An organizational meeting for the newly formed Queer Coalition will be at 5:15 p.m. Friday, October 23. Those interested in attending can fill out the form here. A Zoom link will be sent closer to the event.

The Queer Coalition will combine the work of the LGBT/Queer Studies and Services Institute and the faculty/staff affinity group, ISU Triangle Association. Leading the new initiative is a working group led by faculty members Dr. Livia Stone and Dr. S. Gavin Weiser, and staff members Dave Bentlin and Barb Dallinger.

The formation of the Queer Coalition reflects the evolution of resources committed on campus. “Some of the academic mission of the Institute was assumed by Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS), which worked to get a queer studies program off the ground,” said Stone, who noted WGSS now offers a Queer Studies concentration. She added a lot of support and programming for students comes through the Multicultural Center (formerly Diversity Advocacy). “Over the last few years, the University started to invest in the Center, so we are looking for more ways to keep students connected with faculty and staff support.”

Open to all faculty, staff, and graduate students, the organization will focus on coalition-building. “I’m hoping the Queer Coalition can be a home for queer faculty, staff, and graduate students,” said Weiser. “It could be a place where students can go to find the so-called ‘elders’ to provide support.” Ze also noted the coalition could be a place for activism and advocacy. “It would be a community, advocating for students when needed.”

Weiser and Stone praised the work of Bentlin and Dallinger, both alumni of Illinois State, who returned after graduation to carve a decades-long path for LGBTQ+ faculty, staff, graduate students, and students. “They have been at the forefront for so long, and now there is a growing group of people to back them up and look to the years to come,” said Stone.

The October 23 meeting will determine next steps for the group and leadership will be chosen. To be added to the mailing list for the Queer Coalition, fill out the form here.

Register for the October 23 meeting by submitting the form.