Aluminate Magazine Fall 2014

December 17, 2014
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Letter from the Director

The news that has had everyone’s attention of late is that same-sex marriage is now legally recognized in North Carolina. On October 10th, Judge Max Cogburn, Jr. ruled that the state statutes preventing recognition of same-sex marriage were unconstitutional. Late Monday evening on October 13th, Chancellor Folt and Vice Chancellor Washington announced that, as a result of that ruling, UNC-Chapel Hill would begin offering equal benefits to employees with same-sex spouses. Full details about this change are available at: This is a tremendous development for individuals directly affected as well as for the university and its students as a whole. The provision of equal benefits makes UNC-Chapel Hill much more competitive in recruiting and retaining faculty and staff. That, in turn, benefits the students’ experience and the university’s overall rankings among its peers.

When I was hired as the director of the Center, benefits equity was one of five top priorities I defined. As of this
writing, four out of five of those priorities have become a reality (gender non-specific housing has not yet been
implemented). This fact and the recent celebration of the 10th anniversary of the LGBTQ Center are prompting
the creation of the next strategic plan. We know that provision of educational programming (e.g., Safe Zone),
provision of direct services (e.g., peer support and discussion groups, social events), and continued advocacy to
improve campus climate will be among the priorities set. The increased visibility of the LGBTQ Center over the
past five years has positioned me to be at the table for some of UNC-Chapel Hill’s biggest conversations. As an
example, I served on the task force that revamped the sexual assault, harassment, and discrimination policy. Issues
of harassment based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression as well as specific concerns of
responding to sexual assault within the LGBTQ communities were kept in the foreground throughout the entire
crafting of that policy.

The university is making progress and the LGBTQ Center has been a significant factor in that progress and in the
lives of many graduate, professional, and undergraduate students. It is a pleasure and a privilege to be engaged in
this important work. Thank you to those of you who joined us for the 10th Anniversary celebration weekend. As
we plan for the next 10 years, I am already looking forward to the 20th Anniversary celebration. Join us for the

Terri Phoenix

What's Inside

In this edition of the LGBTQ Center's semi-annual magazine:

  • 10th Anniversary Reunion
  • Meet Our New Assistant Director: Angel Collie
  • Staff Transitions
  • Featured Alumnus Spotlight: Catherine Adamson
  • Update: Triangle Resource Fair
  • The Importance of Safe Zone
  • Our Award-Winning Staff
  • Support the Center

Read the Full Publication

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