Congrats on a great effort

I believe that congratulations are in order for all who have been involved in the process of advocating for the development of a Gender and Sexual Diversity (GSD) Resource Officer. At the winter trustee meeting over the weekend of February 4, the Board of Trustees approved the hiring of a full time employee for the position of director of the soon to be created GSD Resource Center. In my opinion this is an enormous win for the Colby community as a whole, and I would like to thank the Board of Trustees for agreeing to the proposal. As an outside observer who has been only marginally involved at most, I also think that congratulations and thanks are in order for the members of this community who have worked very hard to make this a reality.

I apologize, but I am not going to name specific names of people who have been involved for fear of forgetting to mention someone. I will say, though, that a large group of people in different capacities have been involved in advocating for a GSD Center over the past year or so. This collective group has put in countless hours of work and dealt with endless frustrations to be standing where we are today. If you have a friend or know someone who has been involved in the process, take a moment this week and congratulate them or thank them for everything that they have done.

From my position as an outside observer, I think that there are also a number of lessons we as a community can take away from the process of bringing a GSD Center to Colby. The first is that creating change is rarely (if ever) an easy task. The entire effort to lobby for a Resource Officer has taken, in total, over a year to be successful. It seemed at times that little to no progress was being made and that success would never come. However, through making a consistent and persistent effort and using well developed arguments, those advocating for a GSD Center eventually achieved their goal. I think we can take away the lesson that at Colby and in the real world, important achievements and changes take time, persistence and maturity. It may be a trite aphorism, but I think it’s important to be reminded that nothing worth having ever comes easily.

The other lesson that I think is important to take away from the efforts of those advocating for the GSD Center is that students know what they need best, and with organization and effort they can secure it. The GSD movement is not one that came from the administration or the trustees but rather grew out of the student body. It was perceptive and dedicated students who realized that there was a real need for greater GSD resources among the student body, and took the steps to make it a reality. We as students are the most knowledgeable about what we need for our own welfare. It is therefore important that we are astute enough to be mindful of our lives here at Colby and identify where changes can be made to improve our community. The GSD movement is an excellent example of students who perceived a real need and had the discipline to change things.

In summation, I would again like to reiterate my thanks and congratulations to all who were and still are involved in the process of bringing a GSD Center to Colby. I think that your efforts have been outstanding and can be taken as a model of how to positively effect change from the ground up here on The Hill. I would also like to emphasize the importance that we as a student body need to take proactive ownership in creating the best community possible here at Colby, by mindfully identifying our legitimate needs and maturely working to ensure that they are met.