Queer on Campus offers a safe space

By Katie Peters – 1851 Staff 

Every other week in the Intercultural Center & Commuter College (IC3) PRIDE club’s Queer on Campus, a small group of LGBTQ+ students, gathers and discuss issues they face in their everyday lives and communities.

The group is led by Faculty Advisor and Assistant Director of the Donahue Institute Thomas Morgan and Clinical Counselor Shawn Lasker.

“We start out the meetings just going over ground rules, talking about privacy and confidentiality,” said Morgan. “What is said in the room stays in the room unless it affects someone’s health or safety.”

The meetings are centered around a topic or activity.

“For our first meeting, we did an art therapy activity where people created a mask,” said Morgan. “On one side, it represented our exterior. On the other side, it represented what is facing internally, how we feel on the inside.”

Afterwards the group discussed why they show some aspects of themselves externally and why some choose to keep other details private.

Some discussions are focused on current events or politics. Students share how legislation may affect them and where to get support if needed. “The over arching theme is always navigating the world and finding yourself as an LGBTQ+ person,” said Morgan.

While advertising for Queer on Campus was limited to members in previous years, this semester, signs and posters are more prevalent across campus. The choice to openly promote was done to bring in new members and reach out to other students.

“There was a whole segment of the student population that could benefit from something like this that we weren’t getting a hold of,” Morgan said. “This semester, we wanted to open it up a little bit wider.” While there is more advertising for this group than there has been in the past, it remains a small intimate gathering of students.

In addition to Queer on Campus, PRIDE also hosts other events throughout the year including weekly meetings in the IC3, workshops and outreach to the Lasell community. In collaboration with the Campus Activities Board (CAB), PRIDE also hosted the first annual Night of Drag. Morgan estimated roughly 200 people came to the show in de Witt Hall on April 3.

Morgan added he was excited about all the work PRIDE has done this year. “It’s grown a lot in the past year…it just makes me so excited to be part of such an open-minded, inclusive community,” he said.

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