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The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
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What Is The Q?

Students+spending+time+in+the+Queer+Student+Center.

Students spending time in the Queer Student Center.

Among the vast number of student spaces at the University of Massachusetts Boston that cover and have places for the many different experiences and identities of students that walk the campus, the Queer Student Center, more informally referred to as The Q, has been the space which has given support to the students of the LGBTQ community for a long time. Located on the third floor of the Campus Center, members say that The Q is a wonderful place for queer students to hangout and share ideas.
Members are very open to educate the public. One person explained the meanings of each color of the traditional rainbow flag, which traces its roots to the artist, Gilbert Baker in 1978. While there are a few interpretations as to what the colors are meant to mean, the broader understanding is that red stands for life or vitality, orange stands for healing, yellow stands for sunlight, green stands for nature, blue stands for serenity, and purple stands for spirit. There are many lessons that can be taken from the flag that can relate to so many different experiences people have concerning identity and freedom.  
The coordinator for the center for 2017–2018, Sam Hunter, believes that the way in which The Q’s conversations flow is very unique to the club. He has noticed an increase in the club’s communication with the other centers surrounding it in recent years. “Before there would be people who were hesitant to come in and ask for markers. Like, we are not scary, just gay!” Hunter says with a smile. When asked about possibly having discussions in order to address misconceptions about LGBTQ issues, Hunter stated that he would be happy for an opportunity to educate. Other members expressed different concerns, “we shouldn’t have to explain ourselves to anyone,” said one UMass Boston junior.
The Rainbow Alliance is an allies initiative that has been encouraged by the current coordinator, Porsha Owens Wilkins, who believes that it could be possibly beneficial to The Q and the other centers surrounding it.
Some members of The Q feel that the space hasn’t been properly advertised around campus as much as it should be. “You would see it on the list but no one really tells you where it is,” a UMass Boston senior and Q member mentioned. Some students have to even take considerable amounts time looking for the space, “it took me a couple of weeks to actually find where the space was because no one would tell me,” said another UMass Boston junior and Q member.
At the moment The Q is welcoming new members as well as anyone interested in educating themselves further about the lives and issues of LGBTQ students in the university and beyond. Some events this semester are the Coming Out Day Open Mic, on Oct. 11 6:30–9 p.m., in the Ryan Lounge. Wilkins also wishes to shed some light on the a upcoming event L.V.N.D.R Talks, which she says is Loving, Validating, Nonconforming, Diverse, Resource in which she hopes to talk about, “anything and everything that people from any part of the rainbow can come and discuss about the LGBTQ community and issues. This event takes place Oct. 17, 5–6 p.m.