LGBTQ+ Student Services launches Rainbow Thursdays

By Anna Toth

The LGBTQ+ Student Services Center at Cleveland State University hosted its first Rainbow Thursday event on Feb. 8. The main themes for Rainbow Thursday are going to be Self-Care and Mindfulness Hour and Dessert & Discuss, taking place on alternating weeks.

Rainbow Thursdays kicked off with Self-Care and Mindfulness Hour, an hour where students did calming activities and focused on existing in just the moment. Activities like Mandala coloring pages, kinetic sand, and fidget toys were spread out on a table to allow students to focus their energy on to something that would not only reduce their stress but hopefully help them focus on the moment.

“Our community is dealing with things that are really hard to deal with,” said Erik Ribera, the newest graduate assistant at the center. “I thought it would help.”

Ribera was inspired to create a self-care program for LGBTQ+ Student Services based on his own experience working with teens in crisis in other positions. For him, the goal of Self-Care and Mindfulness Hour is to support queer resiliency so that LGBTQ+ students can come out of the hour refreshed and better able to go out and be advocates.

The other part of Rainbow Thursdays is Dessert & Discuss, where LGBTQ+ Cleveland State faculty members and LGBTQ+ people in the surrounding community come in to talk to the students while enjoying desserts. While Self-Care and Mindfulness was Ribera’s project, Dessert & Discuss is graduate assistant Alex Goebel’s brain child.

Goebel hopes that being able to bring in adults in the community

“I want students to build connections with these people – faculty, staff and community members – so there’s visibility of queer adults with the idea that it gets better,” Goebel said.

Goebel was the first graduate assistant for LGBTQ+ Student Services and has been working with the center all year long. When LGBTQ+ Student Services was reintroduced last semester, they worked as the sole graduate assistant.

Since then, LGBTQ Student Services have expanded to have their own center on the second floor of Main Classroom. They’ve also brought Erik Ribera on as a second graduate assistant as student workers to help keep supervise the center.

The LGBTQ+ Center has bright blue walls, couches and desks

They say that last semester was all about visibility and gaining a presence on campus, but this year is about expanding the services offered to LGBTQ+ students. more events that are aimed to give LGBTQ+} students the support they need – which is why Rainbow Thursdays are so important.

“I want it to be a time for students to come and feel supported, feel safe and like they have community.” Goebel said. “So between Self Care and Dessert & Discuss, that’s what we built this around.”

LGBTQ+ Student Services Center at Cleveland State University hosted its first Rainbow Thursday event on Feb. 8. The main themes for Rainbow Thursday are going to be Self-Care and Mindfulness Hour and Dessert & Discuss, taking place on alternating weeks.

Rainbow Thursdays kicked off with Self-Care and Mindfulness Hour, an hour where students did calming activities and focused on existing in just the moment. Activities like Mandala coloring pages, kinetic sand, and fidget toys were spread out on a table to allow students to focus their energy on to something that would not only reduce their stress but hopefully help them focus on the moment.

“Our community is dealing with things that are really hard to deal with,” said Erik Ribera, the newest graduate assistant at the center. “I thought it would help.”

Ribera was inspired to create a self-care program for LGBTQ+ Student Services based on his own experience working with teens in crisis in other positions. For him, the goal of Self-Care and Mindfulness Hour is to support queer resiliency so that LGBTQ+ students can come out of the hour refreshed and better able to go out and be advocates.

The other part of Rainbow Thursdays is Dessert & Discuss, where LGBTQ+ Cleveland State faculty members and LGBTQ+ people in the surrounding community come in to talk to the students while enjoying desserts. While Self-Care and Mindfulness was Ribera’s project, Dessert & Discuss is graduate assistant Alex Goebel’s brain child.

Goebel hopes that being able to bring in adults in the community

“I want students to build connections with these people – faculty, staff and community members – so there’s visibility of queer adults with the idea that it gets better,” Goebel said.

Goebel was the first graduate assistant for LGBTQ+ Student Services and has been working with the center all year long. When LGBTQ+ Student Services was reintroduced last semester, they worked as the sole graduate assistant.

Since then, LGBTQ Student Services have expanded to have their own center on the second floor of Main Classroom. They’ve also brought Erik Ribera on as a second graduate assistant as student workers to help keep supervise the center.

The LGBTQ+ Center has bright blue walls, couches and desks

They say that last semester was all about visibility and gaining a presence on campus, but this year is about expanding the services offered to LGBTQ+ students. more events that are aimed to give LGBTQ+} students the support they need – which is why Rainbow Thursdays are so important.

“I want it to be a time for students to come and feel supported, feel safe and like they have community.” Goebel said. “So between Self Care and Dessert & Discuss, that’s what we built this around.”

 

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