Alliance, Murray State's LGBTQ+ student group was founded in 1995 by Tavares K. Jones and fellow students. Renee Rowlands may have been the first advisor and Lissa Graham Schneider, Theater, was one of the early advisors as well.
Twenty years later, the LGBT Programming Office was founded in 2015. The inaugural coordinator was Jody Cofer Randall, who had been increasing her responsibilities in this area for the previous two years. Initially, the Office was located in Wells Hall, but was moved to 243 Blackburn in 2016. After Jody accepted a position at another university, Michelle Barber, '03, stepped in as the interim LGBT coordinator from January - June 2017, supporting the search for a new coordinator.
We've started a timeline of events. If you remember any milestones, or have any corrections, please contact Michelle Barber at firstname.lastname@example.org or 270-809-5040.
- 1995 - Alliance, Murray State's LGBTQ student group, established
- 2003 - Come Together Kentucky (CTK), the statewide LGBTQ+ student conference, held at Murray State
- 2008 - Murray State adds sexual orientation to the non-discrimination policy
- 2012 - First half-time LGBT coordinator position filled at Murray State
- 2012 - Eracers, Murray State's transgender and gender nonconforming student group, established
- 2015 - Office of LGBT Programming established
- 2015 - Come Together Kentucky (CTK), the statewide LGBTQ+ student conference, held at Murray State
- 2015 - Kristie Helms and Kathryn Carter Nettles Fund for Excellence and Acceptance and Awareness established
- 2015 - The Kentucky Association of LGBTQ Higher Education started by Murray State, NKU, U of L and UK
- 2016 - LGBTQA Ambassadors, Murray State's LGBTQ+ leadership group, established
- 2017 - Inaugural Gaypril, a month-long celebration of lGBTQ+ culture, planned
Keep in touch
We want to know more about our friends, allies, and alumni far and wide. Please tell us a little about yourself. We'll mail you (e-mail or snail mail) no more than 2-3 times per year with updates and news. Thank you in advance!
Also, you can get the latest news on Facebook:
Meet Our Students
Approximately 10% of students identify as LGBTQ+ according to the 2013-2014 MSU Campus Climate Survey. In today's enrollment numbers, that's approximately 1,000 students. Meet a few of them here.
The LGBT Programming Office has 100+ donors who support our efforts to make Murray State a better place for all students, but especially LGBTQ-identified ones. If you would like to give back, you may do so here. Please be sure to designate the LGBT Programming Office in the comments.
Want to know how your money might benefit students? Here are some possibilities:
Small Gifts which Make a Big Difference ($0-$100+)
These are affordable gifts which would make the office, the lounge, or our operations more welcoming and fun for students.
- Board and card games
- Magazine subscriptions
- Current books and resources for our lending library
- Pride flags
- Buttons, pens, and stickers
- Office supplies (phone charging stations, poster board, flyers, presentation materials)
Gifts which Help Us Level Up ($50-$1,000+)
These are gifts which would help us professionalize our programs or events. Students notice these details, as do parents, presenters, and other alumni.
- Standing banners
- Staging and lighting equipment (for the Alliance Drag Shows)
- Office furniture
- Program sponsorship (Conversations and Dessert, Safe Zone, Lavender Graduation Celebration)
- Event sponsorship (Alliance Drag Show, Gaypril, Mocktails, Pride Week)
- Student group sponsorship (Alliance, Ambassadors, Eracer)
- New events (coming out support group, LGBTQ-specific career counseling, media literacy training, sex ed and healthy relationship workshops, conflict resolution training, leadership development opportunities, student Safe Zone program expansion)
Gifts which Make a Significant Difference ($500-$1,000+)
These are moderate or sizable gifts which would support student success at Murray State and beyond their graduation date.
- Scholarships (need or merit)
- Grants (for student-run, student-suggested programming)
- Conference/Travel support (for students or employees/Allies)
- Alumni programming (workshops, mentoring, Skype sessions)
There are also invaluable, non-financial ways to give back. For example, alumni could participate in webinars or workshops describing their coming out process, their careers, or even the cities/regions in which they live. Online mentoring and informational interviews would also be of great use.
These are only a few examples. If you have ideas on how you'd like to give back, please contact us!