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California State University, Long Beach
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History of the LGBT Student Resource Center

Early Beginnings

The LGBT Student Resource Center at California State University, Long Beach was established in 1989 as a result of student activism and faculty/staff collaboration. The LGBT student organization lobbied the administration for a safe space in which to connect, hold social events, raise political consciousness, and study between classes. During her one-year term as Acting President of the university, Dr. June Cooper designated Room 165 in Faculty Offices, Building 4 as the LGBT Student Resource Center. Her decision to grant students a physical location for the resource center distinguished CSULB as one of the first California State Universities to host an LGBT Student Resource Center on campus.

Establishing a Presence on Campus

Vince Nico was the first Student Program Coordinator at the new LGBT Student Resource Center. His was a work-study position. Since the resource center was founded during the era of ACT UP and QUEER NATION, the LGBT Student Resource Center was managed through a collectivist model of decision-making. Carol Haas was the second student to staff the resource center. She went through a selection process and was hired as a Student Assistant. Her dedication to the center yielded the center’s first grant, which was awarded by Christopher Street West. Faculty members Dr. Michael Johnston and Dr. Patricia Rozee were the first advisors to the LGBT Student Resource Center.

After Dr. Robert Maxson became President of the university in 1994, he established a regular source of funding for a half-time Student Program Coordinator position that was not dependent on the work-study program. His generosity guaranteed consistent student staffing of the resource center. In 2005, a graduate-level Student Resource Center Coordinator under the Office of Student Life and Development was assigned to oversee the LGBT Student Resource Center and the other student cultural resource centers located in Faculty Offices, Building 4.

Current Programs and Services

Currently, the LGBT Student Resource Center is overseen by the Office of Student Life and Development and is staffed by an undergraduate student assistant, a staff advisor, and a faculty consultants. The LGBT Student Resource Center also shares a graduate-level Student Life and Development Student Resource Center Coordinator with the other student cultural resource centers housed in the same building. The resource center has been home to the student organizations, such as Gay-Straight Alliance, Delta Lambda Phi (Men's Fraternity), and Queer Ink.

Major events include National Coming Out Day, Transgender Day of Remembrance, World AIDS Day, Day of Silence, and Long Beach Pride. Regular programs consist of student-run support groups (e.g., Women’s Rap and Men’s Rap) and student-run campus events. Social events such as Open Houses, movie nights, and game nights are also held in conjunction with the LGBT student organizations.

Future Directions

The LGBTSRC has a long history of partnering with supportive allies to expand services to LGBT students and their allies at CSULB. The resource center is hopeful about continuing to collaborate with the university to support a full-time student services professional dedicated exclusively to programming and other outreach events at the LGBT Student Resource Center. In addition, the resource center seeks to strengthen alliances with other minority, social, political, and activist student groups on campus to ensure the academic and social success of ALL students at CSULB.