By Atakora Appiah-Padi ’20
The Welcome Back BBQ hosted by LGBTQ resources, Fran’s house, and GSA kicked off the first Friday of the year. The event was a great way to relax after the first week of classes. Since Fran’s house has moved from Summit to Taylor house this year, the three groups wanted to show how the new space could be utilized for student benefit according to Bill McCoy, director of LGBTQ resources. Along with this goal, the BBQ serves as an avenue for students, faculty, and staff to reconnect after summer and welcome in new people to Bucknell. To understand the history behind the event I sat down with Bill McCoy and asked him to give me additional information.
Director McCoy informed me that Fran’s house only started as an affinity house in 2011. The university was having a housing issue due to its inflexibility towards trans students. Assigning trans students roommates based on their gender assigned at birth rather than their gender identity. To alleviate this issue LGBTQ and GSA met with Res Ed to come up with a solution. Creating a more gender-inclusive affinity house was the final solution. This house would go on to be named Fran’s house after the former Director of LGBT awareness, Fran McDaniel, who passed away in 2011. Fran’s house was originally selected to be in Galloway house but after 2 years the support for the house had grown so big that they needed to move to a new house. Summit House was selected and would be the location of Fran’s house till 2019. Fran’s house now has a new location, but as the BBQ exhibited, the same great fun and inclusive energy.
The next major event by LGBTQ resources is the “Celebrate Difference” t-shirt give away. Starting September 30th and running till October 10th, LGBTQ resources will be giving away “Celebrate Difference” t-shirts in room 302 of the Elaine Langone Center. These shirts will be used for the national coming out day photo on October 10th at 12 pm. The taking of the photo, which will take place at the Rooke Science building will show the Bucknell communities’ support for national coming out day.