Further into 2014, Chancellor Bantz created a committee charged with creating a plan to support the LGBTQ+ community on campus. This committee was comprised of the following faculty, staff, and students at IUPUI:
Karen Dace - Chair and Vice Chancellor of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Margo Foreman - Office of Equal Opportunity
Anthony Masseria - LGBT Faculty Staff Council, School of Law
Lauren Easterling - LGBT Faculty Staff Council, Center for Teaching and Learning
Julia Lash - Counseling and Psychological Services
Liam Howley - School of Medicine and Advisor to the Gay Straight Medical Alliance
Charli Champion-Shaw - Native American Studies, School of Liberal Arts
Mateo Perez - Multicultural Center, Latino Student Association
Taylor Dooley - JagVersity Peer Educator in the Multicultural Center and student leader involved in the LGBTQ+ Student Alliance
Khalilah Shabazz - Director of the Multicultural Center
Anne Mitchell - Director of Survey Research and Evaluation and Advisor to the LGBTQ+ Student Alliance
This committee was responsible for designing the first plan and budget for what is now known as the LGBTQ+ Center at IUPUI. The plan was based on information collected about and from Centers focusing on the LGBTQ+ community at numerous universities across the country – including IUPUI’s peer institutions. We (Taylor Dooley in particular) gathered as much information about planning, structure, assessment, resources, and relationships with other student-focused Centers (such as Multicultural Centers and Women Centers). We (Khalilah Shabazz and Anne Mitchell) traveled to five centers: Northwestern University, University of Illinois - Chicago, University of Louisville, University of Houston, and University of New Mexico - Albuquerque. We learned so much from these Centers, including the day to day activities, typical programming provided – both programming for the LGBTQ+ population on campus and ally training, organizational structure and budget information, assessment activities of the centers, and most importantly – for us – a better understanding of how these centers work with other units to address the needs of all LGBTQ+ students, faculty, and staff. One of the most important lessons learned from these visits was that intersectionality should be our priority in developing this plan.
Also, in the Fall of 2014, the IUPUI Climate Survey (created by Anne Mitchell) helped quantify the LGBTQ+ population on campus for the first time. The survey estimated that 14% of our undergraduate population identified as LGBTQ+ and documented the diversity within the LGBTQ+ population – with respect to gender, race/ethnicity, religion, political ideology, ability status and age. It also showed that LGBTQ+ students at IUPUI experienced the campus environment differently than their counterparts – and were not in agreement that the Multicultural Center served them. Furthermore, the survey documented that queer and transgender students of color at IUPUI experienced bias at higher rates than white LGBTQ+ students and straight/cisgender students of color. Given our campus mission and the diversity of our LGBTQ+ student body, we came to the conclusion that one of the most important planning decisions related to the potential support services for the LGBTQ+ community at IUPUI was how to ensure that those services are integrated with services the Multicultural Center already offered.