Diversity club supports LGBTQQA students in science

Rachel Musselmann

ostem
Out in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Chair Reid Maynard (Photo: Lawrence Lam)

A new Colorado State University club is working to establish a unique community on campus for diversity in the sciences.

Out in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, or oSTEM, officially launched its Colorado State University Branch Feb. 18.

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The club for LGBTQQA students in engineering and hard sciences has received overwhelmingly positive reception, according to first year club chair Reid Maynard.

Maynard said the group plans to work with professors to create safe office spaces and to educate members about their professional lives through weekly meetings.

“There are workplace laws and policies all over the country that LGBTQQA employees need to know about,” Maynard said.

Maynard said the club was formed to create a network for students and a safe space.

“We wanted to build a community of people who understood multiple aspects of each other’s lives,” Maynard said. “We hope to create a comfortable CSU experience and to prepare students for the professional world.”

According to Arlene Nededog, director of enrichment and retention at the College of Natural Sciences, the club has been in the works for over a year, and outreach was initiated Fall 2014.

“We wanted to bring an oSTEM branch here, and we got a lot of positive feedback,” Nededog said.

Nededog said the club’s founders connected with similar groups at University of Colorado and Colorado School of Mines in order to bring the best possible experience to CSU. The group has officially formed a constitution, selected officers and is now working on registering with SLiCE and the national oSTEM organization.

Molly Stellwagen, first year director of public relations, said publicity has been mostly word of mouth, but that it has spread fast.

“We hope to see over a hundred members,” Stellwagen said. “The deans of both natural science and engineering have been incredibly helpful and supportive. We couldn’t have done it without them.”

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The first official meeting will be Thursday in Engineering B101, and anyone is welcome to attend.

Collegian Reporter Rachel Musselmann can be reached news@collegian.com and on Twitter @RMusselmann.