SA Note: Student Association votes for LGBTQ Center at GW

The Student Association passed a resolution Tuesday night urging the University to create a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning resource center at GW.

More than 15 students attended the senate meeting in order to publicly display their support for an LGBTQ resource center on campus.

“A lot of universities across the country have LGBT resource centers,” said SA Sen. Vishal Aswani (SEAS-U), who sponsored the resolution. “Allied in Pride has already been working with the University. It seemed only right for the SA to jump up and support it.”

Neha Shah, president of Allied in Pride, said it is important for the University to reach out to the LGBTQ community.

“As an openly LGBT person of color I think its important to have a resource center (on campus),” said Shah, a sophomore. “We are asking for a space on campus to have a full time staff member during regular office hours.”

Other students spoke at the meeting about the need for an LGBTQ resource center at GW. Senior Tucker Landesman discussed his experiences being a transgender student on campus.

“As a senior and transgender student I can attest that (being transgender) is really difficult,” Landesman said. “There are feelings of alienation .People are definitely not very trans-friendly.”

Students not affiliated with the LGBTQ community also spoke out in support of having an LGBTQ resource center on campus.

“I am not a member of the LGBT community,” said Jen Goldstein, a freshman. “I consider myself to be a member of one of the most progressive universities in the country. We need to implement this center for the sake of progressiveness.”

While many students came out in support of the resolution, there were others who attended the meeting to voice their concerns with the idea of an LGBTQ resource center.

Freshman Zach Hanover asked supporters of the resolution why the current University Counseling Center does not suffice.

“What lacks in the current counseling center doesn’t fulfill your needs,” Hanover said. “There is a counseling center, why don’t we divert money to that? We should use this money to hire better professors, teachers and department heads. I don’t see this as an effective use of tuition money.”

Although the resolution passed, Aswani said there is still work to be done in order to establish the center, including finding space and money for the center.

“Allied in Pride has scheduled more meetings with the University and Knapp,” said Aswani, a junior. “It’s not as much about getting support as it is getting logistics – the where and the how much.”

During the meeting, the senate also passed the Joint Elections Committee Charter, which governs the elections oversight committee for the upcoming SA, Program Board and Marvin Center Governing Board elections.

The senate will meet again Feb. 12.

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