A C o m p r e h e n s i v e M a n u a l
ple will be disappointed with the reality
if they're afraid you'll be closed when
of the center once it's established. Don't
they get there.
be personally discouraged if you learn
There's another question of accessibility
you're not pleasing everyone, but do
that's often forgotten take a look around
make an effort to include in your plan
your center. Do you see sexually explic
ning those who do not feel they are being
it photos which might make some stu
served adequately. If someone has a
dents uncomfortable? Remember, what's
complaint, then How can we work
liberation to some is exploitation to oth
together to take care of this problem? is
a much more productive answer than
But I tried, or But I didn't know that's
Once you've made sure your center is at
what you needed.
least accessible, you can think about how
to make it inviting. Take another look
Questions and Answers Regarding
around. Any photos of people of color?
Opening and Running a Successful
A good mix of representations of men
and women? Make sure your center
reflects the diversity of our communities.
The following questions and answers
lgbt bookstores in bigger (and sometimes
might be useful in trouble shooting any
smaller) cities will have a good selection
difficulties you might encounter as you
of posters, etc., featuring lgbt people of
strive to adapt your Resources Center to
the needs of your campus communities.
Again, the answers provided might be
Finally, make sure you can provide the
most directly applicable to a Resources
resources lgbt students need. Your center
Center located on a large urban campus;
might be the only place for miles around
please tailor them to fit your needs.
that students can find lgbt publications.
Just as importantly, it might be the only
: How can we be sure our center is
place they feel comfortable reading them.
open and useful to all members of
Stock up on magazines (again, remem
our campus lgbt communities?
bering the tremendous diversity of our
community). Make sure you've got a
: Don't overlook the basics here. Is
comfortable sofa or set of chairs for peo
there enough foot traffic around your
ple to use while they read them. And
center to ensure that students will see it?
don't overlook how far a few simple
On the other hand, is it in so public a
homey gestures, such as a plant or a
space that some closeted students would
bowl of fruit, can go toward making stu
feel uncomfortable being seen entering?
dents feel welcome.
There's a delicate balance between easy
to find and too public. Make sure that
Never forget that your center might be
your center is easily accessible to all
the only place students can act like them
members of the community. Where's the
nearest elevator? Are there ramps for the
disabled? Keep your hours accessible,
too. As outlined above, post and stick to
: We have the same faces at every
meeting. Where can we find more
regular office hours. People won't come
L G B T R e s o u r c e C e n t e r s M 2 2 7