Two New Student-Initiated Groups Show the Power of Student Leaders

Talley Student Union view from elevator

Students walk on campus by the Talley Student Union. Photo by Marc Hall

There are two new student-initiated groups on campus for those who are part of the diverse spectra of genders and sexual orientations at NC State. The GLBT Center is proud to present AcePack, an interest group serving the needs of students who identify as asexual, aromantic, demisexual, demiromantic, questioning or allies to those on the ace/aro spectra, and Bi/Pan @ NCSU, an interest group serving the needs of students who identify along with the bi/pansexual or romantic spectra and their allies. These exciting additions bring the GLBT Center student group offerings up to six. There are now student engagement opportunities four days per week during the academic year. While the weekly GLBT Community Alliance is the most well-known and recognized student organization associated with the GLBT Center, there are five others that meet twice per month to engage students in conversation around other identities and support each other as they face similar challenges related to their identities.

The bi-monthly groups continuing from last year include: The GLBT Community Alliance (GLBTCA), the primary social organization for GLBT students and their allies, T-Files, the transgender peer-support group, Out in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (oSTEM), the NC State chapter of the national professional organization and Queer People of Color (QPOC), the peer support and discussion group for GLBT students of color (African American, Native American, Asian American, Hispanic/Latinx, Multiracial, etc.).

AcePack is a peer-discussion group devoted to building community for those who do not experience some or any sexual and/or romantic attraction. This group was born from the interest of asexual/aromantic students who wanted to create a space for discussion and support. The GLBT Center staff has been advertising AcePack all summer at New Student Orientation, and the response from incoming students has been amazing. As one returning student put it, “It made me think about how many of us in the Ace spectrum are out there. I’m also excited about bonding and hopefully educating others about asexuality (we need as much exposure and representation as we can get). It’ll be great to know asexy people on campus.”

Bi/Pan @ NCSU has been receiving similar enthusiasm. This group has the goal of creating a discussion space for students to feel affirmed and to share about the challenges they might be facing due to their bisexual or pansexual identity. When asked what they are looking forward to about the group, one student said, “I’m excited for Bi/Pan because bisexual and pansexual erasure is still extremely prevalent and I have found it very hard to find community up to this point without receiving jokes about how bisexuality isn’t real. I think it will be a nice difference to feel validation and community in my identity.” Another student echoed this sentiment by saying, “I’m excited to have a space for us that isn’t focused mainly on homosexuality and its social problems. Bisexuality/pansexuality has their own problems too, especially involving inclusion in the queer community because we’re not ‘gay enough’ and general erasure by society. I can’t wait to have engaging discussions with all my bi/pan friends!”

For more information about AcePack, Bi/Pan @ NCSU, or any of the other four student groups hosted by the GLBT Center, please visit the website. You can also stop by the GLBT Center on the fifth floor of Talley Student Union in Suite 5230. Our staff and student workers would love to answer any questions or help you sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Andy DeRoin is program coordinator in the GLBT Center.