Dear Worcester State community,
In recognition of Pride Month, I want to reaffirm Worcester State’s commitment to inclusion and equity for its LGBTQ+ students, faculty, and staff. You are welcome here. During Pride Month, I have taken the past couple of weeks to reflect on the progress we have made at Worcester State, and the work that we need to continue to do. Since my arrival on campus, I have tried to listen to our community. We have made progress in recent years to ensure the campus is more welcoming for students who identify as LGBTQ+, and I want to highlight the University’s progress to this end.
The student group LGBTQ+ Alliance advocated for and was successful in obtaining a safe space on campus for meetings and resources, which included part-time staff. The LGBTQ+ Resource Center was officially opened last fall in the Student Center and is a resource for the LGBTQ+ community and their allies.
The LGBTQ+ Advisory Group, which formed out of an administrative subgroup, has expanded its scope to include students, faculty, and staff. They provide recommendations to the University’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee and support the LGBTQ+ Alliance student group.
Working with Alliance, the Advisory group was successful in the following initiatives this past academic year:
- Recommendation and implementation of Chosen Name and Pronoun policy for students, faculty and staff.
- The launch of a dedicated LGBTQ+ website highlighting services, policies, offices, and curriculum for LGBTQ+ students, prospective students and their allies.
- The redesign of the 2011 Safe Zone training program. Training sessions were implemented in January 2020 for faculty, staff, and students, which included a session specifically for Resident Assistants.
- The development of a LGBTQ+ campus audit which will survey the campus community, examining resources and policies relating to LGBTQ+ concerns, and will provide recommendations for improvements.
- Collaboration with other Worcester State organizations to offer webinars and presentations that foster greater understanding of the LGBTQ+ community.
At the request of then-Chair Craig Blais, in March, the Board of Trustees formally started conversations aimed at developing a standing subcommittee dedicated to issues of equity and inclusion.
I applaud the work of Worcester State’s LGBTQ+ Advisory Group and the LGBTQ+ Alliance. I recognize that there is still work to be done, and I am committed to continuing to listen, and make Worcester State University as welcoming as possible for all members of our campus.
Barry M. Maloney,
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