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LGBTQ Resources & FAQs

There are a number of resources and programs on campus specifically supporting LGBTQ students and their allies.
The Lavender graduation celebration.
LGBTQ Initiatives partners with many offices and departments across campus to create programs for students, staff, and faculty. Our office is located on main campus in the Center for Women's Studies. The office  which promote healthy, purposeful, and balanced lives within the Colgate Community. LGBTQ students, staff, and faculty can find a variety of resources on campus to assist in their journey. The center's resources include:
  • Open casual drop-in space to hang out and study
  • Classroom and meeting room for group meetings or trainings
  • Multi-media and resource library, including public computers
  • Co-sponsorships for student-run events

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there an active LGBTQ student organization?
Yes! There is a SGA-recognized club that meets regularly:
  • Lambda provides a safe space for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning students to explore their identities. This confidential relaxed group often focuses on support and social activities.
In the recent past there has been organizing and interest around a gay-straight alliance build solidarity and community with the allies of LGBTQ members of Lambda. We also have students who have begun organizing an organization serving the needs of LGBTQ students of color.
What is it like living on campus?
The Office of Residential Life is committed to providing a living environment that is welcoming to all gender identities. Gender inclusive housing affords Colgate students the option to live on campus with whomever they choose, regardless of biological sex, gender, or gender identity. Effective in the 2013-2014 academic year, upper-level students, regardless of their sex or gender, may request a gender-inclusive bedroom, suite, apartment, townhouse or college house living as part of the housing lottery process. First-year students may also request to live in gender inclusive housing but must do so by way of a special request made to the Office of Residential Life, prior to the room preference deadline.

Our students are very active in campus clubs and organizations. All LGBTQ groups are open to any student, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. These groups are very active in sponsoring programming and guest speakers on campus.
Are LGBTQ-sensitive counseling services available?
Yes! All members of our professional Counseling Center are trained to assist students of any sexual orientation or gender identity. Some of our staff have extensive training and experience working with LGBTQ clients. Additionally, the staff have attended Safe Zone training -- an educational program about the terminology, resources, coming out process, and experiences of those in the LGBTQ community.
What offices are supportive of LGBTQ students and issues?
In addition to LGBTQ Initiatives, you may also turn to the Counseling Center, the Office of the Chaplains, and Health Services for confidential support and discussion about LGBTQ-related issues.

There are also faculty, staff, and students across campus who have participated in our Safe Zone program about the terminology, resources, coming out process, and experiences of those in the LGBTQ community. Those who have participated in the training mark their doors to indicate their space as a SafeZone. Most of the offices in the Dean of the College have participated in this training, as well as many other staff and students across campus.
What activities are sponsored for LGBTQ students?
Some programs include regular welcome mixers, awareness programs for National Coming Out Day, Bisexual Awareness Day, Blue 4 Q Awareness Basketball Game, Transgender Day of Remembrance, alumni events, guest speakers, movie nights, a weekly Family Dinner, and Lavender Graduation Ceremony. The LGBTQ Studies minor program also sponsors a number of speakers and invited authors.
Do LGBTQ bias-related incidents occur on campus?
Unfortunately there have been past reported incidents related to LGBTQ harassment, homophobia, and discrimination. However, as an institution we do not tolerate harassment and discrimination, and such incidents are handled seriously. Support can be found with Safe Zone-trained faculty and staff, university harassment advisers, and the Counseling Center. Education is in an ongoing process of learning and growing for everyone on campus, and our community is increasingly supportive.

Learn more about Colgate's bias, harassment, and sexual misconduct policies.
How does the university respond to LGBTQ bias-related incidents?
We take all LGBTQ bias and harassment incidents very seriously. Concerns or complaints can be reported to LGBTQ Initiatives, Campus Safety, or Lyn Rugg, or by filing an online report. Depending on the type of incident and whether the perpetrator is known or not, there are a variety of ways Colgate may respond, including enforcing the Policy on Bias-Related Conduct and student handbook policies.
Does Colgate offer employees domestic partner benefits?
Yes! In order for a domestic partner to be included in the programs, a signed application (available from human resources) must be submitted. Colgate University extends the same benefits to persons who meet the university's definition of domestic partner that the university presently extends to spouses of employees to the extent permitted by law and by the underwriting guidelines imposed by the insurance companies. Find more information in the personnel policies and benefits handbook.