BGLTQ Student Life Director Steps Down

UPDATED: July 26, 2016, at 9:54 a.m.

Harvard’s first BGLTQ Student Life director Van Bailey departed earlier this summer after four years at the College as the office he oversaw moves to a new joint space with the Office for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

Bailey left Harvard to work at the University of Miami, according to an email sent to undergraduates by Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana and Assistant Dean of Student Life for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Emelyn Dela Peña on Wednesday.

“[T]he city of Miami is the Gateway to the Americas and a global city where I can use my full skills and educational background in crosscultural identity work to create intersectional programming that fosters dialog... among University of Miami’s diverse student population,” Bailey wrote in an email. He will serve as the inaugural director of the University of Miami’s LGBTQ Student Center.

Building a Community
Harvard's first director of BGLTQ student life, Van Bailey, has prioritized forging connections across the University.

Bailey, who was appointed in 2012 as the Office of BGLTQ Student Life’s first full-time director, led a campaign to bolster support for BGLTQ undergraduates and expand gender-neutral resources across campus.

Sheehan D. Scarborough—a freshman proctor and assistant director of student services at Harvard Summer School—will serve as interim director of the Office of BGLTQ Student Life, as the College conducts a national search for a permanent replacement, according to the email. Scarborough will assume the position Aug. 22.

“I look forward to working with the awesome students and staff in the BGLTQ Office to keep us steady as the search gets underway this fall for a new permanent director,” Scarborough wrote in an email.

In addition, Khurana and Dela Peña announced plans to create a new “integrated” space for both the Office of BGLTQ Student Life and the Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Grays Hall. Over the next academic year, both offices will be housed at the Bureau of Study Council’s Linden street location as the College works with students to design the space.

Khurana and Dela Peña wrote that both offices offer programs that “help to permanently embed diversity and inclusion in the fabric of our academic, residential, and work environment.”

Daniel V. Banks ’17 , vice president of the Undergraduate Council, said he believes providing the office with a central location is a “step in the right direction.”

“On a campus where space is so often discussed, moving two key offices to permanent spaces in the Yard signifies a larger commitment to diversity of race, gender, faith, and sexuality,” Banks wrote in an email.

On Tuesday, another statement posted to the Office of BGLTQ Student Life website announced that a search for an assistant director for the office was nearing its completion. Three candidates have been invited to Harvard for a round of interviews that will be conducted next week, according to the site.

—Staff writer Brandon J. Dixon can be reached at brandon.dixon@thecrimson.com. Follow him on Twitter @BrandonJoDixon.

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