The number of attendees doubled at this year’s welcome event during Orientation Week.
To kick off the Fall 2017 semester, Elon’s Gender and LGBTQIA Center (GLC) hosted a welcome event for all new LGBTQIA identifying students and allies.
The event was the largest welcome event to date with nearly 150 attendees. New students mingled with returning students, staff, faculty members while learning about the resources offered across campus.
Eleanor Finger, assistant vice president for student life and dean of campus life, welcomed all attendees on behalf of the Elon administration. Laurin Kier, director of tutorial services, and Dana Pursley, associate director of the Center for Leadership, highlighted the LGBTQIA Employee Resource Group as a dedicated group of faculty and staff mentors willing and prepared to help students transition to Elon while navigating their ongoing college career.
A presentation of LGBTQIA student life at Elon was led by GLC director, Matthew Antonio Bosch, assistant director Becca Bishopric Patterson, and coordinator Camilla Brewer. Monique Swirsky ’18 and Bella Salmon ’18 shared their student leadership experiences as the President and Vice President of Spectrum, Elon’s queer-straight student alliance.
Resources across campus were highlighted, including nearly 15 gender and sexuality-related groups as well as the center’s new Queer Peers mentor program, where upperclass students can mentor sophomores and first-year students. News about Elon’s Top 25 Campus Pride Index ranking was shared, and many students highlighting the rankings as an important reason that they chose to apply to Elon.
Events like the LGBTQIA & Ally New Student Welcome are indicative of Elon’s community efforts to make LGBTQIA students feel more comfortable on campus. Among the local community, students will take part in the third annual Alamance Pride Festival on Saturday, October 7 from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. at the Historic Train Depot and Amphitheatre in downtown Burlington.
In the coming weeks, the GLC will host events for identity weeks including Bi Visibility Week, Supporting Survivors Week, National Coming Out Week, Intersex & Asexual Awareness Week, and Trans Awareness Week.