Students venturing into the Newman Vertical Campus’ Room 3-241, better known as Baruch College’s Health and Wellness Center, will find something missing from the three-office suite — the LGBTQ+ Community Resource Center.
The center officially relocated to NVC 3-216 on Oct. 25, giving Baruch’s LGBTQ community a larger and much needed space on campus.
“For a long time, we have been saying that we need more space,” said Gabe Roman, who served as president of the Gender, Love and Sexuality Spectrum of Baruch from Fall 2016 to Spring 2017. “Ever since I was a freshman, we have needed more space. In the old resource room, we had about 12 seats and then two or three people could sit on the floor, which is uncomfortable.”
Roman added that the old room was often crammed, with up to 25 students on slower days, and up to 35 during busier times — such as during club hours on Tuesday and Thursday.
Although the new resource room also contains 12 seats, the larger floor space can accommodate more seating and new furniture.
Roman also noted that the change is beneficial for more than just users of the resource center.
“Because we have so many people, we can get pretty loud, and because Health and Wellness [Center] is an office space, it just didn’t really mesh well. We’re totally tight with Health and Wellness, they’re awesome people. But it just wasn’t the right location for us, I feel,” said Roman, who is currently serving as the Chairperson of LGBTQ History Month.
“If Health and Wellness ever needed to have a meeting and close their door, you’re essentially locking people out of the Resource Room, which, again, doesn’t mesh well,” Roman continued.
Although no students have a key to the new resource room as of press time, the room is opened in the morning by members of the custodial staff, and then locked at the end of the day.
“[The new room] is more accessible for all students. Before, it was kind of hard to tell people where the room was. It was like, ‘walk inside and there’s a closet, and that’s where the gays meet,’” said current G.L.A.S.S. Vice President Cassandra Castelant, referring to how the old resource center was nestled on the right side of the Health and Wellness Center.
“This is more accessible and has a friendlier atmosphere. You can walk by, poke your head in and come out,” she continued.
Castelant also echoed Roman’s point, stating that, “even though there’s not a lot of active members [of G.L.A.S.S.], there’s a lot of people who frequent the room just everyday. We need more room; it used to be so crowded during club hours. Now all this extra space can be filled up with more people.”
Although furniture and materials — from the old LGBTQ+ Community Resource Center — were left in a pile in the center of the new room, upon first moving in, users of the room quickly settled in and made themselves at home by the end of the day.
The resource center now features loads of LGBTQ flare, including a fully stocked library of LGBTQ media, literature, games and supplies. A large whiteboard also exists in the room, sporting the dates and times of upcoming G.L.A.S.S. events.
Associate Director of Health and Wellness Joy Allison declined to comment on the new resource center room. Dean of Students Art King did not respond to The Ticker’s request for comment as of press time.