Last year, Grand Valley State University was named Michigan’s Best University for LGBTQ Students by Campus Pride and BestColleges. The ranking combines BestColleges’ criteria for academic support and affordability data in addition to the Campus Pride Index score, a national rating system that measures LGBTQ-friendly campus life.
Campus Pride considers eight inclusive LGBTQ + factors to achieve a measure: political inclusion, institutional support and commitment, university life, housing and residence life, campus security, counseling and health, recruitment and retention.
The Milton E. Ford LGBT Resource Center is part of what makes GVSU such a great campus for LGBTQ + students. This center advocates for institutional equity, promotes community building and provides educational opportunities to create an informed, cohesive and fair campus where community members of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and gender presentations are supported and welcome.
The The Milton E. Ford LGBT Resource Center works with campus and community partners to create an inclusive and equitable environment where everyone is empowered to be themselves authentic. Their advocacy work advances GVSU’s commitment to a campus climate that celebrates and engages people of all gender identities, gender presentations and sexual orientations. Using an intersectional framework, the Center promotes a more equitable campus, region and world that values social justice and centers the needs of the most vulnerable.
Last Tuesday, a few students from the Milton E. Ford LGBT Resource Center moderated a discussion titled “A Gay-ze into LGBTQ History: An Open Discussion”. The presentation focused on the history of the queer community, with a focus on the 20th century and the transition to the 21st century. They also focused on the riots, uprisings, and gay-organized protests that have helped advance gay rights in America, particularly how intersectionality plays a role in the effort. The importance is how recent these events were and how many changes have taken place in such a short time. Not to mention the progress that remains to be made.
“We felt the need to present it because queer history is not only very important on a personal level for queer people themselves, but for anyone who cares about human rights,” said said Abigail Liggett, student and program facilitator. “As we live in relatively tolerant times, at least compared to previous years, it is easy to forget or not fully appreciate the intense discrimination that homosexuals faced and the movements that had to be created to move forward. towards equality, equity and justice. Presentations like these remind us of our place in history, of the progress made by those who came before us, and of the fact that we still have work to do. “
The participation rate was around 10 students and the reactions were good. They seemed to have received excellent evaluations after the presentation and many students were there since we were approved INT 100 and 201. INT stands for Integrative Studies here at GVSU and both classes have to do with the world around the students and deepen the topics. and major issues. For this reason, it was most likely recommended that students check out the open house discussion for the class.
“Our presentation was a brief overview of American queer history, beginning in the early 1900s,” said Waverly Eubank, student worker and speaker. “We reviewed major historical events and how these events affected acceptance of the queer community over time, such as the shift from homosexuality to mental illness in the late 1800s, to the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015. ”
However, the participation rate in the SDGs is often very good, and many people who have never visited the Center come. Sometimes the people who are introduced to the Center through the SDGs become regular visitors, and that’s what happened this time. Evaluations are most often very positive, with listeners reporting that they have learned valuable new information.
If the students missed this open discussion, don’t worry. The LGBT Resource Center has at least two more planned and coming this year. Open houses are held every month, but other hardworking students will welcome them and they will discuss different topics.