The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender (GLBT) Resource center is the newest cost center on campus.
However, it has already been around for 15 years.
Until now, the center has been funded primarily by private dollars through the Division of Student Affairs. According to the UCSU financial board, the center will be receiving additional funding from UCSU-along with its previous funding.
The mission statement of the resource center is to “promote equal opportunity for successful academic, social and personal development for all GLBT students, staff, faculty and their allies in a safe and supportive environment.”
Director of the GLBT Resource Center Steph Wilenchek said that their biggest concerns are education, advocating and support for the student body. The center accomplishes these goals in several ways whether it be safe zone training, workshops for organizations, or holding events to raise awareness.
“A lot of our [staff] work is one-on-one consultation with students. Coming out, school, relationships, depression, we talk about everything and once again, that’s why we’re here—to help students,” said Wilenchek. “Students come to us to get hooked up with other organizations and we do our best to help with that.”
Despite being just accepted as a new cost center by UCSU, GLBT has officially been on campus since 1995. It was started with private donations from alumni.
In 1993 the Chancellor’s Task Force on Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual issues examined the campus and concluded CU was an unfriendly environment for the GLBT community. The Task Force then recommended creating more GLBT services. The GLBT Resource Center formally opened in March of 1995.
Perhaps the most-used resource in GLBT is the resource library in Willard Hall room 227. The library is used to check out books and videos, but is more commonly as a student hangout and study lounge.
“It’s a safe place for students to come,” Wilenchek said of the library. “At night we have student groups that meet in our lounge; they conduct outreach programs.”
“We’ve grown to be where we are right now after many years of hard work. Majority of the funding comes from the provost’s office and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Office, along with grants, private donations, student opportunity fee programs—when students register for classes they have the option to donate money to various student groups, like GLBT,” Wilenchek said.
Wilenchek noted that GLBT is one of two cost centers with several outlets for funding. She also added their budget is equal or lower than most of the other advocacy centers.
Assistant Director Kevin Correa said he’s excited because of all the events taking place in October.
“October is going to be jam-packed with events we’re hosting. On Oct. 8 we have a graduate student lunch . . . Oct. 9 is coming out day where students tell their stories of coming out in a safe accepting environment,” said Correa as he continued to list off several other events.
Logan Druckman, a 25-year-old senior sociology major who works at the resource center, says that it’s a one-of-a-kind place on campus.
“First off, it’s important to acknowledge everyone is welcome,” said Druckman. “During a typical day you should expect to walk in to our lounge and see students studying, watching movies, hanging out and having fun. This is a place where you can be yourself, feel safe and meet new people.”
However, for some the center is more than just a place to hang out.
“Not everyone understands that some people feel isolated, everywhere but here. People hang out here all day every day and for some it’s the only place where they feel comfortable.” Druckman said.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Adrian Kun at Adrian.Kun@Colorado.edu.