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|Address:||2110 Hillside Road, Unit 3096|
Student Union 403
Storrs, CT 06269
Semester Hours, Spring 2022
(The Rainbow Center will be physically closed between Jan 18 - Feb 11 but staff will be telecommuting on work days.)
Monday-Friday: 9am - 5:00pm (during physical closure; subject to change)
A Message from the Rainbow Center
Hello LGBTQIA+ and Allied Community!
Everyone is welcome at the Rainbow Center. We pride ourselves on a family-like environment with academic and social opportunities. We have been serving UConn's diverse communities of gender identities, gender expressions, and sexualities since 1998. The fun and amazing staff provides resources and services to the wider campus community of students, faculty, staff, and local residents. Please check out our Meet the Staff page in order to get to know each of us.
September 2020 is the Rainbow Center's 22nd Anniversary. Since our founding, the Rainbow Center has been named one of the best 100 gay-friendly campuses in the country, and received a 4.5 out of 5 rating on the Campus Pride Index Report. We'd love for you to join us at an Out to Lunch Lecture or other upcoming event.
Rainbow Center News
Greetings from the Rainbow Center,
I’m excited to announce that the Rainbow Center has officially hired Chris Richard (they/them/their) as the new Rainbow Center Coordinator! Their start date is Friday, December 3, 2021! Take a look at our staff page that has been updated with Chris’ photo and information!
The Rainbow Center would like to extend a special thank you to all the members of the search committee, and to Angela Rola for serving as the chair.
Chris is a Black non-binary educator, writer, advocate, and coach with a passion for holistic wellness. They began their career in higher education, serving for 10 years focusing on counseling and student development, with an emphasis on supporting first-generation students of color as they enter and navigate the academy. Chris served as a Residence Director at Westfield State University and Central Connecticut State University, assisting students towards building equitable and just campus communities that prioritized social justice and individual development.
Chris was formerly the Talent and Training Manager at Re-Center, whose mission is to activate youth and adults to drive transformative change towards racially just schools and communities in Connecticut. Chris received their masters in counselor education and a bachelors in English from Central Connecticut State University.
They were inspired to join the University of Connecticut’s Rainbow Center team due to a passion for creating and supporting academic systems that function as not only inclusive environments, but spaces that can meet the needs and honor the lived experience of all students. Chris takes the words of James Baldwin to heart, believing that “Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced”, and uses these words as motivation for the critical social-justice work that remains to be done within communities.
Dear UConn students, staff, and faculty,
I am writing to you today to update you that this past month there were two separate reported bias incidents targeting the LGBTQIA+ community on UConn’s campus.
On March 16, an RA in Alumni Hall found images drawn on a dry-erase board in the lounge space. These images referenced the LGBTQIA+ community in a disparaging manner. The Residential Life staff communicated with and offered support to the complainant and other identified witnesses as well as wrote a community response which can be found here.
On March 20, it was reported that around 6:30pm a person in a car driving on North Eagleville Road yelled a derogatory term out the vehicle window. The Dean of Students Office and the Rainbow Center have reached out to the students targeted and offered support.
I would like to thank all of the individuals who reported the above bias incidents. University administration is following the bias response protocol. This protocol is designed to assure that there are designated places to report incidents and identify potential interventions to remedy harm done.
These acts of hate against the LGBTQIA+ community do not align with the University of Connecticut’s core values or the mission and values of the Office for Diversity and Inclusion and the Rainbow Center. LGBTQIA+ individuals comprise UConn’s students, staff, and faculty and are to be celebrated and affirmed as integral members of our global and diverse campus community.
The Office for Diversity and Inclusion and the Rainbow Center want to ensure that those affected by these particular bias incidents receive appropriate support. Below is a list of different resources available to students, staff, and faculty. Additionally, the Rainbow Center has designated 1:1 meetings hours held this Wednesday, March 31, and Friday, April 2, for anyone who would like to meet with Kelsey O’Neil to discuss this matter. Please email the Rainbow Center at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your space. Furthermore, anyone wanting to learn more about queer theory/scholarship can also access the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department website.
A list of resources to consult:
- Office for Diversity and Inclusion
- Academic Institutes
- African American Cultural Center
- Asian American Cultural Center
- Puerto Rican/Latin American Cultural Center
- Rainbow Center
- Women’s Center
- Queer BIPOC Faculty and Staff Affinity Group
- Queer UConn Employees Affinity Group
- Dean of Students
- Office of Institutional Equity
Kelsey O’Neil, Director, Rainbow Center
Dr. Frank Tuitt, Vice President/Chief Diversity Officer