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W e l c o m e bac k O p e n H o u s e On the first day of classes, Wednesday, January 23, 2012, the LGBTQ Center will host an Open House! From 2-4pm, our staff will be in the LGBTQ Center, hoping to see you and tell you about all the programs and services that we’ll be hosting this semester. Come to ask questions, hear what’s going on, or just to get some great snacks and enjoy even better company! We hope to see you there! Volume 1, Issue 7

This Week: Welcome Back Open House


From the Desk of Annie R.




New This Semester


State of the Queer Union


Let’s bring back PFlag!

We’ve heard some buzz around campus in the last few months concerning an ally group or a chapter of PFLAG (Parents, Families, & Friends of Lesbians and Gays) being a necessity on campus. We’d love to begin looking into this initiative. So, let us hear from you! What ideas do you have for how we could implement this group? Would you attend? Would you be interested in helping form a group? Email Annie at

F ro m t h e d e s k o f a n n i e Ru s s e l l . . . As we move forward in the LGBTQ Center on campus, we are thinking a lot about how we can facilitate relationships between students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members. As such, this semester, we are unveiling our new mentoring program.

LGBTQAS CommUNITY is the name of our program and the LGBTQAS stands for Lending Guidance Back to Queer and Ally Students. This is a mentoring program that we hope all people at URI will become involved with. Fill out the application

form and return it. We will offer a training for all mentors and mentees. Additionally, we will make every effort to match people according to their interests and compatibility. Please contact our office if you have any questions about the program or getting involved!

New this semester Have Suggestions, Questions, or Comments? Email our Staff! Annie Russell, Ph.D. Director Annie M. Kosar, M.S. Coordinator, Programs and Services Emily Goupil Graduate Assistant

Men and Masculinities

Trans 101

Toward the end of fall semester 2012, our staff began to discuss the idea of creating a new group for students all over campus. We were hearing that there weren’t many places for men to come together and discuss their lives and issues. As such, we are creating the Men and Masculinities group. This is not an LGBT-focused group. Rather, this is a group for men and their allies to discuss the variety of issues that face them, as well as provide support for others who attend the group. The group is being facilitated by a volunteer student and staff member from URI. Stay tuned for meeting dates!

Our Safe Zone program will expand this semester, as we unveil the first of our Advanced Safe Zone Tracks. Advanced Safe Zone Tracks will be training sessions focused on particular identities or issues that we feel need to be explored further. Trans 101 will be the first of these. People who have been through the initial Safe Zone Workshop will be eligible to begin our Advanced Track trainings. Trans 101 will be available for any department, student organization, college, or other group beginning during our Symposium, March 21-27. Call or email our office (Emily at to schedule one for your group today!

Don’t miss these events this spring! 19th Annual LGBTQ Center Symposium Pioneers of Pride On March 21-27, 2013, we will host our annual LGBTQ Center Symposium. This week promises to be filled with fun, learning, and excitement. We’ll be featuring a well-known author, Barrie Jean Borich, author of The Body Geographic, on March 21st at 5pm, Location TBA. This will be a co-sponsored event with the English Department and Gender and Women’s Studies. Please mark your calendars, consider submitting a program proposal (due January 23rd), and stay tuned for more details!

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Lavender Graduation On Thursday, April 18, 2013, we will host our first Lavender Graduation ceremony. The event will take place from 4-6pm in the Hardge Forum in the Multicultural Center. This event will be an opportunity to celebrate our year together, recognize achievements with newly designed awards, and pay homage to our graduating students on campus. Please join us!

STATE OF THE QUEER UNION January 9, 2013 marks my one year anniversary as the Director of the LGBTQ Center at the University of Rhode Island. I believe in transparency and in an effort to achieve that, I offer you some thoughts on our progress: our first annual State of the Queer Union. We have made significant progress in terms of the programs, services, and initiatives we offer through the LGBTQ Center. Here are some highlights:  Created more than 40 new programs, services, and initiatives  Revitalized the Safe Zone Program at URI, training more than 300 participants to date and receiving excellent or above average ratings on all areas of our assessment from 96.5% of participants  Began the work on two new Living Learning Communities at URI: a LGBTQA Issues Community, available in Fall 2013 & a Social Justice Community, anticipated availability in Fall 2014  Formed a committee of students, faculty, and staff to begin the process of creating a Certificate Program, Minor, and Major in Gender and Sexuality Studies, as well as a Graduate Certificate of the same theme In addition to our programs, services, and initiatives, we continued the work on designing our new LGBTQ Center. We will become the first institution in the country to design and build a free-standing LGBT Center from the ground up. Our new center will open in May 2014. Here are some of the many exciting features of our new center:  A multipurpose room for programming and classes, seating 45-50;  A conference room for meetings, seating 12-20;  Offices for 3 full time staff, a Graduate Assistant, and Student Staff members, as well as a LGBTQ student organizations office;  A private group consultation room and study space, seating 8-12;  3 Gender Neutral Restrooms, one of which will include a shower for use by students, faculty, or staff as needed;  An informal, privately located lounge, seating 7-15; and  Front and back patio and porch spaces that allow for informal seating;  A kitchenette that allows students, faculty, and staff to eat lunch informally in our office space While there is still much work to be done on the URI campus, we have made a dent in the oppression machine by taking direct and decisive action. With your help, we can continue to make more progress. Please take a moment to think about how you can help impact our URI campus for the better regarding LGBTQA issues and remember to Gay It Forward for all those who come to URI in the future! Sincerely Yours and Best Wishes for a Wonderful 2013 - Annie Russell :)

Newsletter Issue 7 (17 January, 2013)  

Welcome back from Spring Break! Check out the new information contained for this semester!