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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Queer Student Center Profile

1. The Queer Student Center Staff
Ayesha Kazmi
1. The Queer Student Center Staff

The mission of the Queer Student Center is to “provide a student voice on campus for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning concerns and also to create a presence on campus for the community to center around so that people know no matter what happens on campus there is still an entity that will support their needs, their concerns, and their voice in the faculty and staff here,” according to Brandon Gorham, the coordinator of the center. Not only does it serve the UMB campus community, but it is always a welcoming prospective for students who are thinking about attending the university. Not only does the center focus on LGBTQQ issues, but also those of straight allies because the services that the center offers are for everyone.

Although this is Gorham’s first year as coordinator of the Queer Student Center, he has served as Assistant Coordinator and Staff Assistant in previous years. Primarily, the focus of the center this year is community building and education, which is evident in some of its services and events. This semester, the QSC hosted the Movie Night Series, which is a “community building” activity; and the Trans Informational Forum, to educate the campus community about transgender identity “because a lot of people don’t know what that is.”

Like the other centers and clubs on campus, you don’t have to sign up to be a member. You can walk in at any time. The QSC always has people in it at any given time, since it’s open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The new setup of the centers helps. Aside from the fact that privacy can be an issue because of the open-area nature of the centers, “It feels more alive because there’s always people around, and there’s more interaction between centers,” says Gorham. “Many of the students that come in the center are coming in between classes, and at lunchtime it is usually packed.” And for those who aren’t on campus on a regular basis, there is also a web group of 105 members, so students can constantly stay connected. The QSC offers support services as well. Not only does it have computers for student use and a semi-private lounge for students to hang out in, its staff and members serve as volunteers for many campus-based and community events. In conjunction with the ARMS Center, the QSC is planning an event for National AIDS Awareness Day.

Many of the outside organizations that have either collaborated with or lent support to the QSC, whether it be in the form of volunteers or support, they include: the Boston Alliance of GLBT Youth (BAGLY), The Imperial Court of Boston, and The Network/LaRed. Some area hospitals that have either provided support services, either in the form medical brochures, free testing, crisis support, and counseling services include: Fenway Community Hospital, Latino Men’s Healthcare Center, and Mass General Hospital. These are some of the many outside establishments and organizations that have poured resources into the QSC.

Upcoming events for the remainder of the fall semester are, “hopefully a Christmas party, depending on our budget,” says Gorham. In the spring, the QSC will also be having a Drag Show to raise money for a local gay/lesbian charity, so “everyone, bring your dollar bills.” Plus, the QSC is trying to see if they can organize a float for the Boston Youth and Gay Pride Parades. Most of the colleges in the Boston area are represented in the parades. Unfortunately, UMB is not, but that may change soon.