L G B T   C a m p u s   O r g a n i z i n g
:  What do those faces have in com 
than a means of bringing all groups
mon?  Are all the faces you see of
the same ethnic group?  Are they all men,
or all women?  If so, you should make
sure you're offering a meeting of interest
:  Even though we have a large cam 
pus, almost no one comes to our lgbt
to the people who are not coming either
student group meetings.  What should we
restructure the meetings you have now to
include an emphasis on those who are not
represented (and make sure you publicize
these changes), or call a meeting just for
You can't be all things to all
the groups to whom you'd like to make
people.  Many lgbt center
staff have found that expec 
tations have been building
for their center for so long
:  Our campus has a gay men's
that at least a few people will
group, a lesbian group, and a few
be disappointed with the
People of Color lgbt groups.  Each pro 
reality of the center once it's
fessional school has its own group, and
then there are some groups meeting that
we don't even know anything about.
How can we bring everyone together?  
:  This question has two very differ 
:  Make sure that your meetings are
perceived as  safe space.   You
ent answers.  
Answer 1
:  Your cen 
might require complete confidentiality of
ter is a natural place to try to bring every 
all meeting participants.  Ask that they
one together.  Get out, meet with the Peo 
not discuss the meeting or anything that
ple of Color, lesbian, and other lgbt
happens in it outside the meeting itself.
groups.  Invite them all to a common
Remind participants that not everyone
meeting so that they can meet one anoth 
who comes to the meeting is equally
er.  This won't be easy  good meetings
 out,  and that no one should be inadver 
require solid preparation as much as
tently outed by another member by casu 
admirable intentions.  Check with each
al references to the meeting in other con 
group to find a good meeting time for
texts.  It's a good idea to remind meeting
everyone, make sure your meeting is
participants of these guidelines at the
publicized and, above all, make sure you
beginning and ending of each meeting.  
give each group you've invited a chance
to contribute to the agenda.  
Answer 2
It's possible that students are not com 
Maybe you won't be able to bring every 
fortable meeting in what's known as a
one together.  If your campus has already
developed several separate lgbt groups,
space.  Rather than posting meeting times
respect the intent of those groups and
and places, list a phone number to call for
their members and realize that different
more information on your publicity.  Ask
elements of the lgbt community have dif 
that would be participants call this num 
ferent goals, priorities, needs and even
ber to find out when and where the next
styles.  Sometimes you'll have to accept
lgbt student meeting will be.  Hold this
that the center can be a conduit of infor 
meeting off campus, away from the cen 
mation between different groups, rather
ter.  You might be surprised at the number
2 2 8
P r a c t i c a l   A p p l i c a t i o n s


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