people are all available on one campus—and these groups’ offices are literally in one building (Templeton). I challenge everyone to get involved, share your stories and listen to others.

Your Queer,

Mollie Whuppie

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