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SGA hires LGBTQ Intern

Senior Luke Beischel hired to assess University needs

By Molly Boes
On November 30, 2011

The Student Government Association voted to have senior

Luke Beischel fill the new position of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) Training and Support Intern (LTSI) on Monday.

The LTSI position was created after the proposed idea for a fulltime LGBTQ faculty member or established center was denied. Vice President Lydia Gerlach started researching what other schools have done to create support for the LGBTQ community on campus as well as the Allies.

Gerlach saw that many schools had a program called "Safe Zone," or a program similar to Safe Zone, and decided to look further into the program. The Safe Zone training program is designed to help educate people about LGBTQ and help them to become more at ease on the subject of LGBTQ issues. The program also makes people who identify with the LGBTQ community feel more comfortable.

Xavier had a program similar to Safe Zone a few years ago, but it died out. Part of the LTSI's responsibility is to kick-start a similar program again. The LTSI is a 16-week position which starts the first day of classes next semester

and ends on the last day of classes. Beischel will work with

Tamika Odum, director of the Women's Center, who will serve as Beischel's advisor, along with Gerlach, Cheryl

Nunez and Dustin Lewis. A majority of Beischel's time,

around 60 percent, will be spent on re-initiating Xavier's program and finding a place for the program to be established. The other 40 percent of his time will be spent conducting a needs assessment on Xavier, which can

involve issuing surveys and other methods of determining what exactly Xavier needs. For the training program, Beischel will find a professional to lead the sessions.

Gerlach also said that Beischel should not be looked to as a counselor; his work is strictly project-based. When choosing the intern, SGA members looked at the five

submitted applications and conducted an interviewing process. "Beischel is highly qualified for the position," Gerlach said. "The thing I am most excited about with this position is actually the fact that Xavier is fully supporting

this initiative," Beischel said. "I am excited to be the first

person to hold this position to lay the ground work for some amazing changes in the LGBTQ community at Xavier."

Beischel is a psychology major with a minor in gender and diversity studies and is currently the president of Active Minds. He also had an internship at the Stonewall Organization in England, an organization that aims to achieve equality and justice for members of the LGBTQ


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