The foundation for this commission began in the fall of 2010 as the brainchild of several members of the university. It started as a group of faculty, staff, undergraduate and graduate students meeting to discuss how LGBTQA+ members of the SNHU community could be better supported. From that initial meeting, Generation Equality (GE), the LGBTQA+ student organization, was born. GE received official recognization in the fall of 2011.
Following the inception of GE, there still remained a desire to change the culture of SNHU towards being a more welcoming and affirming campus to people who identified with the LGBTQA+ community.
While faculty and staff were working towards building stronger support networks on campus, student activism began to grow on campus. Through social media, President Paul LeBlanc was tweeted by a student who identified as transgender about the lack of gender blind spaces on campus. From this, President LeBlanc reached out to Heather Lorenz, Dean of Students, to see what more the university could do to be more inclusive. From this conversation, the Commission was born.
The first two years of the Commission, Leah Richards of Academic Advising and Heather Lorenz served as co-chairs. The primary focuses were policy updates, education, and supporting SNHU students. One of the first achievements of the Commission was advocating for an inclusive non-discrimination policy with Human Resources. Since then, the Commission has taken on other projects including programming and further advocacy efforts.
It is from these initial conversations that the SNHU campus has been able to take a huge step forward in providing support for LGBTQA+ students, faculty, and staff.
The Commission reviews its membership at the end of the spring semester. Candidates for membership are recommended with by the Commission and appointed by the University President.
If you are interested in applying for membership, please contact the Commission Chair here.
Click here for the President's Commission for LGBTQ+ Advocacy Bylaws (updated 9/2017)