Beginning July 1, the Lesbian Bisexual Gay and Transgender Resource Center or LBGTRC within the Division of Student Affairs and Services at Michigan State University will be renamed The Gender and Sexuality Campus Center.
“This name change will better reflect the work and the communities served by the center and its team,” said Jesse Beal (they/them), center director. “When the LBGTRC was first named 15-years ago the acronym represented our communities at the time and was far less standardized than today. Since then, the center’s name has become an outlier among Big Ten universities and Michigan’s public institutions and is often assumed to be an error.”
The Gender and Sexuality Campus Center is more inclusive of the diversity of sexual and gender identities on campus. While many think the center serves only LGBTQA+ students, this new name conveys it is a resource for everyone, including faculty and staff. A more inclusive name also shows it is a space for those who want to support and affirm LGBTQA+ community members and those seeking to learn.
“MSU’s center serving the LBGTQA+ community is a critical hub for creating and supporting an inclusive and welcoming campus for all Spartans,” said MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D. (he/him). “The center will continue to be a critical asset to help prevent gender and sexuality bias and will be better positioned to serve our community with its new name.”
“Our goal is to be the best LGBTQA+ center on any college campus; a center that is worthy of the strength, tenacity and brilliance of LGBTQA+ Spartans,” added Beal. “Changing our name is a part of enacting this vision. This change — requested by our students — sets us on a course toward that future.
The support we have received from President Stanley, Senior Vice President Vennie Gore (he/him) and the community in this endeavor demonstrates MSU’s commitment to LGBTQA+ inclusion today and in the years to come.”
Further evidence of the university’s commitment to the LGBTQA+ community is the recent expansion of gender-inclusive housing in campus residence halls.
“We are dedicated to supporting LGBTQA+ communities, and the new center name is a reflection of that,” said Gore, senior vice president for auxiliary enterprises, which includes Residential and Hospitality Services, and interim vice president of the Division of Student Affairs and Services. “This new name — The Gender and Sexuality Campus Center — not only better reflects the important work of our staff and students but also lets our students know we are responsive to their needs and want them to continue to be engaged and connected with MSU.”
As part of the official name change, the center is asking MSU students to participate in a T-shirt design contest. The winning entry will become The Gender and Sexuality Campus Center’s official T-shirt. More information can be found on the center’s website.
This change was announced on March 31, International Transgender Day of Visibility or TDOV, which is a day to celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of transgender and nonbinary people. “TDOV is a celebration of our community and this name change increases the visibility of the center and LGBTQA+ Spartans. It is cause for celebration,” said Beal. Visit the center’s program webpage to learn more about TDOV and the many upcoming events the center will host, including the TDOV Student Research Symposium, Lavender Reception and Pride Month.
This story was originally posted on the Student Affairs website.