Today University of Cincinnati students rallied for a full-time staff person for the LGBTQ Office of the Women’s Center. In a struggle with administration that has been ongoing for years for a proper queer center and staff member, students have finally taken their movement to the administration’s front door: The rally was held on McMicken lawn in front of University Pavilion which holds the president’s and other higher-ups’ offices.
Jac Stringer, founder of UC student group GenderBloc, a radical queer group focusing on trans activism, was master of ceremonies. Three people spoke: A man introduced only as Leland, Zack Michon Neal and Jason Bernstein.
The speakers focused on the struggle of the queer community and the importance of having a safe space on campus.
The current space is the former storage closet of the Wellness Center and is staffed by a part-time graduate assistant and volunteer. The LGBTQ Office of the Women’s Center is smaller than an average walk-in closet.
The event also bolstered the efforts of the letter drive, a campaign aiming to stuff administrators’ mailboxes with letters urging them to fund a full-time staffer and a larger space.
The rally was sparsely attended, but that is understandable – It was snowing, in April. Students from the queer organizations were there, as well as a few faculty members and staff members of the Women’s Center. All told, the event seemed to raise some awareness, and I am sure the administration took notice.
Below is a video taken of Jason Bernstein’s speech. It pretty much sums up the point of this student movement and was has – or has not – been going on with the administration.