GUSA’s LGBTQ+ Inclusion Team presented on Oct. 14 a proposal to the Office of Residential Living for a Living and Learning Community (LLC) for queer and allied students. The proposed LLC, called “Crossroads: Gender and Sexuality,” is intended to provide a space on campus for queer and allied students to come together and to promote dialogue about issues surrounding sexuality.
Grace Smith (COL ‘18), executive policy chair of the GUSA LGBTQ+ Inclusion Team, played a large role in proposing this LLC. Smith’s goal was to address what she saw as a lack of formalized areas for interaction for the LGBT community on campus. “The need for spaces in which the queer and allied community can come together as one remains high as students on this campus look for places of solidarity, challenge, and compassion,” she wrote in an email to the Voice.
Smith intends the proposed LLC to foster discussion among the queer and allied community at Georgetown about sexuality and gender in a variety of ways. “The topics of gender and sexuality remain critical in our understandings of ourselves and others, and I hope this environment will be a place in which students feel comfortable exploring them through meaningful dialogues, on and off campus events, and insightful meals together,” Smith wrote.
The Office of Residential Living and the Division of Student Affairs, according to Katie Heather, associate director in the Office of Residential Living will review the proposal for the LLC. “A strong proposal includes the investment of an academic department (course offering and advising), a plan for the sustainability of the community over the course of multiple years, a need and demonstrated interest among students, stated learning outcomes and plans for assessment, a budget and a year long syllabus/programatic (sic) arc,” Heather wrote in an email to the Voice.
Heather added that the Office of Residential Living welcomes LLC proposals from students, such as the proposal for “Crossroads: Gender and Sexuality.” “The thoughtful proposals demonstrate a commitment to the integration of the academic, co-curricular and spiritual lives of our students,” she wrote.
The LLC, if approved, will provide a valuable space on campus for LGBT students, according to Smith. “It will allow students to have this unique community in their places of residences and surround them with insight that challenges, pushes, and acknowledges,” she wrote. “Students deserve this space. It’s simple and easy– and complicated– as that.”