Harvard Hires for New Gay Student Life Post

BY Trudy Ring

September 09 2011 9:10 PM ET

Harvard College — the undergraduate wing of Harvard University — has hired its first director of bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender, and queer student life.

Lisa “Lee” Forest (pictured) will assume the position in November, The Harvard Crimson reports. Her appointment was announced Thursday. She currently heads the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Allies Pride Center at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts.

Dean Evelynn Hammonds created the position last spring, after students criticized the college’s Queer Resource Center for its lack of paid staff and drab basement location. Harvard convened a BGLTQ Working Group of students and staff, which recommended a paid director and a new space, both of which the college approved.

The new space will include a student lounge, a work area for undergraduate interns, and offices for Forest and Emily J. Miller, a student at Harvard Divinity School who was named Thursday to the post of graduate assistant for BGLTQ student life.

Miguel Garcia, a student member of the working group, told the Crimson he is “very pleased with how the report of the working group is being treated,” but he added that Forest has “a huge job” because Harvard is “very far behind our peer institutions.”

Forest, for her part, issued a statement saying, “This new program will be a valuable resource for the campus community, and it represents an exciting new chapter in Harvard’s history. I am eager to collaborate with Harvard’s outstanding students, faculty, and administrators who have paved the way with an impressive array of BGLTQ-related initiatives, and I look forward to working together toward a shared vision of social justice.”

Harvard is located in Cambridge, Mass.











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