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The Daily Tar Heel

LGBTQ Center Names Coordinator

The Office of the Dean of Students has appointed graduate student Marcie Fisher as the program coordinator for the new lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer resource center.

The LGBTQ Resource Center, which developed as a result of the provost's LGBTQ Climate Report, will be under the jurisdiction of the Division of Student Affairs, with an office being created in the basement of the Steele Building on Polk Place.

Melinda Manning, assistant dean of students, is pleased with the selection of Fisher, who she said will begin to work right away. Fisher serves as the high-risk program specialist at the Center for Healthy Student Behaviors. "I don't know of any other candidate who would be as qualified as her," Manning said.

Fred Hashagen, a senior on the LGBTQ advisory committee, said he also is pleased with the decision. "Marcie will seek out the advice of student leaders directly," he said.

"She has -- in every capacity in which she's served the community -- consistently sought out the advice and knowledge of LGBTQ student leaders on campus."

Hashagen said he hopes there will be a general spirit of cooperation between the advisory committee and Fisher.

Manning said Fisher's first task is to make the center a workable office and to compile the resource library.

The office is being painted, and furniture is being purchased now to make it a comfortable environment in which students would feel welcome, she said.

Fisher said her part-time position will allow her to continue to facilitate weekly support group meetings for students in the coming out process and to serve as a reference for LGBTQ students.

"I've seen a tremendous need for University-sponsored space and programming for LGBTQ students," Fisher said.

"I'm just glad there will be a place and a budget to make this happen."

Fisher said that more than 800 books, videos and magazines already have been donated to the center and are available for all students to check out. She said additional resources also will be purchased.

Yaacov Ben-Shemesh, co-chairman for LGBTQ issues for the Graduate and Professional Student Federation and a member of the advisory committee, said he is confident Fisher will be a great program coordinator for the resource center.

But Ben-Shemesh said he wishes the advisory committee was consulted in hiring Fisher. "The person is good; the process is not," he said. "It looks like our interest is the interest they want to serve, but they did not ask us."

Ben-Shemesh said he wants to see the center and its programs serve the entire community and not just the needs of LGBTQ students.


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