Following a yearlong planning and development process involving hundreds of members of the campus community, “Leading With Distinction,” Syracuse University’s new academic strategic plan, was unveiled earlier this month. A launch symposium will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 26, from…
Celebrating the Past and the Future with LGBTQ+ History Month
This October, join the campus community in celebrating LGBTQ+ History Month and the 20th Anniversary of the LGBTQ Resource Center. Syracuse University and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) students, faculty and staff are invited to participate in a month of celebrations, educational and social events centered on the historical and cultural impact of the LGBTQIA+ community. The complete list of events is available on the LGBTQ Resource Center website.
“The LGBTQ Resource Center makes the campus a better place by providing resources such as mentorship, a reception that can answer any questions about anything health-related and is a space that advocates for you to be yourself,” shares Lamont Mason Jr. ’23. “Furthermore, the LGBTQ Resource Center welcomes all students and is happy to speak to anyone that needs to be heard.”
LGBTQ Resource Center History
Before many of our current students were born, the LGBTQ Resource Center was founded in 2001. For the past 20 years, the center has strived to foster safe spaces on the Syracuse University and ESF campuses, supporting LGBTQIA+ community members and raising collective awareness of LGBTQIA+ identities and experiences.
It began in 1997 when undergraduate student Jordan Potash proposed establishing a Rainbow Task Force to then-Senior Vice President of Students Affairs Barry Wells. Wells submitted the proposal to the Senate Committee for Student Life, believing its mission was relevant for the whole campus community. In 1998, the Senate Agenda Committee formed the Senate Ad-Hoc Committee on LGBT Issues. Following recommendations from the ad-hoc committee, the University opened the LGBTQ Resource Center in October 2001. The center moved to its longtime home at 750 Ostrom Ave. in the spring of 2002, where it remained for 18 years before relocating to 132 Schine Student Center in 2020.
Continuing Potash’s legacy and goal of “[transforming] suffering to hope, silence into voice and marginalization into the community,” from his speech at the LGBTQ Resource Center’s 15th anniversary celebration in 2016, the center hosts the annual Potash LGBTQ+ History Month Speaker Series. The speaker series features prominent speakers and artists from the LGBTQIA community. To recommend speakers and artists for the Potash LGBTQ+ History Month Speaker Series, email the LGBTQ Resource Center. Those interested in learning more about the history of the LGBTQ Resource Center should check out the new 20th Anniversary virtual timeline, set to be virtually revealed on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021.
“I see the LGBTQ Resource Center as a safe space for all Syracuse University queer and trans students. Students can count on the LGBTQ Resource Center to be a place for support, comfort, validation, friendships or anything else a queer student needs to thrive,” shares Sarah Reinkraut ’23.
LGBTQ+ History Month and 20th Anniversary
Explore highlighted events below and the complete list on the LGBTQ+ History Month webpage.
- Friday, Oct. 1, 2021: 6-7:30 p.m.: LGBTQ+ History Month and 20th Anniversary: Kickoff Celebration
- Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, 1-4 p.m.: Tie-dye and Chalk the Quad
- Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, 7-8:30 p.m.: Third Annual Potash Keynote: Ariana Brown and Alan Pelaez Lopez
- Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021, 6-7:30 p.m.: Kelvin Burzon’s Noli Me Tangere Artist Talk and Panel
Queer and Trans Solidarity List 2021
In addition to attending events, all are invited to sign the annual Queer and Trans Solidarity List. The list of names will be printed in the Daily Orange and shared virtually on the LGBTQ Resource Center website, as a public commitment to supporting and advocating for LGBTQIA+ community members.
“As we celebrate the LGBTQ Resource Center’s 20 years, it is a time for our campus community to openly recommit themselves to supporting and advocating for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual and questioning students and other community members,” says Jorge A. Castillo, director of the LGBTQ Resource Center. “Now more than ever, we need to make sure LGBTQIA+ students, faculty and staff know that there are many Syracuse University and ESF community members supporting their success, safety and general wellbeing.”
For more information or to request accommodations, contact the LGBTQ Resource Center by calling 315.443.0228 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Division of Enrollment and the Student Experience intern Cecelia Kersten ’23, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications