ITHACA, N.Y.—Ithaca College is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the establishment of its Center for LGBTQ Education, Outreach and Services by creating an LGBTQ-specific Residence Learning Community beginning in Fall 2022.

Open Pages Residence Learning Community (RLC) will provide services and support systems to meet the needs of nonbinary and transgender students. The RLC housing option is designed to “encourage meaningful peer connections through lived experiences and shared interests,” and Open Pages is the newest of the 10 RLCs offered on campus.

Open Pages will be housed in West Tower, where all-gender restrooms are already located, and will be open to rising sophomores, juniors and seniors. The RLC opportunity was designed with the help of students and support from Luca Maurer, interim executive director for student equity and belonging and director of the Center for LGBTQ Education, Outreach and Services; and advisor of the project Eileen Roth, assistant director for Residential Education and Assessment.

Maurer said, “I’m so excited about this, not just as the Center director, but remembering myself as a young person in college who would have really benefited from this kind of an RLC but nothing like that existed.”

“As the RA for the RLC, I am looking forward to planning events and watching the community build as we begin to get to know one another this fall,” Gwyneth Cole ‘24 said. “As someone who also identifies in the same identity group, I am hoping my residents will feel more comfortable using me as a resource.”

The college also announced the creation of the Ithaca College Pride Fellowship, which provides a two-year paid position made available to recent graduates and young professionals who are looking to gain experience related to higher education, student affairs and LGBTQ campus resources professionals.

Spearheaded by Maurer and Rosanna Ferro, vice president for Student Affairs and Campus Life who will be leaving the college in June, the fellowship will demonstrate “Ithaca College’s institutional commitment to increasing the number of traditionally under represented and historically disenfranchised people in higher education.”

“The interconnectedness and mutuality of our campus community is woven into our fellowship model; as the fellow learns and grows this will benefit not only them as an individual, but also our students and our institution,” Maurer said.

The recipient of the fellowship will be fully immersively integrated during their term, and Maurer will mentor each fellow. The application for the fellowship can be found here.

Zoë Freer-Hessler

Zoë Freer-Hessler is a general assignment reporter for the Ithaca Voice. She has covered a wide range of topics since joining the news organization in November 2021. She can be reached at zhessler@ithacavoice.com...