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LGBT+ and Black Programs ‘invisible’ in new location

NMSU’s LGBT+ Programs and Black Programs were relocated this semester from their original meeting places to a more secluded hallway inside Corbett Center. LGBT+ Programs was moved from Corbett 204A to Corbett 208, and Corbett 204A is now used for conference meetings. Black Programs moved from Garcia Annex to Corbett 210.

NMSU’s Black Programs and LGBT+ Programs have relocated to a seemingly more isolated area in Corbett Center Student Union. (Photo illustration by Hannah Hunter/Kokopelli)

The reasoning behind the relocation for both programs was to create a “diversity hub” for the campus.

This is understandable to some degree, but at the same time both programs were moved into a hallway in Corbett that feels secluded and isolated from the rest of the building. This makes these programs feel nearly invisible, especially LGBT+ Programs.

Also, the LGBT+ Programs office was doing well where it was originally located because it was seen more easily by the students. This change of location for both of the programs was not necessary.

There doesn’t appear to be much happiness or excitement about the relocation, and even though moving again is unlikely, it would be nice to at least have better signage that can help direct students to the programs.

Camika Leiva, a senior officer with LGBT+ Programs and a computer science major, gave thoughts and feelings about the move, specifically with regard to LGBT+ Programs.

“We’re being hidden in a hallway that doesn’t get much traffic,” Leiva said. “We need to be open and out as a safe and inclusive space so that students, LGBT+ and allies, can be themselves,” Leiva said.

LGBT+ Programs senior officer Camika Leiva works on flyers in the LGBT+ Programs office. (Photo by Xavier McCombs/Kokopelli)

“I fear that they put us here to hide us purposefully, and I feel that we should have a right to decide where our office should be,” Leiva said. “At least hear our opinions on the place, or allow us to put signs out to direct people to our office.”

Although it’s unlikely those who decided on the move were purposely trying to hide these programs, better signage would definitely help interested students find these offices. Also, without proper signage, many first-time students on campus may not even know these programs exist. 

Hopefully, in the future we can install better signage for the programs because it can help get more students involved and it won’t make students involved in these groups feel as marginalized or invisible to everyone and everything else on campus.

The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to New Mexico State University, the NMSU Department of Journalism and Media Studies, Kokopelli, or any other organization, committee, group or individual.

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