LGBTQIAP+ Advocacy Board

LGBTQIAP+ Advocacy Board

For the past several years, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has been working to better support the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, Pansexual (LGBTQIAP+) community through various initiatives, programs, and policy updates. These causes have been taken up by various members of our campus, including faculty, staff, and students, in their respective roles and have allowed for the LGBTQIAP+ community at WPI to increase, become more visible, and thrive during their time here.

Before efforts were made to include a Gender-Inclusive Housing process to Housing Selection for first-year and upper-level students, students used to have to individually out themselves to a staff member in order to receive the housing they needed to live comfortably at WPI. Prior to the inclusion of Gender Inclusive Restrooms in all academic buildings on campus, community members used to have to leave the building they were in for work, class, etc. in order to use a restroom that fit them best. WPI’s Lived Name Process has not always been as simple as being able to go on to Workday to update your profile; community members used to have to individually out themselves to staff and faculty in order to not be deadnamed on campus.

  • Deadnaming (verb): using a person’s name received at birth instead of the one they have chosen. 

Then, in early December of 2021, a group of LGBTQIAP+ students sent WPI administration the WPI Students’ Demands for Campus Support and Safety for LGBTQIAP+ Students letter. This caused a shift in the campus culture that allowed the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Multicultural Education (ODIME) to put forth initiatives that would drastically improve the landscape of WPI for LGBTQIAP+ students through collaboration with other campus departments and students, including the development and creation of the inaugural Assistant Director for Gender Equity and Sexuality role in Fall of 2022. This shift also opened up pathways for other students who were not apart of the initial letter writing to speak up about their experiences at WPI and provide feedback about what needs to change in order for them to feel they are part of this community.  

All of this was possible because of those members of our community who stood up and spoke out to advocate for the success of all of our LGBTQIAP+ community members at WPI. However, these efforts were diluted throughout campus and did not have the cross collaboration needed to take on the larger challenges facing this community head on.

ODIME put a call out to faculty and staff across campus in January 2023 to join the new LGBTQIAP+ Advocacy Board, including several individuals who started and have continued this work during their time at WPI. The purpose of the LGBTQIAP+ Advocacy Board is to provide a space for LGBTQIAP+ advocates in the WPI community to join together to strategize and inform WPI and ODIME programs and services to better serve our LGBTQIAP+ students. Through bi-weekly meetings, the LGBTQIAP+ Advocacy Board outlines current challenges, leads various initiatives (including the December 2021 Letter), and provides current knowledge, critical thinking, and analysis to institutional decision-makers.  

Current members of the LGBTQIAP+ Advocacy Board include: 

  • Oscar Chavez (Office Academic Advising) 

  • Lindsay Davis (Department Humanities & Arts) 

  • Stan Horton (Title IX Office) 

  • Greg Lane (Pre-Collegiate Outreach Programs) 

  • Paige Neuman (Gordon C. Library) 

  • Kat Keyes (Division of Talent & Inclusion) 

  • Taylor Rohena (Office of Accessibility Services) 

  • Angela Romano (Office of Academic Advising) 

  • Hilary Clark (Division of Talent & Inclusion) 

  • Rebecca Moody (Department of Humanities & Arts) 

  • Arnold Lane, Jr. (ODIME) 

  • Ben Pollard (Physics Department) 

  • Mia-Kay Fuller (ODIME) 

  • Emily Perlow (Division of Student Affairs) 

  • Jill Westover (Gordon C. Library) 

  • Vi Leroux (Career Development Center) 

  • Riky Hanlan (Career Development Center) 

  • The Alliance Executive Board 

I am excited to work with all of these people through the LGBTQIAP+ Advocacy Board because I know that I am surrounded by individuals who truly care about advocacy work and want to push our campus to change and grow. This is not only special, it is also unique in that we are able to utilize our identities to better serve our students and our entire community. I cannot be more grateful for this opportunity to create a campus culture where all queer and trans students feel seen, validated, and respected.

-Mia-Kay Fuller (They/Them), Assistant Director for Gender Equity and Sexuality

Learn More About LGBTQIAP+ Support

If you have any questions regarding the LGBTQIAP+ Advocacy Board, or would like to know more, please contact Mia-Kay Fuller (They/Them) at  

The Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Multicultural Education (ODIME) promotes and oversees all student facing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) learning experiences, programs, services, trainings, and initiatives for WPI.