Part of what makes higher education such an important experience is the diverse range of people mixing together to form one community. In order for the community to thrive, it is vitally important that students feel safe and welcomed. At Metropolitan State University, the Women’s and LGBTQ Student Resource Center works to ensure the university fulfills this mission.
“We use the title ‘Women’s and LGBTQ’ purposefully,” says Saby Labor, director of the center. “We want all students to feel welcome.” Visitors to the center find comfortable couches and a women’s and LGBTQ library to peruse, giving the office space a casual atmosphere. Labor herself is straightforward and easy to talk to, traits important in someone designated with helping people who might be going through a very difficult time.
The center offers advising on issues primarily faced by women and the LGBTQ community, including gender discrimination, harassment and sexual assault. According to Labor, many students leave higher education due to issues involving sexuality or gender identity. “Students come here saying they can’t go through that again,” says Labor. “We do a lot of work to make sure students know they are celebrated.”
Labor has also worked to reinvigorate Lavender Bridge, a student organization with the mission of providing a safe, accepting environment for Metropolitan State students through mutual support and informational social activities. Learn more about the organization on their OrgSync page.
The Women’s and LGBTQ Student Resource Center is located at Saint Paul Campus, Founders Hall, Room 140, 700 East Seventh Street. For more information contact Saby Labor at 651-793-1544 or Saby.Labor@metropolitanstate.edu.