Columbia College students demand LGBTQ, POC resource centers

  • The Columbia College Student Council unanimously approved a resolution calling for "staffed centers" and other resources exclusively for LGBTQ and minority students.
  • The university declined to comment on any aspect of the resolution, and would not say whether the administration intends to meet any of the Student Council's demands.

A student council at Columbia University unanimously approved a resolution calling for spaces on campus reserved exclusively for LGBTQ and minority students.

In fact, according to a copy of the resolution obtained by Campus Reform, the Columbia College Student Council (CCSC), which represents one of Columbia’s many undergraduate colleges, explicitly calls for a segregated room for “more institutional support, staff, resources, funding, and space for LGBTQ+ students, students of color, and those who hold combinations of these identities."

“There are many spaces on campus, especially those that are dominated by straight males, that leave me tense.”   

[RELATED: Emory to establish regular POC-only social events]

The proposal calls for several accommodations in the reserved space, including a “mounted television,” “resources that could accommodate computers,” “bookshelves,” and more.

Meanwhile, the resolution demands a similar space for LGBT students, noting that “Columbia’s LGBTQ+ communities are relatively underserved compared to those our peers institutions,” making Columbia “one of two Ivy League institutions without an official LGBTQ+ student center.”

[RELATED: Illinois college defends ‘blacks-only’ course offerings]

To further accommodate LGBTQ students at Columbia, the resolution asks for the establishment of several paid positions within the center, including a full-time director, part-time graduate student workers, and possibly some undergraduate student workers.

The two centers, one for LGBTQ students and the other for students of color, would be located in the prestigious institution’s Lerner Hall, which hardly has any available room for social spaces to begin with, according to The Columbia Daily Spectator.

Nonetheless, the CCSC is insisting on the establishment of two new segregated spaces, including in its resolution the personal testimonies of students who would benefit from such a practice.

[RELATED: Claremont students refuse to live with whites]

“There are many spaces on campus, especially those that are dominated by straight males, that leave me tense,” said one freshman. “An LGBTQ+ Center would offer me yet another space where I could feel like I am safe to simply exist and be me.”

“Columbia boasts about having a diverse student body, but the Columbia students who create this diversity are not properly cared for,” lamented another student.

In total, the proposal includes testimonies from 13 other Columbia students, 11 of whom are freshmen, expressing support for the demands.

Campus Reform reached out to the author of the resolution, Brennon Mendez, for comment on the matter, but he did not respond in time for publication. A spokesperson for the school declined to comment on the resolution.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen

Get exclusive access to breaking CampusReform stories as they happen. Sign up below and we'll keep you in the loop.
 Weekly Digest

 Daily Emails

Toni Airaksinen
Toni Airaksinen | Columnist at PJ Media

Toni Airaksinen is Columnist at PJ Media and a Consultant at Youth Radio. She was previously a New Jersey Campus Correspondent, reporting on liberal bias and abuse for Campus Reform with a focus on Title IX, the OCR, and the First Amendment. During college, she also was a columnist for Quillette and The Columbia Spectator. Her exclusives have been featured on FOX News and The Drudge Report. She graduated from Barnard College in 2018.

20 Articles by Toni Airaksinen