The Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity proudly hosted the Parent’s Weekend Saturday night reception in its new space. After a long day of group performances, tours, and study-specific meetings, families were invited to the Center to enjoy music, beverages, and desserts. The Dean of Students, Clay Adams, greeted families while live jazz music played in the gathering area. A buffet of pastries, brownies, fruits, and cheeses was scattered across the conference room table with pots of coffee ready to wash them down.
It may seem like something small, but being able to host this event was an honor for the Center and its staff. In past years, we have been located on the bottom floor of the West Union building. We eagerly moved into our new space in the Bryan Student Center this summer, excited to see the changes it would bring. The new space is open, colorful, and most of all, visible and welcoming. There is a conference room that has the option to be sectioned off for private meetings or opened up to the programing and gathering area. There is a projector installed that is often used for Wii games and music videos during Kickback Fridays, movie showings, and more. The sound system projects both in the programing area and the welcoming lounge, and the warm colors of the furniture and walls put people at ease. There’s even a library and study areas complete with comfy couches for when you just need to get away to work.
To be asked to host the reception seemed to be a dual message from Duke to the Center’s staff and also to the families of its students. It wasn’t just: “We’re proud of this space.” The message also seemed to be: “We’re here, we’re supportive, and we want you to be too.” Hosting such a popular and well-advertised event in our space could be considered risqué for some; however, the organizers of Family Weekend wanted us to be involved and were excited that we were able.
As we continue to show off our new space, we encourage you to come to Kickback Fridays (every Friday at 3:30pm) and other events to see what all the fuss is about. I’m proud and excited to see the growth of the Center, and with the support from Duke University and community, we want you to be a part of it too!
I’d like to sign off with a quick plug for any graduate students out there: This space is for you too! Check the links on our page for groups for each school, or email me at lauren dot burianek at duke dot edu to get more information. Alternatively, just swing by to get some studying done or to meet the Center’s staff!