L G B T   C a m p u s   O r g a n i z i n g
pus means you can be fairly certain that
your membership will change regularly.   
Before talking about inclusivity, it is
important to point out that there will
Once you have established who you are,
always be a need for certain folks to get
you can ask, "Is this who you would like
together in a safe space with other folks
to be?"  If you find that you are currently
who share their experience.  There may
all men on a coed campus you might ask,
be times when bisexual men and women,
"Is this how we want to be or would we
for instance, will want to discuss their
unique experiences.  There may be times
when gays, lesbians, and bisexuals of col 
There is often a need for specific
or will want to caucus.  There may be
groups of lgbt people to meet sepa 
times when women want to be in wom 
rately, in a safe space, to attend to
en s space.  There is often a need for spe 
issues that are specifically pertinent to
them as a group.
cific groups of lgbt people to meet sepa 
rately, in a safe space, to attend to issues
that are specifically pertinent to them as a
like to be a mixed gender group?"  If you
group.  It is important that this be sup 
are all undergraduate students on a cam 
ported.  This need for separate space is
pus with graduate and professional
not in contradiction with the goal of
schools, you might ask, "Do we want to
being inclusive; it is in fact one strategy
be an organization of undergrads or
to achieve inclusivity.  As lgbt people, we
should we include grad students, staff,
understand all too well what it feels like
faculty, etc.?"  If you are currently all
to be excluded and unwelcome.  There 
white you might ask, "Is this our intent
fore, at times some of us may feel hurt or
and if not what can we do to reach out to
threatened when parts of our community
people of color?"  If you are all seniors
want to meet separately.  This issue is
you might wonder, "Do we want to
often quite tricky for groups to negotiate.
recruit some first  and second year stu 
But as lgbt people we also understand the
dents so that there will be some continu 
need to be with others like us.  It is vital
ity for next year?" 
that when creating our own groups, we
attend to the special needs of other
It is important to think consciously about
groups with the same sensitivity as we
group membership and, if you find that
would expect from others when we want
you are not currently who you would like
our own space.  
to be, you need to develop a plan for
attracting new members.  It is important
Below is a list of some things to think
(though not always possible) to include
about.  Remember that each issue will
as many of your ideal group members
vary depending on who comprises your
right from the start so that they can be
group.  Additionally, it is important to
part of answering the other questions you
consider not only sheer numbers, but how
will need to consider.  If there are no peo 
each subgroup is represented within the
ple of color, then the needs you identify
power/decision making structure of the
may only reflect the experiences of white
group, what roles they play, and what
people.  If there are no faculty or staff, the
their interactions with others look like.
goals you choose will likely not reflect
Finally, it is crucial to recognize the
the concerns of these folks.  
importance of groups to be visible on
B u i l d i n g   a   H e a l t h y   O r g a n i z a t i o n


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