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Potsdam Prepared: Fall 2021 Updates

Building Community

The Office of Gender and Sexuality is committed to forming connections amongst LGBTQ+ organizations and resources here on campus, as well as building bridges between our campus and the resources available in the wider Potsdam community. This page is designed to form the first step in making these connections! Please use this page to explore our on-campus LGBTQ+ community groups as well as a list of LGBTQ+ friendly businesses and support organizations in Potsdam and the North Country, and feel free to reach out to the Center for Diversity with any additional questions or suggestions! 

LGBTQ+ Support Group:

The on-campus LGBTQ+ Support Group is run and organized by the Gender and Sexuality Coordinators and a therapist from the Counseling Center. These two offices are pooling resources in order to provide a welcoming and supportive space for LGBTQ+ students to come together in discussion around issues that pertain to their community and experiences. The group is designed to be shaped by the students who wish to participate in the meetings in order to ensure that the needs of the students are being met most effectively. 

Any student who identifies as part of the LGBTQ+ community is welcome to attend, and the meetings will be held twice a month on Wednesdays from 7:00-8:00 p.m. Due to restrictions around COVID-19, the meetings will be held via Zoom. Please click here for an updated list of dates, along with the Zoom links for each meeting, on Get Involved!

Lavender Graduation:

The first Lavender Graduation was held for three graduates at the University of Michigan in 1995, and it is now celebrated on over 200 college campuses and counting. Lavender Graduation is designed to acknowledge the unique challenges and obstacles that LGBTQ+ students often face across the course of their college experiences, and it also presents an opportunity to honor and celebrate these students for their incredible accomplishments. You can read more about the history and purpose of Lavender Graduation by clicking here

SUNY Potsdam held its first Lavender Graduation in 2019, and in 2020, COVID-19 forced a pivot to a digital ceremony that provided a unique opportunity to celebrate our 2020 SUNY Potsdam LGBTQ+ graduates with a special guest appearance from acclaimed poet and author, Minnie Bruce Pratt. Our Lavender Graduation Ceremonies also include the presentation of two awards to honor those students who have used their time and energy to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. The Lavender Award recognizes those students who have made outstanding contributions to the LGBTQ+ community through exceptional activism, community service, and leadership during their time at SUNY Potsdam. The OUTReach Award recognizes those students who have demonstrated sustained efforts to build bridges between communities, facilitate dialogue across differences, and increase positive support for the LGBTQ+ community during their time at SUNY Potsdam. To nominate a student for the award, please contact us.

SUNY Potsdam is committed to continuing the tradition of Lavender Graduation, and we hope you will join us this year! An invitation will be sent out to the entire campus community once the date has been set, and ALL students are welcome to join, along with their families. If you have any questions, please contact the Gender and Sexuality Coordinators.

Trans Day of Remembrance:

According to GLAAD, “Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is an annual observance on November 20 that honors the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.” Traditionally, Transgender Day of Remembrance is honored with a vigil, along with campus-wide information and activism campaigns leading up to the day of observance. Because of the pandemic, the 2020 Transgender Day of Remembrance presented a unique opportunity to gather in a digital space with others across the country for a Virtual Vigil hosted by PFLAG. In addition to honoring the transgender lives lost each year, the Office of Gender and Sexuality is committed to also honoring the beauty and vibrancy that trans individuals bring to the world. This year, to adhere with safety protocols around COVID-19, we invited the members of our campus community to explore the organization Forward Together and their Trans Day of Resilience online, which offers art in celebration of trans lives.

S.A.G.E.

S.A.G.E. provides a space for Women & Gender Studies students & those interested in Women & Gender Studies to meet and discuss ideas, a means to organize events that encourage critical thought regarding Women & Gender Studies, and a means to raise awareness about issues regarding gender equality.

We advocate for all marginalized groups (race, gender, class, disability, etc.), and call for reform within the multiple broken facets of our society!! Our meetings are a safe, welcoming space where we hold open and candid discussions regarding societal and personal events.

We meet biweekly from 7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. on Thursday's, starting on February 11th. If anyone has any questions, please email our secretary, Alex Reale, at realeam204@potsdam.edu.

For a list of local organizations, please visit our LGBTQ+ Organizations dropdown menu that can be found on the LGBTQ+ homepage!

GSA

The GSA is a group centered around inclusion and understanding. We provide a safe space for members of the queer community, those questioning their sexuality or gender identity, and allies. We offer a fun, secure support group and a chance for students to be involved in our local community as well as the broader queer world.

Membership is fully confidential and open to any students. The goals of our club are as follows:

  • To offer support and understanding to members of our queer community
  • To provide education for individuals and the public on sexual orientation, romantic orientation, gender identity, and gender expression
  • To foster stronger relationships between community members in order to provide support for one another
  • To advocate ending discrimination and to secure full human and civil rights for the queer community and for all people
  • To work to create a society that is healthy and respectful of human diversity
  • To act as a social hub for the queer community

Events We Hold/Attend:

  • Discussions
  • Educational Forums
  • Guest Speakers/Performers
  • Mixers
  • Movies
  • NELGBT Conference (Usually off campus)
  • Halloween Dance!
  • Annual Pride Parade! (feat. a guest speaker *TBA)
  • GSA Prom!

We are currently holding meetings on Tuesday nights, from 7-9 p.m. in our discord server: https://discord.gg/Sq7fwXJ5Nq. Once the world begins to get back to normal and we are able to meet in person, we will meet in the second floor lounge in Sisson hall.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to any of our officers:

Peter Oselador - President, oseladpd202@potsdam.edu
Noah Best - Vice President, bestns203@potsdam.edu
Skyler Tessier - Treasurer, tessies202@potsdam.edu
Gabe Roberts - Secretary, robertgj202@potsdam.edu