2021 marks the return of many things, including in-person activities for many different student groups all around campus. Among those looking to reinvigorate interest is the Queer-Trans Student Union.
This organization has been around since 2014, and aims to be an all-encompassing group that amplifies the voices of LGBTQ+ students and provides activities specifically for those students. The group is working to bolster its presence on campus after a tumultuous previous year that has left QTSU short of members.
QTSU is led by BGSU senior Joe Fargo, who is new to the role of president. Nonetheless, he has big ideas for the direction of the organization.
He sees QTSU as “essentially a support group, a social group and maybe even a service group here in the future, for LGBTQ+ students on campus.” Fargo seeks to revitalize the group, saying “we are actually restarting QTSU from scratch.”
That starts from the ground up with building interest and assembling leadership.
“Anyone can be interested in QTSU,” Fargo said. “We are an organization that is specifically catered towards LGBTQ+ individuals, especially those that are on campus or people that go to BGSU.”
With the group being so new, Fargo is also aware that he will need help from students who are as passionate as he is.
“I’m going to try and assemble a leadership team of people to delegate tasks and get this up and running as soon as possible,” he said.
While the size of the QTSU may be minimal, the scope of plans that Fargo has in store are ambitious. He says he is hoping to make the club into something that serves not just Bowling Green, but also the Toledo-area queer community as a whole.
While he wouldn’t reveal specifics, he did tease big plans.
“There’s work that I’d really like to do with a few organizations, depending on who I can get contacts for and how this semester plays out, but I have really high hopes,” he said. “I think given the amazing students here at this university, things will go well.”
QTSU is also a group that has the ability to pull some leverage around the inner workings of BGSU. As a proper student union, it can have a designated representative for the Undergraduate Student Government, something that it is not currently able to do with its limited membership. Fargo hopes to reintroduce that presence on USG as soon as possible, knowing how crucial it is to have that voice in such an influential place.
While they do hope to resume work with USG, Fargo is aware that the priority first lies with re-establishing the organization on its own legs.
“LGBTQ+ students need to have space here on campus to be who they are and feel safe and bolster community,” he said. “…we want to do work that is creating more inclusive spaces around campus and we want to be able to be there for our students.”
The first official meeting of the QTSU will be on Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. in the LGBTQ+ Resource Center (Room 427) at the Bowen-Thompson Student Union.