LGBTQ Office Offers New Vision

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Interim Director of the Office of LGBTQ Services Erica Gordon will be implementing a new program called Queer Peers: the LGBTQ Mentoring Program.

“We will be launching a new program called Queer Peers: the LGBTQ Mentoring Program,” said Gordon. “The mission of this program is to assist students in developing a positive sexual orientation and gender identity, while also successfully transitioning to life at Dickinson College.”

To make this program possible, peer-to-peer mentoring will be used. Mentees will be able to explore personal areas of interest, become connected to campus resources and find their own sense of community and identity.

“The mission of this program is to assist students in developing a positive sexual orientation and gender identity, while also successfully transitioning to life at Dickinson College.”

A few of her other goals for this year include directing focus towards Dickinson students, reviewing programs and trainings, connecting students and staff and bringing new students into the office.

“The mission of the office,” according to Gordon, “is to support the entire Dickinson community, inclusive of alumni, Carlisle community members and even prospective students.” Since the office divides its attention among each of these groups, Gordon wants to direct more attention towards current students by providing them with more opportunities for involvement with the office.

Two programs undergoing review are [email protected] Safe Zone training, as well as the manual that accompanies it. The training, manuals and presentations are being updated to incorporate more trans-inclusive language and the manual is being changed to a Moodle-only version. In addition, all documents are being reviewed to ensure the information is both up-to-date and accurate.

Although Gordon is new to this office and position, she has worked on campus since 2008 as the Director of Student Leadership and Campus Engagement. She has taken on the position of Interim Director as a result of former director Brian Patchcoski’s departure.

Acknowledging her predecessor, Gordon stated, “I recognize what big shoes I have to fill (as Brian Patchcoski did an amazing job creating the office from the ground up). That being said, I try not to think of it as filling his shoes, but rather wearing my own shoes.” Thus far, the easiest part of her job has been having Pride Coordinators, students who are responsible for supporting an environment that contributes to student development, especially in the division of gender and sexuality.

The most difficult aspect so far has been adjusting to a position that requires looking through a different lens. Another challenge has been “heading up a one-person office,” she said.

“I am excited about the year to come and welcome departments, offices and student organizations to let me know about any ideas that they might have for partnerships!” said Gordon.

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