The Center for Inclusion and Social Change (CISC) at the University of Colorado Boulder announced Thursday that its new Pride Office has opened online to support LGBTQ students, faculty and staff.
Morgan Seamont, who has worked with LGBTQ students at CU Boulder for seven years and worked for CISC since its formation in 2018, will serve as the office’s new director, according to CU Boulder Today.
“I hope that as part of being director I will be able to more effectively reach out to this population,” Seamont said. “Really, it’s just a more obvious and targeted way of ensuring these students know there is somebody on campus that they can go to.”
Some of what the Pride Office plans to assist with includes — but is not limited to — campus housing, legal name and gender changes, campus events and student groups, health services and coming out to one’s friends and family.
In 2018, the CU Independent reported on LGBT graduate students’ struggles with isolation and intolerance after the university conducted a study in 2014 that found that GLBQ+ master’s students are twice as likely to drop out prior to the completion of their degrees than their straight peers. The study also found that 53% percent of GLBQ+ master’s students reported that they felt welcome at CU, in comparison to 75% of straight students.
The full results of that study were not released until October 2017.
“We knew that students in this population were experiencing different challenges and had different needs from some of the other student populations that (CISC) works with frequently,” Seamont said. “So we wanted to dedicate some staff members to the resources that they need, to advocate for them on campus, to do more education around LGBT inclusivity.”
Seamont is asking students, faculty and staff to submit feedback through the Pride Office’s online survey so that it can “hit the ground running” in the fall.
“One of the things we learned from talking with students and pulling on data from LGBTQ students at the national level is that they often feel like they don’t have community when they come to campus,” Seamont said. “And because there has been no centralized office necessarily, they don’t know where to meet each other or that there are other folks on campus or how to use each other as resources.
“That’s the chief thing I’m hoping to build … a real sense of belonging and community,” Seamont said.
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