LGBTQ and Minority College Students Demand Segregated Spaces

The Columbia College Student Council (CCSC) has approved a resolution for dedicated centers to accommodate LGBTQ and minority students.

Campus Reform reports that the CCSC proposed having two segregated rooms for “more institutional support, staff, resources, funding, and space for LGBTQ+ students, students of color, and those who hold combinations of these identities.”

The reserved spaces would provide accommodations including televisions, tabletops for computers, and bookshelves, to name a few.

The resolution submitted by the CCSC requested a second space reserved for LGBT students, stating that “Columbia’s LGBTQ+ communities are relatively underserved compared to those of our peer institutions.”

According to reports, Columbia was one of only two Ivy League colleges that did not offer a center for LGBTQ students.

To further cater to Columbia’s LGBTQ students, the CCSC is also demanding the student center offer paid positions, including a full-time director, part-time graduate student workers, and even opportunities for undergraduate students.

The separate centers for LGBTQ students and minority students are slated to be located at Lerner Hall, which currently serves as the university’s student union. It is notoriously cramped and has been described as “depressing,” says The Columbia Daily Spectator.

Lerner Hall, the future home of two segregated centers for LGBTQ and minority students.

Lerner Hall, the future home of two segregated centers for LGBTQ and minority students.

A student interviewed about Lerner Hall said, “There’s no space [in Lerner] to hang out. You can’t sit on the tables on the ramps.”

Regardless of the shortage of social space to justify the LGBTQ and minority centers, the CCSC is still insisting on forging ahead with the two spaces.

The CCSC backed up its proposed resolution with thirteen student testimonials expressing why they need the centers.

One freshman stated, “There are many spaces on campus, especially those that are dominated by straight males, that leave me tense.” She continued, “An LGBTQ+ Center would offer me yet another space where I could feel like I am safe to simply exist and be me.”

Campus Reform stated that Columbia has declined to comment on the resolution.

H/T: Campus Reform

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