New LGBT coordinator seeks to build representation of LGBT community

Story by Katlyn Mackie, Staff writer 

Meghan C. Lampe filled the position as the new LGBT coordinator on Sept. 1 taking over from Michelle Barber, who served as interim coordinator at the beginning of the year.

“I really love working with and supporting students,” Lampe said. “I really believe that students are incredibly powerful on college campuses, but they often don’t know it, and they need support to know it.”

Lampe has two degrees, a master’s and a bachelor’s in women’s and gender Studies from the University of Louisville and was also the president of the LGBT student organization there.

After getting a master’s degree in May 2016, Lampe started a job as a part time lecturer at the University of Louisville. Lampe taught courses on gender studies, which helped them get involved with the academic side of exploring identity.

Lampe said involvement with LGBT services at Louisville led to the realization of wanting to work at a university with LGBT students.

“I love universities, Lampe said. “I love being on college campuses. I love working with college students and I love being in Kentucky.”

Lampe said the short term goals for the LGBT office are to meet the needs of those in the campus community and do what is possible to address them as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Long term, Lampe wants to see the LGBT programming office grow to be a focal point on campus and plans to participate in recruitment and admissions.

“I want to make Murray State notable for having good LGBT representation on campus,” Lampe said.

So far, Lampe said, the focus has been on meeting with students, faculty and staff and making sure people know the office exists and is open to everyone.

Lampe has also already started working on organizing events for students like the Monday Hangout, an event to have fun and learn more about the office. Lampe said it is a way for students to become familiar with the office and to get some LGBT programming “off the ground.”

One of the ways Lampe plans to help students, using the programming aspects of the office, is by having events for people to have fun, build a sense of community, meet others and learn about the LGBT community.

Lampe also said they are able to direct students to resources on campus to help them with certain issues, whether it is related to their LGBT identity or not.

“That is what offices like ours do, we offer the support and connection to resources so students can gain confidence and the ability to advocate for themselves and cause the change on campus that they want to see,” Lampe said.

Kelsey Crawford, senior from Lick Creek, Illinois, said Lampe has been an amazing asset so far and has been eager to assist students in excelling in their endeavors on campus.

Crawford said she wants to see Lampe create a greater understanding on campus regarding LGBT students and foster relationships in the Murray State community so it can continue to be an inclusive campus.

“Education and acceptance is always high on my list, and I believe that with education we can all work together to create change, and thankfully, our new coordinator is an educator,” Crawford said.

Grace Anderson, junior from Huntsville, Alabama, said she is very excited to be working with Lampe because of the positive energy and welcoming attitude that helps make any student feel accepted and heard.

Anderson said she is looking forward to seeing Lampe strengthen and broaden the LGBT community at Murray State.

The LGBT community isn’t talked about much, and not many people know that there is a community here on campus that is accepting of every person no matter how they identify themselves,” Anderson said.