On Saturday, August 13, 2016, 138 students participated in the third annual GLBT Symposium. This half-day event is held each fall during the move-in weekend as a way for incoming GLBT students to connect with each other, form community, learn about the services and resources offered by the GLBT Center and find out how they can get involved on campus.
Returning GLBT students welcomed the new students to campus and participated in a panel discussion, sharing their experiences and all the ways GLBT students can get connected at NC State. Dr. Mike Mullen, vice chancellor and dean for Academic and Student Affairs, stopped by to reinforce the university’s commitment to diversity, and the GLBT Center staff provided information about resources and upcoming events. New students highlighted a number of things that they appreciated about the event, including that they felt “really welcome,” found a “sense of community,” got to “meet new people” and were provided an opportunity to engage in “a more diverse experience” than what they were used to. One student noted that she appreciated that the GLBT Center provided gender “pronoun buttons so we can call people what they prefer.” Another student added that she appreciated the “opportunities for inclusivity for non-white GLBT members.”
The new students also shared their excitement about having a wide range of opportunities to connect with other GLBT students on campus. Beginning this fall, new and returning GLBT students will be able to join six different GLBT student organizations. Bi/Pan @ NCSU is a group for students on the bisexual and pansexual spectra. Bi/Pan @ NCSU meets twice a month on Mondays at 7:00 p.m. in Talley 3210; the first meeting will be held on August 22, 2016. The GLBT Community Alliance (GLBTCA) is the primary social organization for GLBT students and their allies. GLBTCA meets every Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. in Talley 3285; the first meeting will be held on August 23, 2016. T-Files is a closed group for students on the trans spectrum (transgender, genderqueer, gender fluid, non-binary, gender questioning, etc.). T-Files meets every other Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. in the GLBT Center Lounge; the first meeting will be held on August 24, 2016. Out in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (oSTEM) is the NC State chapter of the national professional organization. oSTEM meets twice a month on Mondays at 7:00 p.m. in Talley 3210; the first meeting will be held on August 29, 2016. AcePack is a group for asexual and aromantic students. AcePack meets twice each month on Tuesdays at 5:00 p.m. in the GLBT Center Lounge; the first meeting will be held on August 30, 2016. Queer People of Color (QPOC) is a closed group for GLBT students of color (African American, Native American, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, Multiracial, etc.). QPOC meets every other Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. in Talley 3221; the first meeting will be held on August 31, 2016.
Renee Wells is director of the GLBT Center.