CSU’s Pride Center hires new Assistant Director to bring creativity, more support to students

Julia Trowbridge

The Pride Center is getting a new addition to help students organize their goals for the semester.

On Feb. 7, Colorado State University’s Pride Resource Center had an open house for their new Assistant Director, Maggie Hendrickson. After staff changes over the past couple years at the Pride Center, Hendrickson has arrived to support students, work on inclusivity training around the University and work on the programs the center has to offer.

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“I think they’re excited to have someone else here so it’s not just me running around trying to do all of the things, and Maggie does a great job with connecting with the students,” said Pride Center Director Dora Frias. “They’re going to do a great job once the students get comfortable with them and get to know them, and they’re going to be a great asset to not only the campus center, but to the community. “

Hendrickson was previously working in residence life at another university when one of their friends recommended the position to them. Hendrickson said because they enjoyed working with queer and transgender students especially, getting this job was a dream come true.

“Every person should have a place on campus that feels like a home,” Hendrickson said. “I think these offices are a huge part in students just being able to be on campus and graduate and be successful. And when I was a college student, I spent a lot of time in the Pride Center, and it was huge for my understanding and accepting my own identity, so I hope this space can do the same for people here.”

With Hendrickson’s experience in residence life, Frias said she hopes to bridge some work with university housing. She also said that Hendrickson’s references mentioned their creativity, and Frias hopes Hendrickson will bring their creativity to the programs coming out of the pride center.

“Their background in working in camps I think brings a really fun, creative vibe that really compliments some of my strengths as well, so I’m excited to have them here and to see what they bring to the office,” Frias said. “As a leader, I always think about how do I make sure I’m hiring folks that compliment my personality, my capacity, and I think Maggie will do that really well for the students.”

Frias said Hendrickson is currently learning about what the Pride Center offers before taking on any major projects. Frias is hoping to bring back the fall Pride Leadership retreat under Hendrickson’s direction.

“I’m just looking forward to the organic moments that happen out in the lounge area where people are just talking, and I can spend time with people getting to know them organically, rather than having to have formal meetings with people. I like getting to know people, so any relationship building I can do with students out there is probably the most energizing part of the job.” – Maggie Hendrickson, the new assistant director of CSU’s Pride Center

Hendrickson has made a good impression on the students at the center in the week they’ve been here, Frias said. Chaos Faulder, a senior psychology major, said the change in staffing in the past couple of years has caused the center to be a little hectic, but now they’re excited for what Hendrickson will bring to the center.

“They’re really friendly and they seem like a go-getter, so I’m really excited to see what they’ll bring to the center,” Faulder said. “I think it’s really exciting that we have new people here, and I’m excited to see what they’re going to do and for what’s in store.”

Faulder said that although the student staff does a lot of important work, they’re excited for the Pride Center to have Hendrickson. Now there will be two full-time employees working towards larger projects like including a question about gender identity when a student is making an EID account.

“I’m excited to have more pro staff here,” Faulder said. “A lot of times I feel like the Pride Center gets kind of disadvantaged in comparison to the other offices on campus, which is unfortunate because there’s a lot that we try to do, there’s a lot that is really important for us to do, at least I think so. As far as the legislation and making the real change within the University, a lot of that is going to fall on (Hendrickson) and (Frias).”

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Currently, Hendrickson and Frias are trying to make sure that everything the center is currently offering is meeting a need, Hendrickson said. But with plans between revamping the Pride Leadership retreat, pushing more inclusive legislation and supporting the student staff, they said they’re mostly anticipating to meeting with the students.

“I’m just looking forward to the organic moments that happen out in the lounge area where people are just talking, and I can spend time with people getting to know them organically, rather than having to have formal meetings with people,” Hendrickson said. “I like getting to know people, so any relationship building I can do with students out there is probably the most energizing part of the job.”

Collegian reporter Julia Trowbridge can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on twitter @chapin_jules.