Campus, News

Boston University unveils new LGBTQIA+ Resource Center

By Abigail Hassan and Maya Mitchell

The LGBTQIA+ Student Resource Center opened at Boston University on Jan. 22, according to the BU Instagram. The Center is aimed at addressing the concerns of the LGBTQIA+ community at the university. 

The space hopes to “offer accessible resources, sustain inclusive community groups, introduce intersectional programming, and empower individuals in their pursuit of authentic self-expression within the university setting,” according to the BU LGBTQIA+ Student Resource Center website.

Resources for students at the LGBTQIA+ center on the second floor of 808 Commonwealth Ave. The resource center officially opened Jan. 22 following a report done by the Boston University Student Task Force encouraging BU to create a community space. ISABELLA OLAND/DFP PHOTOGRAPHER

“This is an opportunity to help folks sort of develop some psychological safety,” said Katy Collins, the Director of Student Outreach and Engagement and Interim Director of the Center. “Knowing that you can come to this space and you can question [your sexuality] and folks are going to engage with you in a way that is validating and supportive, right?” 

The Center was created following a report done by the Boston University Student Task Force on LGBTQIA+ Students during the 2022-2023 school year, which recommended BU create a student resource center for the community. In their 126-page report published in Nov. 2022, they made 16 recommendations to the university on how they can “better identify and address institutional gaps in LGBTQIA+ student support.”

“[The center] is really designed to be a space where students can trade ideas, build community and find a sense of solidarity,” Dean of Students Jason Campbell-Foster said. “The President and the Provost at the time believed that many of the other asks or considerations they outlined could really be addressed with the creation of a center.”  

Ruchi Mathur, a fourth-year student in the BU School of Dental Medicine and President of the BU Society for Queers and Allies in Dentistry, expressed satisfaction in the Center providing resources for everyone.

“I feel like it only makes sense to have resources for anyone and everyone, especially people in a community that is part of the minority,” Mathur said.

Nancy Martinsen, Associate Dean of Students, is involved in the hiring process for a permanent director for the Center to replace Collins, who is in the position provisionally.  She ensured that students will have opportunities to “be engaged and meet the candidates.” 

“We’ve had specific sessions [for] students to meet all of the candidates,” she said. “As a part of the interview process, all the candidates got to do a presentation on their vision and what they would want to bring to BU.”

Martinsen said the Center will be hosting an open house on Feb. 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., where they invite the campus community to explore the center and participate in the ongoing initiatives.

“The opening of the new center is amazing,” Mathur said. “I know they’re working on some other things and bringing in a director. So all of that, I think we’re moving in the right direction, and I’m excited to see what the future holds.”

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