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LGBT student centers

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According to Sokolowski and the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals, "LGBT resource centers must also be staffed by at least one halftime (50% or 20 hours per week) professional staff person or graduate assistant whose job description is solely dedicated to serving the LGBT resource center and its services." Depending on the campus, an LGBT Campus Center's mission may include faculty support, student advocacyalumni relations, and/or public relations with the greater community (especially in response to crisis). Contrary to some beliefs and researcher opinions, LGBT student centers remain open to allies of the LGBTQ+ community and those questioning their identity.

An LGBT Campus Center may provide academic resources related to LGBT Studies, support social opportunities for LGBT people to interact, and sponsor educational events for the campus as a whole. Most Campus Centers provide referrals to other campus departments or off-campus organizations to help meet student needs. Due to this increased support, many students view these centers as more positively than the rest of their institution's campus and climate, creating a "microclimate" in the larger scheme of an institution's campus climate. Regardless of the concentration of on-campus support in these centers, the presence of these centers typically increases the available resources for students and increases perception from outside of the institution. Students who engage with centers are more likely to be out which allows them to further connect with these current students, but also puts additional pressure to help other LGBTQ+ students come out and grow relationships with them.

Some LGBT Campus Centers provide psychological counseling for students struggling with their sexual or gender identity and for students coping with internal or external prejudice. Some example scenarios of when a student might seek out counseling from an LGBT Campus Center:

  • A questioning student seeks help understanding their sexual identity
  • A self-affirmed transgender student has just experienced a bias-motivated attack
  • straight student is having difficulty coping with a gay roommate

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