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Queer At HSU

Campus Queer Resource Center (In the Making)

More Queer Resources Are Coming to Humboldt State!

That's right! The HSU Queer Resource Center (QRC) is currently in development. You may be familiar with the already-existing Eric Rofes Multicultural Queer Resource Center. "What's the difference?" Well, according to student chair of the QRC committee (from 2014-April 2016) Mike Kirakosyan, "The ERC is a student-run, student-funded program. The QRC is striving to have professional staff paid by the state. This is a very notable difference. ERC is as autonomous of the institutional as a program can be. Students control the budget (which has risen immensely over the last few years), students create programming and students coordinate volunteers. The Queer Resource Center’s professional staff person (and any student staff they have) would be paid by the state. The professional staff person would likely run the show, as opposed to students at the ERC."

In other words, expect a professional, polished, official setting for queer students to learn, gather, and discuss. Accessible reference materials are essential for queer students. "Queer theory needed something to which it could now actually refer," writes Mimi Marinucci in Feminism is Queer (pg 34). Indeed, resource centers, alliances and other coalitions have long been sources of comfort and guidance for queer folks. In his essay "From the Closet to LGBT Radio Host," Jesus Chairez writes about going to a queer coalition for counsel: "The members of the new Gay Hispanic Coalition de Dallas were enthusiastic and highly energized about forming an independent organization...we always had local politicians, community leaders, and health officials discussing STDs and HIV prevention at our meetings. One of the big items the Coalition worked on was voter registration and getting people to vote" (Queer Brown Voices, pg 69-70).

Thus, there is value in gathering, power in numbers and beauty in visibility!

Pomona College QRC.jpe Queer Resource Center of the Claremont Colleges.png PSU QRC.jpg

Check it out!

Plenty of American colleges are taking the initiative to provide sources of reference and places of refuge for queer students. Here are some already-in-effect queer resource centers at US universities--Pomona College's (images 1 and 2 - courtesy of and Portland State University's (image 3 - courtesy of

The Humboldt State QRC has not been assigned to a building yet. What might our QRC look like? 

"My vision is really whatever students need and want," says Mike Kirakosyan, "We ran multiple student forums where they stated a need for a safer space to hang out and socialize, similar to the centers for academic excellence. Due to the limited amount of space on our campus, this vision may take a while to accomplish. If enough students back the development, the process can go quicker and we can have more political (for lack of a better word) clout when looking for a physical space."

Who are some of the folks assisting with the development of Humboldt State's QRC?

Mike Kirakosyan.
"I was the student chair of the queer resource center development committee since its inception about 2 years ago until April 2016," says Kirakosyan.

Janet Winston.
"I'm a queer faculty member and I teach sexuality studies and queer theory. I feel it's important to have faculty input in the development of the QRC on campus. I pushed my way onto this committee, rather unsure of my role, but I keep trying to go to meetings and give input, wanting it to be particularly not privileging whiteness and white middle class gay identity Intersectional feminist of color lens is what I want. We don't want to be constantly reproducing white spaces. Faculty input is important and there's a divide and we have to come together to create a vision that is a good vision. I'm the only faculty member still involved at this point, but it's amorphous."


Sources of Origin & Inspiration for the QRC

- other queer resource centers

- Peg Blake's Spring 2014 conference at HSU

- student input

- the Campus Pride Index

How far along is the development of the QRC at this point (May 2016)?

"The development of the QRC has been partially on hold due to some processes that need to take place before we can bring our vision to life," says Mike Kirakosyan, "The Campus Pride Index is a survey created by a nonprofit organization that rates campus on a 5-star scale on their LGBT/Queer-friendliness. There are pages and pages of questions that, when completed, will help us figure out where we are lacking. We already have a lot of great queer programming happening on campus, but we definitely have holes to fill. The Campus Pride Index will show us where the holes are so that the QRC can fill them in. We should be done with the index early next semester and from there we will have a clearer idea of where to go next with the development."

In other words, HSU is already doing alright in terms of queer resources, but the QRC will satisfy a niche that has not yet been satisfied. The QRC might seem like a nebulous idea at this point, but according to Kirakosyan, the next stage of development will take effect around the beginning of next semester. I.e., stay tuned!


 - Curated by Julia Long


Kirakosyan, Mike. E-mail interview.
Marinucci, Mimi. Feminism Is Queer. New York, NY: Zed, 2010. Print.
"Pomona College in Claremont, California - Pomona College." Pomona College in Claremont, California - Pomona College. <>
"Portland State University | Home." Portland State University <>
Quesada, Uriel, Letitia Gomez, Salvador Vidal-Ortiz, Jesus Chairez. Queer Brown Voices. Austin, TX: U of Texas, 2015. Print.
Winston, Janet. Personal interview.
Campus Queer Resource Center (In the Making)