Rainbow flags, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer books, and safe sex resources are some of the many things you may find in the LGBTQ resource center on the second floor of the C Building. The LGBTQ resource center is often referred to as “the Center.” It serves as a safe, respectful and supportive space for everyone. However, the Center cannot run by itself.
Nov. 3, 2011 marked the first day of Ali Collucci’s position as the new director of the LGBTQ center. Surprisingly, she wasn’t immediately drawn in to the Center when she first started attending Bellevue College in the spring of 2011.
Collucci walked by the Center on a regular basis but was too intimidated to enter. “It was crazy. There were tons of people everywhere!” she says. After about two and a half months, she finally decided to enter the Center. “It was busy, but it had a really nice environment,” Collucci recalled.
During the first day in the Center, Collucci was able to talk to the old director, who told her what the Center was all about. The Center provides resources such as condoms, pamphlets on safe sex, guest speakers, and education for the BC student community on LGBTQ issues. On Collucci’s first day, she stuck around for the weekly meeting and ended up signing up for the leadership team for the Pink Prom decorating committee.
After a few weeks in the Center, Collucci would talk with the old Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) club President for about four to five hours at a time. They would discuss the Center and what needed to be changed, improved, what worked, and what didn’t.
The GSA and the LGBTQ center are two different things. The GSA is a club; therefore, the school does not fund it. Official positions for clubs are all volunteer-based. On the other hand, the LGBTQ center is a program funded by the school. At the beginning of each year, it is given a budget. The director is therefore an employee of the school.
Collucci applied as the Director because she wanted to help the Center. People had fought to keep it, and the thought of losing the Center was hurtful. There were some negative decisions made in the past, and Collucci wanted to do something to save it. “There are so many things I want to do, but I could only accomplish them by being director,” Collucci shared. She wants to get new resources approved and have the Center become connected with clubs and programs. One of her biggest goals is to make the Center last. She wants to prove to everyone that it is here to stay and that people fought for it for a reason.
In Collucci’s free time, she enjoys writing, reading, photography and advertising. She is currently working on getting her book published. And when she says she reads, it’s more than just a few pages a day. She reads about four books every week.
Collucci intends to double major in business and advertising communication. She plans to transfer to the University of Washington or Boston College. Her intended career is to own an advertising and marketing firm in Boston.
Visiting the LGBTQ Center, located adjacent to Student Programs, is encouraged. Simply walk in and introduce yourself.
The Center has some great events planned. They will be having the National Trans Remembrance Day this Monday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, in which members of the Center educate people about trans issues. At 3:30 PM, the Center will be holding a candlelight vigil to remember those who have been murdered or committed suicide because of anti-transgender violence.
At the end of the quarter, a celebration party will be held in the conference room in the cafeteria. The Center will be celebrating Collucci and the new GSA President, Avery Fox, as well as bidding farewell to the 2011 school year.
If you are interested in the Center but do not feel comfortable coming in, you may e-mail Ali at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Come visit the Center and see what it’s all about. Get involved. Most importantly, be open-minded. Meetings are in the Center on Mondays at 12:30 p.m. and Thursdays at 2:30 p.m.