Community colleges East County
Cuyamaca College. Photo credit: @CuyamacaCollege via Facebook

A ribbon-cutting is set for Tuesday at Cuyamaca College to mark the opening of the
Queer Student Center to provide resources and a safe space for LGBTQ students. 

The event will be held at noon on the first floor of the Cuyamaca College Student Center, where the Queer Student Center is located.  

“We are so happy to provide this space for our LGBTQ students,” said Cuyamaca College President Jessica Robinson. “We want them to feel safe and supported at all times on our campus.”  

The Queer Student Center was created with funding from a $56,250 grant from the California Community College Chancellor’s Office. Funds were awarded to community colleges across the state to promote resources for LGBTQ students.  

A conference room in the main student center was set aside for the Queer Student Center, providing students a place to connect with each other, study and access resources. A food pantry is also available for students.  

“I think it’s really important to have some place that is relatable, inviting and inclusive for our LGBTQ students,” said Kaylin Rosal, the Queer Student Center coordinator. “We are providing a safe space that is like a beacon. If a student can’t find a safe space, rest assured that Cuyamaca College has one for you.” 

An attorney will be available at no charge twice a month for students who don’t identify with the gender they were given at birth and want to legally change their name.

While other colleges provide links to court resources, Cuyamaca College is only college in the region to offer an attorney who will provide legal services, Rosal said. 

She added that Cuyamaca is also developing a program called Pride Scholars, which will offer book vouchers and giveaways for students who participate. A special graduation ceremony is also planned for the Pride Scholars.  

Rosal, a 2014 graduate of Cuyamaca who identifies as LGBTQ, said she would have welcomed having a Queer Student Center when she attended. 

“With the center, it’s the visibility that the college sees me and knows that I’m important,” she said. “It’s that welcoming feeling of come as you are.”