Quinnipiac University

LGBTQ+ Fellow strives for safe, inclusive campus for all

October 15, 2021

Vince Contrucci

When Director of Community Service Vincent Contrucci was approached to become Quinnipiac’s inaugural LGBTQ+ Fellow in 2020, the trajectory of the role was largely undefined. Regardless, Contrucci immediately recognized the breadth of change the position could facilitate.

“I viewed it as an opportunity to move the university forward in equity and inclusion in the student population, as well as for our faculty and staff,” Contrucci said.

Contrucci established himself as a particularly impactful ally for the queer population at Quinnipiac long before his fellowship began. His modern gay civil rights walking tour of New York City, now in its sixth year, delivers a deep dive into the burgeoning travails and successes of a now global movement demanding equality for LQBQT+ individuals.

“This has always been a part of what I’ve done professionally, being an advocate for the queer population,” he said. “I strove to find ways to roll this mission into my work in the office of community service.”

The fellowship, despite coinciding with the radical circumstances around the COVID pandemic, allowed Contrucci to launch initiatives to create a more inclusive environment at the university, as well as to offer educational opportunities around the queer community.

Under Contrucci’s tutelage, a LQBQT+ student leadership retreat debuted in this Spring. Eighteen students attended the workshops and presentations. Student focus groups encouraged individuals to share their experiences, as well as to imagine the change they’d like to see on campus, said Contrucci. A second retreat takes place this November.

Contrucci also helped to develop Quinnipiac's first Pronouns Awareness Day.

“There was real interest on campus in bringing a greater understanding of the proper usage of pronouns, and how it impacts people,” he said.

Contrucci worked on the virtual program’s content; helped source a speaker; and assisted with marketing the event. Fifteen students attended the workshop, which was held on April 2 (coinciding with Good Friday, a university holiday). Another pronoun event is forthcoming, to be held in-person.

During the fellowship, Contrucci also shared his expertise to refine burgeoning initiatives around campus. He worked with the Safe Space Committee on its training module that teaches how to create a safe and inclusive environment for queer members of the Quinnipiac community. He also reviewed the descriptive language of the new gender inclusive housing initiative for the school’s catalogue.

The fellowship concludes in December, and Contrucci is grateful for the experience the position provided. “It’s been really nice to have the chance to expand my reach on campus, and to connect with students that I may have not have otherwise interacted with,” he said. “I appreciate the opportunity.”

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