Thursday, February 9, 2023

LBGT reception welcomes students back; provides opportunities for involvement

September 6, 2001

Members of the MSU lesbian-bi-gay-transgendered community will kick off the school year with the eighth annual LBGT reception and resource fair from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. today in the Union Ballroom.

The event will feature more than 70 organizations from MSU and across the state, refreshments, door prizes and entertainment.

But the event has more to offer, said Brent Bilodeau, MSU’s assistant for LBGT concerns.

Bilodeau said the event is designed to serve three purposes.

“One is to welcome new and returning students to MSU,” he said. “The second is to provide networking and involvement opportunities for LBGT students, faculty, staff and allies in the Mid-Michigan community.

“The third is to create an active presence of visibility.”

Bilodeau, MSU President M. Peter McPherson, Vice President for Student Affairs and Services Lee June, Provost Lou Anna Simon and various leaders of LBGT student organizations will speak at the event.

Melanie Morrison, co-director of The Leaven Center in Lansing, said the event is beneficial for students who would like to make connections in the LBGT community.

The center, a retreat and study center that provides events and services to address LBGT issues, will provide information at the fair.

“I’ve been a part of this fair for the past several years and it is a wonderful event,” Morrison said. “It’s an opportunity for new and returning students to get to know the resources in the larger community.”

Biology junior Matt Weingarden said he thinks the preparation that went into the event will pay off.

“We have done a lot of new things, such as having organizations from Mid-Michigan come in,” said Weingarden, who is a member of the Alliance of Lesbian Bi Gay and Transgendered Students.

Weingarden said the fair helps get the school year under way.

“It starts a wave of momentum so our programs throughout the year are really successful,” he said.

David Warden, acting chairman of Denouncing Ignorance Through Vigilant Activism, or DIVA, said he thinks the event provides networking opportunities.

“I think this year will go really well, in terms of getting information out there,” he said. “This way, people will know the alternatives they have and be able to find something that works for them.”

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