Creation of a New LGBTQIA+ Center for Students at Boston University; Launch of National Search for Center Director
From Dr. Jean Morrison, University Provost and Chief Academic Officer
and Dr. Robert A. Brown, President
Boston University’s ability to create spaces where students can feel a sense of belonging, build connection, and enjoy new opportunities for engagement and reflection is central to both our mission and strategic planning. Following extensive conversation across our community – and in concert with our ongoing efforts to build a more inclusive and welcoming BU for students of all backgrounds – we are pleased to announce the creation over the coming months of a new, professionally staffed center on campus for LGBTQIA+ students.
Tentatively named the LGBTQIA+ Student Resource Center, the new facility will be located on the second floor of 808 Commonwealth Avenue, near the recently opened LGBTQIA+ Center for Faculty & Staff and the Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground. The center will be a destination and home for students and will offer programming, dialogues, intersectional community building, and other resources. We expect design work to commence in March, with renovation of the space to begin in the coming months.
BU’s decision to move forward with the establishment of this center is thanks in large measure to the efforts and advocacy of a student task force that formed last year to assess the current environment for LGBTQIA+ students at Boston University. Utilizing climate survey data, comparative approaches and policies at peer institutions, and interviews with key campus stakeholders, the task force last November submitted a report to University leadership, identifying areas of progress and areas for further attention and sharing recommendations for how they believe BU can implement more inclusive practices for the LGBTQIA+ community. We thank the task force members for the time and work they put into this effort, as well as our partners in the Dean of Students Office with whom we are collaborating on this project.
As a critical part of opening this new center, we are launching a national search for a center director, who will be charged with promoting a sense of belonging and visibility for LGBTQIA+ students on campus, seeking opportunities to elevate their experiences and stories, celebrating achievements, and advocating for policies and protocols that foster inclusion and equity. The new director will report to the dean of students. We envision that the director will partner with existing groups across campus, including student groups, and thus the new center will augment existing resources. The second highest recommendation of the task force was the establishment and maintenance of a centralized BU LGBTQIA+ student website. Once the new center is established, we will support the center staff in creating and maintaining this website.
We are very pleased to be moving forward with this initiative which we believe represents a significant and positive step toward being a more inclusive and welcoming university community. Thanks again to the student task force and to all who’ve taken part in conversations over the last year to help move this important project forward.
Creation of a New LGBTQIA+ Center for Students at Boston University; Launch of National Search for Center Director – 2.23.23