Nelson: LGBT services should be above-ground

Rainbow lounge set to move to duPont

LBGT Services and the Office of Multicultural Programs will move from Walker Memorial to the duPont Athletic Center in W31 this summer. The move is expected to be complete this fall.

The new location is intended to provide these two campus resources with larger spaces and bring them closer to the center of campus.

“I will definitely frequent the Rainbow Lounge more when it is in duPont,” a rising junior wrote to The Tech. The student mentioned she loved the events put on by the Rainbow Lounge but found that she felt awkward that she was the only “non east campus kid there.”

“To make MIT more welcoming and inclusive, students who rely on OMP and LBGT Services for support and connection need to feel like they are in the midst of the community, not dispersed across campus or (literally) underground,” said Suzy Nelson, Dean for Student Life in a Division of Student Life press release.

Indeed, the press release mentions that east side students “will miss the current location” in Walker Memorial. “We’re committed to maintaining a presence and serving as a resource to students on the east side of campus,” Abigail Francis, Director of LBGT Services said in the release.

“OMP-affiliated groups need to find space for their programs,” said La-Tarri Canty, Director of the OMP, in the statement. “Because we haven’t had dedicated space, students congregate outside my office in W20.”

The new OMP space in duPont will “definitely encourage more cohesiveness amongst the various cultural groups across campus,” Tiera Guinn ’17 said in the release.

Some groups affiliated with OMP such as the Black Students’ Union and the Latino Cultural Center will retain their existing spaces.

The OMP works with more than 70 active student groups and LBGT services is affiliated with 12 active groups.

Nafisa Syed contributed reporting.