University of Utah starts queer alumni association

The University of Utah Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center, along with the University Alumni House, is launching the first LGBT Alumni Association. Specific to queer and allied alumni, the network of graduates and those who attended the university will be a resource for students, as well as an opportunity for socials and activities, said C. Kai Medina-Martinez, director of the center.

A grant from the Alumni House allowed the center to hire an intern who gathering names and information from queer and allied alumni and assessing of what goals and purposes the community would like the association to serve.

Gabrielle Lupton will be heading the initiative and is gathering the contact information of university alum. To begin the daunting task of forming the association, a form with contact information is posted on the LGBT Resource Center website for those who are interested.

“We want to encourage everyone to be involved and help us form an association that works with the students and anyone who has been a student at the university,” Lupton said. “Whether you only took a few classes or graduated with a four-year degree, we want everyone involved.”

The association will serve as a networking opportunity for students who are looking for employment after college as well as offer social gatherings and events.

“We want it to become a self-sustaining group and allow the alumni to really shape its direction,” said Medina-Martinez.

The contact form is simple and requires only basic information that will help the group contact and identify interested parties.

“I think that a lot of people are interested in how much the center has changed over the years,” Medina-Martinez said. “We have so much to offer students and just coming to visit and see how far we’ve come is utterly impressive.”

The U of U joins the ranks of other major universities with similar programs such as Yale and Princeton, Lutpon said. And while those organizations serve as models for the local group, there will be changes and region-specific goals and purposes in Utah, they said.

The LGBT Resource Center has provides a safe environment for students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members to educate and to develop programs focusing on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Center has a wide variety of education, advocacy and information services.

For more information or to participate in the group, go to lgbt.utah.edu.

Seth Bracken

Seth Bracken is the editor of QSaltLake

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