As part of a new initiative to provide funding directly for events related to the bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender, and queer community on campus, the Queer Advisory Council made public on Feb. 28 the list of 12 campus activities that will be receiving grants this spring cycle.
The awarding of grants this term marks the conclusion of the first year that the Office of BGLTQ Student Life has supported BGLTQ-related events through a grant process. Prior to last fall, when the Queer Advisory Council was founded, students had to directly request funds from the Office of BGLTQ Student Life, which opened only two years ago.
Five campus organizations—including the Harvard College Queer Student and Allies, The Harvard Advocate, and The Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club—received a total of $2,806 in grants from the Queer Advisory Council.
“It is incredible that in our first year we have been able to support 22 different programs,” said Joshua D. Blecher-Cohen ’16, the co-chair of the Queer Advisory Council, in reference to the total number of programs the Queer Advisory Council has funded since it was established. “There is a huge audience who can now engage with the Office [of BGLTQ Student Life].”
Blecher-Cohen said that he was especially happy about the diversity of activities funded, which includes both events that specifically address queer life on campus and events that only touch on topics relevant to the queer community. For example, the Queer Advisory Council financed the Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club’s production of the play “Angels in America,” which takes place during the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s, although the club itself is not an explicitly BGLTQ group.
W. Powell Eddins ’16, co-chair of the QSA, one of the largest queer student organizations at the College, said the money awarded by the Council is a substantial amount of money for the queer community on campus.
“We were very excited, very elated [to get funding],” he said, adding that that the grant from the Queer Advisory Council is particularly important to the QSA because of the group’s funding policy.
“Our policy is that every event must be fully funded,” Eddins said. “We don’t do any fundraising ourselves.”
In previous years, the QSA has received most of its funding from the Harvard College Women’s Center, the Harvard Foundation, the Undergraduate Council, and occasionally the Harvard Gender and Sexuality Caucus for larger events.
The grants made available last Friday brings the total amount of funding disbursed by the Queer Advisory Council to $5,195 this year, a little more than half of the total amount student organizations requested from the Council during the 2013-2014 year.
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