Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Recent bills frusturate LGBTQ+ community

LGBTQ+ students at FAU are concerned about the future of on-campus resources and student-run clubs.
Kim Nguyen
FAU Center for Inclusion, Diversity Education and Advocacy.

LGBTQ+ students at FAU are concerned about the potential impact of unprecedented laws on a campus gender resource center and student-run clubs and programming on campus.

Bills HB 999 and SB 266, which went into effect July 1, restrict funding for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs at all public colleges and universities in Florida.

Multicultural Programming is an organization under Student Government that encourages cultural unity on campus among all student groups, including the LGBTQ+ community.

“We think HB 999 and SB 266 affects more than just our LGBTQIA+ students. Those bills are anti-DEI, diversity, equity and inclusion is under attack not just the LGBTQIA communities,” Programming Director Noadia Linder wrote in a statement.

BLISSS (BIPOC LGBTQIA+ Individuals Seeking Safe Spaces) is an FAU student organization that promotes diversity and inclusion toward all sexualities and genders. 

“Unfortunately to the critics, we are still here and existing. We just feel disgusted at being attacked where there are more important issues to be handled within Florida. This effect on the universities is resulting in students transferring or no longer living in Florida. We are literally pushing away people that want to be here but are discriminated against by simply existing,” wrote BLISSS’ Public Relations Officer Jesse Bellevue in an email.

Students established the Lavender Alliance, another student organization, in response to instances of homophobia witnessed on the breezeway.

“I am concerned with the disappearance of LGBTQ+ inclusive spaces on campus as they have always been open to all regardless of their sexuality. I am concerned that students may not have the initiative to create and replace these spaces themselves,” Paige Allen, founder and president of Lavender Alliance, wrote in a statement.

Both Bellevue and Allen have had students come to them expressing their concerns over DeSantis’ legislation, but none have been asked to disband. However, there are still concerns for it happening in the future as safe spaces like these are integral to the LGBTQ+ community on campus. 

Braden Haggart, a marine biology and environmental studies junior at FAU’s Jupiter campus, explained the significance of its Pride Student Alliance (PSA). For him, it’s been a reliable way to connect with other members of the LGBTQ+ community.

“Those of us who don’t grow up in cities often don’t know too many people who share our identities, and we’re in the strange position of typically not even sharing those identities with our immediate family. PSA was incredibly helpful for me in becoming more confident in expressing myself and establishing an unapologetic presence in the face of adversity,” wrote Haggart.

The Women and Gender Equity Resource Center (WGERC) also offers a safe space for women, men, and trans people, though its resources extend to all students. Representatives from the WGERC did not respond to requests for comment.

Allen advises students to look off-campus if these resources become unavailable.

“The university and the governor cannot control you. They cannot limit who you connect with and what you can share as long as you are representing yourself. There are more resources out there outside campus, and you will find a community that celebrates you,” Allen wrote.

Kim Nguyen and Ashley Lynn are contributing writers for the University Press. For more information on this story or others, contact them at [email protected] and [email protected].

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