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The Daily Tar Heel

Student Approaches New LGBT Position With High Hopes

As administrative assistant intern, Fred Hashagen's top goal is to promote comfort within the LGBT community.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students at UNC now have a new resource to help them organize.

His name is Fred Hashagen, and he's proudly filling the new position of LGBT administrative assistant intern.

But although he's quick to outline his goals, the word he uses most to describe the job ahead of him is "challenging."

"I have to be the person any LGBT group on campus turns to when they need resources or need work done," Hashagen said. "It's a very big task that deserves someone who can dedicate a lot of time and effort to it -- but that will be me."

The administrative assistant position is a new one, funded by Student Congress for one semester, with a $1,500 stipend. Hashagen, a junior political science and philosophy major, is responsible for coordinating all of the eight LGBT groups on campus, including Queer Network for Change, Carolina Alternative Meeting of Professional and Graduate Students, and Lambda.

His responsibilities also include distributing an LGBT resource guide, helping LGBT groups gain official recognition, fund raising and coordinating emergency response efforts should a serious situation, such as a hate crime or suicide threat, occur.

Hashagen will report to Glenn Grossman, co-chairman of CAMP, as well as to Student Congress. Grossman, the head of the search process for the position, said he and other graduate students interviewed six or seven candidates, but that Hashagen, the only undergraduate to apply, was the best choice. "We had some really good people apply," he said. "We decided to go with him because he has a good understanding of how the University works, which we figure is better than training someone from scratch."

Hashagen said he has a list of overarching goals, the most important of which is creating a comfortable environment for LGBT students. "The LGBT community is really the only community where it's incumbent upon their members to identify themselves," he said. "Because we are dependent on members to identify themselves, we are responsible for creating as comfortable an environment as possible for doing so."

Hashagen said he wants to help all campus groups integrate and accept their LGBT members rather than creating new groups solely for the LGBT students. "I look to bring out the LGBT aspects of each group that exists rather than pulling people from the groups they're already in," he said."I urge members of academic minority groups or minority groups to start within their communities to become parts of groups within existing organizations."

And Grossman said he expects Hashagen will be able to do effective work integrating groups across campus. "(The position) is not so much working with individuals on campus as looking to aid LGBT groups on campus in interacting with other groups," Grossman said. "If he does even half the stuff we want the position to do, that'd be excellent."

The University Editor can be reached at udesk@unc.edu.

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