Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Unconditional Love Fund collects donations for LGBTQIA2S+ students in need

June 7, 2022
<p>Illustration by Madison Echlin.</p>

Illustration by Madison Echlin.

Photo by Madison Echlin | The State News

June 1 marked the beginning of Pride Month, a 30-day-long celebration of the history, accomplishments and unity of LGBTQIA2S+ individuals. However, it can be a difficult time for people that don’t have support from their family or peers—especially college students, who are just beginning to find their footing.

The Gender and Sexuality Campus Center, or GSCC, launched the Unconditional Love Fund to help mitigate the financial implications of the challenges LGBTQIA2S+ students may face. The project will provide assistance to students that are experiencing financial hardships associated with their sexual and/or gender identity. 

GSCC Coordinator Morgan Doherty said that LGBTQIA2S+ students have a lot of unique circumstances that can’t be covered by traditional financial aid.

“This frequently happens when students are, for example, cut off from financial support from their family if they come out,” Doherty said. “Or if they're trying to access gender-affirming clothing, or healthcare, things of that nature. Or if they lose a job, because of a discriminatory environment. None of these are necessarily going to be eligible for traditional financial aid, or scholarship resources, so we provide this as quick turnaround, crisis funding.”

Students may apply for funding once per semester. Depending on the nature of their emergency or hardship, students may request up to $500. Students do not need to repay the funding that they receive. 

The GSCC is currently accepting donations through MSU’s crowdfunding site. The project is donor-funded, so funds will be available to students as long as donations are being made.

As of right now, $5,578 has been raised but there are still 26 days left to donate.

Doherty said that Pride Month is a time in which cis-gendered, straight people pay attention to causes like these. This makes it a good time to collect donations for the project, but also a time in which funding is especially needed. 

“The more progress there is made in the general public eye, the more risk there is,” Doherty said. “Because students who see themselves represented and see support available are more likely to come out and individual families are not necessarily as supportive.”

Students experiencing difficulty meeting their expenses due to a hardship relating to their sexuality or gender identity can apply for emergency funding here. It will take seven business days for the GSCC to process applications. 

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