Greetings from Colorado College! We write to bring you news about exciting things happening for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) community at CC. Whether alumni or parent, retiree or current employee, straight supporter or LGBTQ, you are extremely important in our collective efforts to build a stronger Colorado College in the years that come.
Simply put, this has been an amazing year. In the summer, the Board of Trustees added “gender expression” and “gender identity” as protected categories of identity to the college’s by-laws. At the same time, CC created a new full-time staff position, the LGBTQ student specialist position, which is housed in the office of minority and international students (OMIS), along with a new LGBTQ-focused student internship position.
At Homecoming, Professor Tip Ragan (history) and Professor Dennis McEnnerney (philosophy) continued the tradition first established by Bruce Loeffler and then continued by Marshall Kean of inviting LGBTQ alumni faculty, staff, and current students, along with their family members, to dinner at their home. The alumni office generously organized, advertised, and financially supported the event, and a wonderful turnout of approximately 55 people, including Marshall and CC’s new president, Jill Tiefenthaler, attended. We are very proud of CC’s continued commitment to creating an environment where everyone is a valued member of our unique institution.
It has been most exciting, as is usually the case at CC, to see the initiatives that current students are undertaking. This year, they have decided to unify the various queer student organizations by bringing them together under the auspices of the “Queer Community Coalition,” a collaborative student board that supports the many LGBTQ student initiatives.
Further, under Andrew Wallace’s (’12) leadership, queer students and allies have started the Colorado College LGBT Oral History Project. To document the ongoing history of LGBT life at CC and after, they are working to create a CC webpage featuring this history in podcasts and transcript interviews, archived documents, and photographs. Please see the enclosed flyer for more information, especially if you would like to be a part of this amazing work.
But as you know, Colorado College is never content to “rest on its laurels.” In keeping with our commitment to living the liberal arts, we are always in the dynamic process of working to create a stronger, more vibrant, and more just institution. As part of our effort to build a strong LGBTQ community among our alumni and current students, we would like to announce the formation of the LGBTQ Affinity Group. We’re excited to offer this new way to stay connected to the happenings on and off campus, and to a community of faculty, staff, students, and alumni.
Because of the unique nature of the LGBTQ Affinity Group, we wish to respect your preferences about the extent to which you want to be identified as part of CC’s LGBTQ alumni community. We would like to stress that this organization is inclusive. We welcome our straight friends in this association, as well as former faculty members, administrators, and staff! Mark your preferences on the enclosed form or go online at: http://ourcc.coloradocollege.edu/LGBTQ_Opt_In. If you’d like your inclusion in the LGBTQ Affinity Group to remain confidential, please mark the indicated box. We’ll follow this letter with a reminder email and if you choose not to opt-in, you will not receive further communication from the college regarding LGBTQ related matters. If you have questions about opting-in to the LGBTQ Affinity Group, please email LGBTQ@coloradocollege.edu.
For those who opt-in, we will be contacting you in the near future to hear about your priorities. We are in the process of creating a Queer Community Steering Committee of faculty, staff, alumni, and students to help carry out the goals and priorities of our various constituents. Your input will prove invaluable as we move forward. Finally, in the enclosed form you will also see information about the new LGBTQ Discretionary Fund. This new fund will be used to support student initiatives such as Emily Wattman-Turner’s (’12) recent trip to the White House for the Policy Briefing for Black LGBT Emerging Leaders, to underwrite projects like the CC LGBT Oral History Project, to contribute to an LGBTQ prospective student open house with admissions, to encourage student scholarship around issues of gender and sexuality, and to add to the body of guides and literature specifically around trans-inclusion, Ally Workshops, and social justice programming. The initiatives that we support can range from individual student scholarship awards to the establishment of an LGBTQ Resource Center. We hope you’ll consider supporting our commitment to LGBTQ issues through a gift to the LGBTQ Discretionary Fund.
We thank you sincerely for your time, and for your strong commitment to Colorado College. Our collective efforts on behalf of this unique institution continue to make CC such a wonderful place. We invite any questions, feedback, and hellos.
And now bookmark the first-ever Colorado College LGBTQ webpage!