By Leo Brine
The Queer and Trans People of Color Coalition (QTPOCC) was recognized by the Student Government Association (SGA) on Thursday, Nov. 9, which will allow them to expand in order to further affect the school’s acceptance and culture.
QTPOCC has already had a busy semester. Having hosted a litany of events – most of which had guest speakers such as transgender rights activist and author, Raquel Willis – QTPOCC can now collaborate with other organizations on campus to help sponsor their events and reach a wider audience. “[SGA recognition] will help us be recognized as a legitimate organization to other organizations who don’t know what we do,” said QTPOCC Vice President Michelle Boo, a sophomore psychology major.
In addition, the group has had to accumulate in-house funds to host events and invite speakers. With SGA funding, they will be able to offer better quality opportunities to students.
Having an open and accepting community is a primary goal of QTPOCC. The club hopes to make Hofstra less hostile toward people of color by creating an accepting environment.
A sophomore public policy and public service major who goes by JO is the club’s president and founder. Their experiences at Hofstra prompted them to form the group.
“As a first year I quickly picked up on the fact that not only is the campus at large a very white, very masculine place, but the queer community here is a very white, very masculine space. I’m not the only person who picked up on that. And for me, as someone who has no resources at home, it was a double whammy to feel isolated and helpless here. I felt like I was making efforts to bring intersectional dialogue to the table and being constantly shut down or tokenized,” JO said.
“QTPOCC as an organization makes the campus better by acknowledging the way we are all made to feel in white, cis, hetero and other privileged spaces and facilitating programming to affirm our communities and to educate those in privileged communities.”
During this year’s Day of Dialogue series, there were many SGA events that helped push for acceptance on Hofstra’s campus. SGA would like to continue working toward an accepting campus and QTPOCC would “… love to have the opportunity to collaborate on as many events with them as they’ll let us,” Boo said. SGA vice president, junior public policy and global studies major, Abby Normandin said, “The Student Government Association was delighted to recognize the Queer and Trans People of Color Coalition at our last Senate meeting on Nov. 9. QTPOCC has already done amazing work in creating a community for Hofstra students that identify as queer/trans and as students of color. The organization regularly collaborates with other politically/socially active clubs on campus, it has already hosted a variety of educational events and SGA sees so much potential in the club’s leadership and organization. SGA is proud to support QTPOCC’s mission and growth. We greatly look forward to working with the organization more closely in the future.”
Boo presented QTPOCC’s case to SGA at their Nov. 9 meeting. She wanted QTPOCC to get recognition because it would allow them more freedom to host their own events where they can invite other organizations to join them, instead of QTPOCC having to receive invitations to participate.
Sophomore psychology major Fiona Murray is an ally member of QTPOCC who says it’s important to amplify underrepresented voices.
“I think in my experience it’s important to support and boost the voices that are constantly ignored and pushed down, like queer people of color. Being a part of QTPOCC enables me to have the knowledge and resources to support people of color on campus and use my privilege to enact change where I can,” Murray said.
“QTPOCC needs to be at Hofstra because before this, there was no org here that focused on the intersectionality of identities of queer people and people of color. It is a place where these issues can be the priority and not be put in the backseat.”