LGBTQ Students at Rensselaer

With an active LGBTQ student, faculty, and staff community and a fully inclusive nondiscrimination policy, Rensselaer asks all students, “Why Not Change The World?”

For more information please contact the LGBTQ Task Force or call Tara R. Schuster at (518) 276-2305

Accordion

Resources

There are a variety of resources for gender, romantic, and sexual minorities on the Rensselaer campus. Gender-neutral/inclusive housing is available by contacting the Office of Student Living and Learning. Gender-neutral/single occupancy restrooms may be found across campus, including the first floor of the admissions office. Safe Zone Trainings are available to all members of the campus community. For more information, please click on the links below. If you would like to make suggestions for information to be added to any of these links, please contact Tara R. Schuster at 518-276-2305.

Academics

While there are no classes that deal exclusively with LGBTQ issues, there are many classes that may include a discussion of LGBTQ topics. 

Classes that are frequently offered within the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences:

  • Human Sexuality
  • Social Psychology
  • Human Factors
  • Gender, Science, and Technology
Bias, Discrimination, and/or Hate Crimes — Reporting

Bias Assessment and Response Team (BART)

The Bias Assessment and Response Team (BART) is a nimble, far-reaching, comprehensive committee with the necessary specialties, talent, and knowledge to respond to the emergent needs of the Rensselaer student community as it relates to incidents of bias, hate, or other marginalizing acts.

Reporting for Staff & Faculty 

To report incidents of bias, discrimination, or harassment against faculty and/or staff, please use the Discrimination and Harassment Complaint Form or contact Human Resources via email at hrmail@rpi.edu

http://studenthealth.rpi.edu/ or (518) 276-6287

Employee Support

RPI’s Division of Human Resources (518) 276-6302

RPI’s Employee Assistance Program (518) 465-3813 or 1-800-777-6531

The Employee Assistance Program makes professional counseling assistance available for any personal problems that may affect the quality of your life and adversely impact your job performance. Capital EAP provides free and confidential assessment, short-term counseling, and information/referral services to RPI employees and their families (spouse and dependents).

LGBTQ Mentoring Network

The LGBTQ Mentoring Network is a program designed for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) campus community at Rensselaer. This program pairs "mentors" ("out" LGBTQ staff, faculty, and local alumni) and "mentees" (LGBTQ undergraduate and/or graduate students) in formal mentoring relationships. 

Mentors can provide support via a variety of different means: professional advice & emotional support; helping you come to terms with your sexual orientation, romantic orientation, and/or gender identity; help you to develop a positive self-esteem; coaching you on living as a successful LGBTQ person; serving as a friendly LGBTQ face on campus to meet with for coffee or lunch, a walk, or just to talk; serving as a resource regarding LGBTQ-friendly events, resources, and programs. 

Mentee membership in the program can remain confidential, and privacy of all mentees is paramount to the program. To learn more about becoming a mentor or mentee, contact the program coordinator, Tara R. Schuster at: schust@rpi.edu

LGBTQ Task Force

Rensselaer provides a variety of resources for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) campus community.  The “LGBTQ Task Force” is a volunteer group of staff, faculty, and students from Rensselaer who work towards creating a more inclusive and welcoming campus community for LGBTQ campus community members and their guests, alumni, and visitors. Members of the LGBTQ Task Force work across four subcommittee areas to help create a more inclusive and welcoming campus community: Policy, Curriculum, Events, and External Relations. 

Part of the mission of the LGBTQ Task Force is to ensure that all LGBTQ campus community members at Rensselaer have the right and expectation of safety in their personal identity and the expression of that identity, whatever it may be, within the bounds of both the law and mutual respect for the differences of other members of the Institute.  

Examples of past (and on-going) LGBTQ Task Force projects include: re-designation of single occupancy restrooms on campus as gender-neutral restrooms; completion of a campus climate index assessment that utilized best practices to determine campus strengths and areas for improvement; utilizing information garnered from said assessment to advise next steps and initiatives; development of an annual Lavender Graduation for LGBTQ graduates; and a biennial campus-wide event series. 

All activities of the LGBTQ Task Force are made possible via generous donations made by campus departments and donors of the LGBTQ Task Force’s “weR Gold” crowdsource funding website page: https://impact.rpi.edu/project/13667 Consider making a donation today!  

For questions regarding the LGBTQ Task Force, resources, or support, please contact the LGBTQ Task Force

2019–20 LGBTQ Task Force Members

Peter Fox, Member (He/Him)

Professor and Tetherless World Constellation Chair

Claire Gonyo, Co-Chair (She/Her)

Class Dean, Office for Student Success

Shannon Johnson, Member (She/Her)

Web Manager, EMPAC

Karen Christina Jones, Member (She/Her)

Administrative Coordinator, Student Transitions

Lee Ligon, Co-chair (She/Her)

Associate Professor and Associate Dean, Biological Sciences

Kris Nolan Parker, Member (They/Them)

Associate Dean, Residential Commons

E.P. Press, Member (They/Them)

Lecturer, Arts Department

Guy Schaffer, Member (He/Him)

Lecturer, Science and Technology Studies Department

Tara R. Schuster, Member (She/Her)

Coordinator of Health Promotion, Student Health Services

Emily Stevens, Member (She/Her)

Assistant Director, Graduate Admissions

 

Media

Homo Radio

Homo Radio is a LGBTQ news/talk radio show hosted by Dr. Ray Werking & Sean McLaughlin every week on WRPI, Sundays 10am-2pm, on 91.5 FM

Off-Campus Resources

LOCAL LGBTQ RESOURCE CENTERS 

Pride Center of the Capital Region (518) 462-6138

The Pride Center of the Capital Region (Capital Pride Center) is dedicated to serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community in the Capital District. Based in Albany, the Pride Center has been meeting the diverse needs of LGBT people in a seven county region since 1970. Our programs, both at the Center (332 Hudson Ave. in Albany) as well as held throughout the region, meet the health and human service needs of the LGBT community as well as educate and advocate for those needs in the broader Capital District. As the oldest continuously-operating gay and lesbian community center in the country, the Pride Center has worked to build a welcoming and empowering community for all people.

In Our Own Voices (518) 432-4188

The mission of In Our Own Voices is to work for and ensure the physical, mental, spiritual, political, cultural and economic survival and growth of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people of color communities.

LOCAL LGBTQ-FRIENDLY HEALTHCARE SERVICES

Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood (Troy) (518) 274-5640

Whitney M Young Health Center (Albany) (518) 465-4771 

LOCAL HIV & STI TESTING SITES 

Alliance for Positive Health (518) 434-4686

Pride Center of the Capital Region (518) 462-6138

Rensselaer County Health Department (518) 270-2655

Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood (Troy) (518) 274-5640

Whitney M Young Health Center (Albany) (518) 465-4771 ext. 4648 

Specialized Care Center for Adolescents & Young Adults at Albany Med (518) 262-9789

LOCAL HIV/AIDS SUPPORT SERVICES 

Alliance for Positive Health (518) 434-4686

Catholic Charities AIDS Services 

Damien Center of Albany (518) 449-7119 

Whitney M Young Health Center (Albany) (518) 465-4771 ext. 4931 

Specialized Care Center for Adolescents & Young Adults at Albany Med (518) 262-9789

LOCAL LGBTQ-FRIENDLY PLACES OF WORSHIP 

Baptist

Emmanuel Baptist Church of Albany - http://www.emmanuelalbany.org or (518) 465-5161

Buddhist

Shambhala Center of Albany - https://albany.shambhala.org/ or (518) 632-1921

Catholic

Christ the Light American Catholic Church - http://members.tripod.com/~Rev_Msgr_Tim/

Holy Trinity National Catholic Church - http://www.nccofa.org/holytrin.html or (518) 434-8861

The First Church in Albany - http://www.firstchurchinalbany.org or (518) 463-4449

Episcopal

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church - http://www.standrewsalbany.org or (518) 489-4747

Lutheran

First Lutheran Church - http://www.firstlutheranalbany.org/ or (518) 463-1326

Prince of Peace Lutheran Church - http://www.poplutheranchurch.org/ or (518) 371-2226

Methodist

Christ Church United Methodist - http://www.christchurchtroy.org/ or (518) 272-8392

First United Methodist Church Schenectady - http://fumcschenectady.org/ or (518) 374-4403

Saratoga Springs United Methodist Church - http://saratogaspringsumc.org/ or (518) 584-3720

Presbyterian

First Presbyterian Church of Albany - http://www.firstpresalbany.org/ or (518) 449-7332

First United Presbyterian Church of Troy - http://www.unitedprestroy.org or (518) 272-2771

Reformed Church in America

Bethany Reformed Church - https://www.bethanyrc.org/ or (518) 482-7998 

Synagogues

B’nai Sholom Reform Congregation - http://www.bnaisholom.albany.ny.us/ or (518) 482-5283

Congregation Berith Sholom - https://berithsholom.org/ or (518) 272-8872

Congregation Gates of Heaven - http://www.cgoh.org or (518) 374-8173

Congregation Ohav Shalom - http://www.ohavshalom.com/ or (518) 489-4706

Temple Sinai of Saratoga Springs - http://www.saratogasinai.org/ or (518) 584-8730

Unitarian

First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany - http://albanyuu.org/ or (518) 463-7135

Unitarian Universalist Society of Schenectady - https://uuschenectady.org/ or (518) 374-4446

Unity

Unity Church in Albany - http://unityalbany.org/ or (518) 453-3603

 

 

On-Campus Resources

ON-CAMPUS RESOURCES:  

Gender-Inclusive Housing

Gender-neutral/inclusive housing is available to both freshmen and upperclassmen living in Rensselaer residence halls. For more information, please contact the Office of Student Living and Learning.

Single-Occupancy Restrooms (Rensselaer Main Campus) 

This list was complied by volunteers and is current as of August 1, 2019. Please help us keep this list current and contact the LBGTQ Task Force with any updates to this list. 

BUILDING FLOOR/LEVEL SIGNAGE HANDICAP ACCESSIBLE
ACADEMY HALL 2nd Floor Gender-Neutral Restroom No
ACADEMY HALL 2nd Floor Gender-Neutral Restroom Yes
ACADEMY HALL 2nd Floor Women Yes
ACADEMY HALL 3rd Floor Gender-Neutral Restroom Yes
ACADEMY HALL 3rd Floor Gender-Neutral Restroom  Yes
ACADEMY HALL 4th Floor Women Yes
ACADEMY HALL 4th Floor Gender-Neutral Restroom Yes
ACADEMY HALL 4th Floor Gender-Neutral Restroom No
ADMISSIONS BLDG 2nd Floor Women No
AMOS EATON HALL 1st Floor Gender-Neutral Restroom Yes
AMOS EATON HALL 1st Floor Women Yes
EXPERIMENTAL MEDIA AND PERFORMING ARTS CENTER Information Desk Level Gender-Neutral Restroom Yes
EXPERIMENTAL MEDIA AND PERFORMING ARTS CENTER Cafe Level Gender-Neutral Restroom Yes
LOW CENTER FOR INDUSTRIAL INNOVATION 4th Floor Women No
LOW CENTER FOR INDUSTRIAL INNOVATION 4th Floor Men No
MATERIALS RESEARCH CENTER 1st Floor Gender-Neutral Restroom Yes
MATERIALS RESEARCH CENTER 2nd Floor Gender-Neutral Restroom Yes
MATERIALS RESEARCH CENTER 3rd Floor Gender-Neutral Restroom Yes
MUELLER CENTER 1st Floor Men Yes
MUELLER CENTER 1st Floor Men Yes
MUELLER CENTER 1st Floor Women Yes
MUELLER CENTER 1st Floor Women Yes
PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICES Main Floor Visitor Restroom No
PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICES Main Floor Visitor Restroom No
RENSSELAER UNION (Mothers) 1st Floor Gender-Neutral Restroom Yes
RENSSELAER UNION (Patroon Room) 2nd Floor Gender-Neutral Restroom Yes
RICKETTS BUILDING 2nd Floor Women No
RICKETTS BUILDING 4th Floor Restroom No
TROY BUILDING 2nd Floor Gender-Neutral Restroom Yes
WEST HALL Ground Floor Restroom No
Safe Zone Training Program

This training is required of many undergraduate student leadership groups on campus. In addition, trainings are offered during the fall, spring, and summer semesters to staff, faculty, and graduate students (registration required; keep an eye out for announcements via your department head and MorningMail). This training acquaints attendees with issues related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and/or questioning populations (LGBTQ). Trainings include discussion, activities & a panel of LGBTQ-identified campus community members sharing their “coming out” stories. Trainings support the Institute’s diversity and inclusion initiatives. For more information or to schedule a training for your student club or organization, contact the Safe Zone Training program coordinator, Tara R. Schuster at: schust@rpi.edu 

Student Health and Wellness

Rensselaer Student Health Center (Suite 3200 Academy Hall)

http://studenthealth.rpi.edu/ or (518) 276-6287

All services provided by the Rensselaer Student Health Center are confidential. The Student Health Center offers free HIV & STI testing to Rensselaer students every Wednesday and Friday afternoon by appointment. Free male latex condoms and lubricants are available upon request or in the waiting room. All staff are Safe Zone trained.

Rensselaer Counseling Center (Suite 4100 Academy Hall)

http://studenthealth.rpi.edu/ or (518) 276-6479

All services provided by the Rensselaer Counseling Center are confidential. To discuss LGBTQ issues with a professional counselor, contact the Counseling Center by phone and set up an appointment. All staff are Safe Zone trained.

Rensselaer Office of Health Promotion (Suite 3636 Academy Hall) 

http://studenthealth.rpi.edu/ or (518) 276-6287

All services provided by the Rensselaer Office of Health Promotion are confidential. To discuss LGBTQ issues with a health educator or to inquire about the LGBTQ Mentoring Network or campus Safe Zone Training, email: healthed@rpi.edu All staff are Safe Zone trained.

Student Clubs and Organizations

Rensselaer Pride Alliance 

The Rensselaer Pride Alliance (RPA) is a non-partisan student-run organization at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. RPA’s purpose is to provide support and advocacy for all gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and allied individuals within the Rensselaer community. RPA tries to increase positive awareness of the LGBTQQA community by hosting speakers, movies, and participating in festivals such as Coming-Out Week and AIDS Awareness Week. RPA tries whenever possible to provide educational information on issues concerning the LGBTQQA community as a means to help stop homophobia and transphobia. Learn more about RPA.

Lavender Ambassadors

This club’s main purpose is to enrich the academic, professional, and educational opportunities of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Asexual, and other students who fall under the LGBTQIA+ umbrella, and their allies. With professional mentoring, and K-12 and community outreach projects to work with, Rensselaer students will have a support network and experience that will prepare them for their professional and career goals. Get in touch via email: Lavender Ambassadors.

Trans Group

With 100+ members of the Rensselaer community (students, former students, and alumni), this “for students, by students” group is open only to trans, nonbinary, and gender-questioning folks in order to have a safe space to create community and support each other through school. To connect with TRANS via their private Discord service, contact Jackson Harmon (an openly transgender and queer student, as well as co-founder of the group).