The LBGT Resource Center leads and supports university efforts to enhance the ability of all Spartans to thrive in our diverse world and provides support services for students who are marginalized by their sexuality, gender identity, or gender expression. Here in the LBGT Resource Center, we are seeing an unprecedented number of students coming to us for help. In the 2015 academic year we provided support to 41 students in significant distress. We have provided support to more than 45 students in distress in fall 2016 alone. We are expecting this strain to continue into spring semester. We are concerned that family tension over the winter break may have been even more volatile this year. While most people are aware that LBGTQA+ students are sometimes rejected or harmed by their families, they may not be aware that there has also been a recent increase in bias incidents and LBGTQA+ youth are particularly vulnerable at this time when election-related conflicts strain families. LBGTQA+ students who cannot count on their families for support at this time need our help with expenses essential to their safety, wellness, and academic success.
LBGTQA+ Spartans need you when their families are unwilling or unable to help them. Students may apply for assistance once each semester for unexpected expenses related to their sexuality, gender identity, or expression. Each student will be able to apply for Unconditional Love Funds in amounts up to $500.
To help grow the Unconditional Love fund, MSU Alumna Cheryl Gilliam has generously offered to match all gifts up to $5,000.
With your help, LBGTQA+ students will be able to cover essential physical health, emotional wellness, and academic expenses (other than tuition).
Cheryl was a member of the MSU women's track and field team and was the first Spartan to win four consecutive Big Ten Titles in an individual event (i.e., the 200 meters). In 2003, Ms. Gilliam was inducted into the Michigan State University Athletics Hall of Fame. She is the past president of the MSU Varsity ‘S’ Club (the official club for letter winners at Michigan State University). And she now serves on the Michigan State University Athletics Council. In 2013 the MSU Varsity ‘S’ Club honored her by renaming the Varsity ‘S’ Young Alumni Award, The Cheryl M. Gilliam Young Alumni Award in recognition of her mentoring and recruitment of young graduates. She was inducted as a Distinguished Alumni in 2016 for her service to MSU. She has been a relentless advocate for LBGTQA+ students.
The LBGTQ Resource Center team is leading the Unconditional Love Fund Drive. Our small staff of dedicated professionals, students, and volunteers are deeply grateful for Cheryl’s generosity during this time of great need for the students we serve. We are hopeful that this campaign to raise emergency assistance funds for students will keep students safe, healthy, and academically successful.
535 Chestnut Road, Room 300
East Lansing, MI 48824
*Make check payable to Michigan State University and write “Appeal 17OOPCF1LBGTULF” in the note section.