Telling the inspiring story of a safe haven

“For me the office has really served as a home away from home. It’s kind of this place where I can be sure that there will be acceptance no matter what. No matter what problem I have or what issue comes up I can always come here and people will be very supportive and willing to listen and willing to help.” — IU Bloomington student Xander Harty. 

This week, IU Bloomington’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Student Support Services Office will celebrate 20 years of serving Xander Harty and other students for whom the office, at one time an unfathomable concept, has become a safe haven, a second home and a beacon in the fight for acceptance and understanding.

Some stories are so powerful and inspiring they deserve to be told in a way that goes beyond dates, soundbites and statistics, which is why my talented colleagues in the IU Bloomington Newsroom and with the Inside IU newsletter took the “long reads” approach to telling the tale of IU’s GLBT Student Support Services Office and the father figure who has so ably guided it since its inception, Doug Bauder.

Experience the full story package, which includes a number of anecdotes, photos and videos such as the one above, at the following link:

The story arrives just in time for the office’s 20th anniversary open house, which will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 19, from noon to 5 p.m. The event will include guests sharing memories of the office, food, prizes, a collaborative art project and more.

I hope you’ll enjoy the story and learning about the impact that this cozy house on the edge of campus has made on the lives of hundreds of students.

Says Bauder, “I try not to take it for granted. I wake up almost every morning thinking this is such a wonderful place to be. For me, it’s a calling. It’s absolutely what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m more convinced of that than ever.”

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