Option for acceptance

Res. Life providing Housing for LGBTQ students

Jack Hanson

Student Life Editor

The options for housing next year just got a little more colorful.

Along with other options, students will have the choice to live in an LGBTQ- inclusive residential hall for the Fall 2019 term. According to Area Coordinator Nicole Cartier, the current plan is to use Owls Nest 8. 37 spots will be available for students.

As for requirements to live in the residence hall, there are none. The selection will be available for all students regardless of their year, and students do not have to identify as being a part of the LGBTQ community. Cartier thinks that this is for anyone who just wants to celebrate the culture and be an ally for others.

Hunter Kirschner, Program Support Assistant for LGBTQ Students in the office of Multicultural Student Support and Success said, “It’s more of an intentional community. You’re going to live in this particular hall for a particular reason because of the community standards or values of that space.”

Many people on campus worry that LGBTQ students are often pushed to the side and their problems are not dealt with. Kirschner said he believes that having a residence hall accepting of their culture and who they are is critical, and a huge step in making someone’s college career easier.

“There’s some relief that comes along with knowing that you don’t have to explain yourself, at least with the people you are living with. Really, from my perspective, where you live should be a place where you can feel comfortable and you can relax, and that’s the hope,” Kirschner said.

Senior Nick Morrisohn identifies as gay and said, “This would have been something that would have been great when I first started at Keene State. I think it gives people in the [LGBTQ] community a chance to connect with others and have kind of a safe space to be around others like them and foster their own little community in Keene State.”

Morrisohn also expresses how important it is for people not in the LGBTQ community to learn more about it and take part in it., “I think it’s also a great opportunity for someone who maybe isn’t in the community but an ally to it, and it gives them insight into all of the hardships that the community might face, specifically on a college campus where there isn’t that much visibility for the LGBTQ community,” Morrisohnhe said.

Jordan Dawson, Sophomore and Resident Assistant, thinks the housing could be very educational and give people in the community the support they need, but still has some issues that could come from it, “My only concern is about other people and how they see it. Some people are going to be excited and going to see it as a good opportunity for them, but I’m scared of what others are going to think of it and how the building as a whole might then get targeted with ‘oh that’s the gay house’ or negativity towards ‘let’s house all the people of this identity over here,’” Dawson said., “I feel like that might be a little strange, but it depends on how Res. Life and people handle that.”

Both Cartier and Kirschner did confirm that the LGBTQ building was happening, but the location and number of students allowed can still be changed. They encourage students to look for the option in the Fall 2019 housing selection.

If you have any questions, Nicole Cartier can be contacted at Nicole.Cartier@keene.edu and Hunter Kirschner at Hunter.Kirschner@keene.edu.

Jack Hanson can be contacted at

jhanson@kscequinox.com

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