University of Wisconsin–Madison

Gender and Sexuality Campus Center: Supporting LGBTQ+ students and their communities

The LGBT Campus Center will be changing their name and tagline in 2018 to the ‘Gender and Sexuality Campus Center: Supporting LGBTQ+ students and their communities’ after careful consideration and input from the campus community that began in fall of 2017.

The purpose of the name change is to better align with the center’s mission. The center continues to serve those who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender, but also serves many more students who use an array of other language for their own identities and experiences.

The name change is also keeping up with similar trends across the nation, as many departments are moving in this direction.

“There is a responsibility for institutions to uplift and support the voices of the students on its campus often silenced, in the most inclusive and effective way possible,” said undergraduate student Simone Williams. “Changing the name to Gender & Sexuality Campus Center tells students across all identities they can be heard. There is a space here that doesn’t require labels or binaries. As culture shifts we must shift, I’m glad the staff in the Center know that.”

The name change will be officially unveiled at the Rainbow Graduation Ceremony on May 9, an event that will be honoring the class of 2018, conferring Rainbow Leadership Awards, and recognizing recipients of the 2018 LGBT Alumni Association Scholarships.

The Campus Center received a great deal of feedback from the campus community regarding changing the name, in the form of articles from the Isthmus and Madison 365 that received dozens of comments, three in-person open sessions, and anonymous feedback forms with 30+ submissions over the course of two months.

There were four primary, critical themes drawn from the feedback that have been addressed by the new name.

Feedback Incorporation
Importance of an acronym to indicate the Center’s dedication to serving students of marginalized genders and sexualities specifically. Including the LGBTQ+ acronym in a tagline for the office and its services.
If using an acronym, expanding it from LGBT. Some recommended adding a “+” to any acronym. Including the LGBTQ+ acronym in a tagline for the office and its services.
Concern about the proposed name feeling too academic or research-focused; ask for language around students and student community. Replacing “Spectrum Center” with “Campus Center” and centering students in tagline.
Concern about translation of new name to campus community, including incoming students. Retaining “Campus Center” language to ease in transition and name recognition; addition of descriptive tagline.

 

If you have any comments or questions about the new name change, the Campus Center would love to hear from you. Email them at lgbt@studentlife.wisc.edu, follow them @lgbtcampuscenter on Facebook, call 608-265-3344, or stop by the Red Gym.