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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Marquette groups team up to meet needs of LGBT community

Groups at Marquette are teaming up on campus to develop a new initiative to meet the needs of the LGBT community.

The initiative, which has yet to be named, will be launched by the Center for Intercultural Engagement and the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center. CIE coordinator Bianca Howell said the two offices are looking to University of Wisconsin-Madison’s initiative, The Crossroads Initiative, for inspiration. Howell said she finds out this Thursday if the initiative receives funding from the Strategic Innovation Fund.

“We’re still working on some of the logistics,” Howell said. “Right now, we’re in a very heavy planning stage. What is (UW-Madison) doing? What resources do we need to get it started at Marquette?”

UW-Madison’s initiative includes two different programs. One is called “Reel to Real,” a monthly movie and discussion event featuring films about people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other minority sexualities. The second program is a monthly gathering of LGBT students called “Link Potluck.”

Howell said the main task of the newly proposed initiative is to identify intersectional realities that Marquette students face. She added it can be easy to focus on one aspect, such as race or gender, of the LGBT population, but the initiative will avoid that way of thinking to be more exclusive.

“We want to support our students and we don’t want them exploited in any way,” Howell said. “They know we’re here without putting them on display. It’s a hard line to walk. It’s complicated.”

Howell said students also play a role in making the initiative happen and that the two centers don’t do anything “without our students and their student input.”

She also said students who feel comfortable at the CIE should feel just as comfortable going to the GSRC, and vice versa.

Howell, who started working at Marquette in December 2014, said she’s going to a conference this weekend in New Orleans to learn more about connecting two separate offices and what the program would look like.

One of the bigger tasks for the initiative is a conference. UW-Madison’s Crossroads Initiative will be hosting a conference in October 2015.

“We’re getting students who are getting great service and we’re happy to provide it,” Howell said. “There’s a handful of students that utilize our space. It can be a challenge for them sometimes. We really do have students that have fit here.”

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