Multicultural Center

LGBTQA Resource Center LogoHistory of the LGBT*QA Resource Center

A Place To Call Home

For more than 45 years, the Western Illinois University student group Unity (first called Activist Alliance, then Open Door, followed by Bisexuals, Gays, Lesbians and Friends Association, which became known as Unity in 2004) has provided support, inclusion and the celebration of diversity for Western's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning and ally (LGBT*QIA+) community.

In 2011, a graduate student with a vision proposed the concept of creating a space for providing more support for LGBT*QIA+ students and their allies. With the help of WIU faculty and staff, the LGBT*QA Resource Center was established in the Fall semester of 2011, where it was originally housed in the East Wing of Seal Hall under the direction of the Student Development Office. In 2015, the Resource Center was moved to accomodate a space for a student lounge that became endearingly referred to by students as "the rainbow room." The following academic years were marked by a steady increase of students building community connections within the space and soon, it was clear a larger space was needed. In the Summer of 2019, the LGBT*QA Resource Center became part of the Multicultural Center family, being welcomed by the MCC team with open arms. The LGBT*QA Resource Center and the student lounge are now housed on the second floor of the Multicultural Center.

Since its first year, the LGBT*QA Resource Center has made substantial progress in creating an inclusive environment for LGBT*QA individuals on the Western Illinois campus and has provided campus-wide programming, Safe Space Training, a cozy LGBT*QA Lounge, and spaces to engage the Western Illinois University community in dialogue about LGBT*QA topics. Throughout the academic year, the LGBT*QA Resource Center will be sponsoring and co-sponsoring a variety of programs such as Trans* Week, Camp OUT, Pride Week, Lavender Graduation, and many more!

Mission

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, Queer/Questioning, Asexual/Ally (LGBT*QA) Resource Center offers a welcoming and inclusive environment for people of all sexualities and gender identities/expressions. The LGBT*QA Resource Center also serves as connection for LGBT*QA individuals to resources, support, education, programming, and advocacy with an emphasis on the holistic development of students.