On Thursday, November 16, 2017, the GLBT Center and the GLBT Faculty and Staff Network hosted its fourth annual Holiday Potluck. This annual event serves as an opportunity for GLBT students to gather in a place of community, solidarity and care. Nearly 100 students and over 15 faculty and staff were in attendance.
“It was great to have an intimate and safe space to make connections with new friends and reestablish connections with friends I hadn’t seen a while,” said a returning student. Their statement was echoed by others in attendance. Another student stated, “Attending the potluck helped me to connect to my queer family on campus…. It was better than going home to my family for Thanksgiving dinner.” For many GLBT college students, the holidays are a time of navigating family and hometowns that are potentially isolating and unwelcoming.
Students also reflected on the sense of community that they felt from the faculty and staff in attendance. One student stated, “I enjoyed the faculty and staff being there. They are great resources, people and potential mentors.”
Overall, the GLBT students in attendance were grateful to have a space on campus where their identities were affirmed and celebrated. Events such as the Holiday Potluck give students a sense of a warm, welcoming community before the holiday season.
All are welcome to visit the GLBT Center throughout the year.
Preston Keith is assistant director of the GLBT Center.