UK to hire director for LGBTQ resources

By Cheyene Miller

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UK is attempting to accommodate the needs of the LGBTQ community by searching for a voice to represent them on campus.

The office for institutional diversity is in the process of implementing a new position at UK — the director for LGBTQ resources.

According to Dr. Judy Jackson, vice president of the office for institutional diversity, this director will try to accommodate the needs of LGBTQ students and work with LGBTQ groups on campus, such as OUTsource.

Jackson said that when she first came to UK in 2008, one of the biggest issues that she was presented with was the needs of the LGBTQ community.

“They felt marginalized. They felt as if the campus, the region, were not interested in or concerned about their needs and issues,” Jackson said.

These concerns are what led the office for institutional diversity to establishing the LGBTQ Task Force.

“They bring things to our attention that the typical straight person does not think about, such as restrooms, and the medical needs of gay people and transgender people,” Jackson said.

Jackson said that the position was inspired after a visit to the University of Louisville, which has an office dedicated to the needs of U of L’s LGBTQ students. The office employs three full time staff members.

“My budget was able this year to provide for one fulltime person,” Jackson said. “So we decided to form a search committee, and put an ad out there and search for that person.”

According to Jackson, 70 people applied for the position. The search has been narrowed to eight people, and the final two to three will be invited to UK to be interviewed.

“The LGTBQ community and family are excited about the new coming position and hire,” said Michael Frazier, chair and financial director for OUTsource and student co-chair for the LGTBQ Task Force. “The new position will be an important component of advocacy for LGBTQ students and better these students to be comfortable and assist in changing the campus climate.”

Frazier praised UK’s effort to be more inclusive of all identities and for promoting diversity.

“We are thrilled with the work and cannot wait for more to come to most effectively and best serve students, faculty and staff.”