USG can fund LGBT Center curtains

The Tinkham Veale University Center is well-known for three things: (1) the strange mix of vendors inside where meal swipes are only accepted after lunch hours, (2) being a glamour shot spot for sponsors and prospies and (3) the infuriating, yet attractive, glass walls and doors throughout the building.

While the paramount use for the building is to provide an aesthetic, modern building to impress, its functionality and common sense is lost here. Though the clean-cut design lends itself to giving a more spacious feel, the offices are actually cramped.

In addition to being cramped, some centers that offer services that ensure privacy have been placed in offices with glass doors and a glass wall that all but display persons inside the office. This is particularly true for the LGBT Center. While the center contains a room not visible from the outside, it’s a small room and leaves much the office open to see to the public. I propose that a small purchase of a set of curtains could provide privacy to the LGBT Center, should it be requested by students, whenever they wish.

However the question remains: Who will pay for the curtains?

As the issue stands, it seems to me that the concern for privacy is mostly the student’s issue and thus I think that the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) finance committee should fund the curtains. While USG may not be in charge of the LGBT Center or financially supporting the center or head of organizations that meet in the LGBT center full-time, the issue is a student interest and according to their website, USG is “charged with representing student interests to the entire University and community.”

In addition, the USG finance committee is the right committee to present the issue to. They are more concerned with student organization issues than the Board of Trustees, and they are more capable of setting aside a small amount of money for curtains than the Board.

Spectrum falls under the Undergraduate Diversity Collaborative, and they could be called on to pay. However, UDC is new and their financial allocation is smaller. There is precedence for USG to support and advocate for all students.

While the LGBT Center could potentially pay for the curtains, they also hold their own events and have probably already made their budget for the year, and may not have any money left over or time to redo their budget. The USG finance committee, on the other hand, has a rolling funding program that USG-recognized organizations can apply to for events or projects, no matter the size.

USG is responsible for student interests and putting students first. I think that having USG finance the curtains is a fair and reasonable decision.

Kate Rasberry is a second-year student.