Southeast Missouri State University to reopen LGBTQ resource center after students voice concern

SEMO will once again have a resource center for LGBTQ students. The university decided the allow the center to reopen after initially shutting it down
Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 5:17 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - The LGBTQ resource center on SEMO’s campus is set to reopen after students rally to keep it.

Administration decided to close down the LGBTQ resource center last week due to lack of staffing and low student usage, but students on campus fought to keep the space open to those who may need it.

Peyton Redinger is the SEMO pride organization President.

“There wasn’t really much communication on the university’s behalf, so we were kind of like what is going on, why is this happening,” said Redinger.

When he found out about the resource center closing, he knew he had to act.

“So me and my executive board set up a petition for students to voice their opinions on it and voice what they were feeling on this and how this will impact their lives,” said Redinger.

Many students took that opportunity to voice their opinions.

Some students gave their thoughts before the University announced the center would reopen.

“LGBTQ students need a place to go for resources for support,” said Freshman Kaedan Thomas.

“I feel like it is going to impact students mentally,” said Freshman Laci Tallo.

“I think students are going to get pretty upset. I know the LGBTQ community here is very passionate,” said Freshman Lisette Perez.

The student’s outspokenness worked. A statement from the university said the outpouring of support demonstrates the university community’s support for LGBTQ+ students, faculty and staff. Consequently, the center will remain open in its present location and it will be staffed though a combination of student employee and volunteers.

Redinger said now that the future of the center is secure, he can take a breath of relief.

“It is refreshing to know that the university is listening, that they are willing to do the things it takes to make their students feel safe on campus even if it is a minority group,” said Redinger.