LGBT to Recieve New Funds

By Denise Nu

Collegian Staff

The University of Massachusetts Stonewall Center, which is a resource center for lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender (LGBT) students, has two new funds. The Center recently announced the Stonewall Center Student Support and the Leadership Funds.

“The Stonewall Center got these two new funds through a donation by an alumni,” Felice Yeskel, director of the Center said.

The LGBT Student Support Fund is accessible to help support their participation in extra-curricular activities. The types of activities that the fund will support include attending a conference or workshop, or purchasing supplies for projects and events, etc.

“LGBT Student Leadership Award is a one a year award and reference is needed and exceptional leadership,” Yeskel said. “To get nominated for this fund nominate yourself, go on the website fund application.”

The award carries with it $150 cash. Any current UMass graduate or undergraduate student is eligible to be nominated. The nomination forms are available at the Stonewall Center, located in Crampton House in Southwest or on their website.

The awards are to be given out to UMass students in good standing and will be given to projects that can demonstrate value to the UMass LGBT community, according to the Stonewall website. The awards will be made on May 13th.

“The benefits of these funds are for financial benefits to buy supplies or help for transportation and help for expenses,” Yeskel said. “We appreciate our donor for making these funds possible and at this time of cutbacks they did something positive.”

The Stonewall Center was created in 1985 and was one of only three centers of its kind in the country at the time. Since its founding, it has grown to serve the University and the surrounding community in several capacities. It provides cultural and educational programs, as well as a reference center for videos, library books and magazines. It also regularly brings speakers to campus to talk about LGBT concerns.

The new funds come in addition to the Stonewall Scholarship Fund that was created in 1995. So far this fund has approximately $40,000, but seeks more to fulfill its goals. The goal of the Scholarship Fund, according to the Stonewall Center website, is twofold.

The first goal is to use the money as an emergency fund for lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender students that have been “cut off” by their families upon discovery of their sexual orientation and need money to stay in school.

The second goal for the Scholarship Fund is to promote scholarship in LGBT studies within the University. The center hopes to give out monetary awards for outstanding papers written by one undergraduate and one graduate in the field of LGBT studies. The prizes will be awarded after an interdisciplinary committee of faculty members has evaluated the work.

For more information about the Support Fund, the Leadership Award, the Scholarship Fund or making a donation, please contact Felice Yeskel at the Stonewall Center, phone, 413-545-4824, fax, 413-545-6667.