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Marshall University awarded most LBGTQ friendly campus in West Virginia

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Marshall University awarded most LBGTQ friendly campus in West Virginia

The LGBTQ office is located in room BW-31 of the Memorial Student Center and is the primary safe zone environment for LGBTQ students.

The LGBTQ office is located in room BW-31 of the Memorial Student Center and is the primary safe zone environment for LGBTQ students.

Ashley Sodosky

The LGBTQ office is located in room BW-31 of the Memorial Student Center and is the primary safe zone environment for LGBTQ students.

Ashley Sodosky

Ashley Sodosky

The LGBTQ office is located in room BW-31 of the Memorial Student Center and is the primary safe zone environment for LGBTQ students.

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Marshall has been named as the most LBGTQ friendly college campus in West Virginia as part of a national research list found by eCollegeFinder.

It has only been a month since the majority of the Supreme Court ruled in favor of nationwide same-sex marriage. Colleges all over the nation have been making efforts to improve the quality of life for their LBGTQ students, including Marshall, according to eCollegeFinder.

“Marshall University is well on its way towards progressiveness,” stated the site. “The university is making big efforts for change.”

Marshall’s office of Intercultural Affairs is responsible for oversight and programs for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender education and awareness for students. The office, located in the Memorial Student Center, is run by student volunteers and supervising staff.

The organization has implemented the Safe Space program, which is a visibility and awareness-based program ran by the LBGTQ office.

Participants of the program display pink, upside-down triangle Safe Space emblems on their doors letting students know participants do not tolerate discrimination of any kind.  There are over 70 participants on campus.

Associate Vice President for Intercultural Affairs, Maurice R. Cooley, said the Safe Zone program, as well as other programs; including the LGBT Speaker Series and Lending Library, offer new dimensions for students.

“We have worked tremendously hard over the past academic year to embrace students from all backgrounds, including our LGBT community.””

— Maurice R. Cooley

“We have worked tremendously hard over the past academic year to embrace students from all backgrounds, including our LGBT community,” Cooley said.

The LGBTQ organization has hosted many events in past years, including last year’s Speakers Series guests, Erin Davies, Skylar Kergil and Robyn Ochs. The organization also assisted in the Lambda Society Pride Week events including Marriage Day, a Sexuality Workshop and a Luminary Ceremony.

There are many proposed activities for this school year, incorporating more guest speakers and other events for students.

“Marshall is a great environment for all students to grow, learn, and gain acceptance from other, irrespective of our differences,” Cooley said.

The LGBTQ office is located in room BW-31 of the Memorial Student Center and is the primary safe zone environment for LGBTQ students.

Ashley Sodosky can be contacted at [email protected].

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “Marshall University awarded most LBGTQ friendly campus in West Virginia”

  1. Robyn Ochs on September 18th, 2015 1:36 pm

    Congratulations on this honor. You’re doing good and important work on your campus making your campus safe and welcoming to all of its students, and I’m glad to see you receive external recognition. It was a pleasure speaking at Marshall last year and I look forward to returning in the future.

  2. Doug Evans on September 22nd, 2015 2:18 am

    I was so proud to see this story. I always make it a point to stop by the office when I am on campus. I remember writing the grant for the higher education policy commission that paid for the redevelopment of the Safe Space program. Kelli Kerbawy started building the lending library and I was glad to help continue the expansion. It’s funny when I visit and run into folks I used to work with. I remember going to the Ebenezer medical outreach and packing my Suzuki Samurai with condoms and lube to give out on campus and calling the health department to ask why they didn’t have dental dams. Oh the good old days.

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