‘There is always going to be another hurdle’: LGBT Resource Center coordinator works to improve campus environment

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Brandon Haddock is the coordinator for the LGBT Resource Center located in Holton Hall. (Kaylie McLaughlin | Collegian Media Group)

In the last 11 years, Brandon Haddock has worked on Kansas State’s campus for the LGBTQ+ community and other historically underrepresented groups. As the LGBT Resource Center coordinator, Haddock takes a leading role in nurturing a positive environment on campus.

Haddock said they appreciate the Student Governing Association and everyone else involved helping create the LGBT Resource Center and appointing them as coordinator.

However, the position is more than an 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. job, Haddock said. In just one day, they can work with K-State administration on best-practices policy, work with students on class schedules and recommendations for mental health and other resources, discuss opportunities for students with parents and caregivers, reach out to community organizations and make sure students know there is a community at K-State for them.

“I wouldn’t change it because that is my job and it is not just a job,” Haddock said. “I am a queer person with a queer job, and that overlap is exhausting. But the thing is, I want to be the person that was never there for me.”

Program and project administrator for multicultural programs in the department of diversity and multicultural student affairs, Adam Carr, worked with Haddock as an undergraduate and graduate assistant at the LGBT Resource Center. He said Haddock has shown LGBTQ+ students they do belong on K-State’s campus.

“Brandon was instrumental in creating the LGBT Center and this space for students,” Carr said. “As an identity that is not as outward projecting, it can be difficult in the midwest for students to have that sense of safety, comfort and community. Brandon has really helped develop that sense on campus that queer students belong on campus.”

Haddock said the resource center is a big step for students and alumni.

“We have alums today that walk into the resource center who haven’t been on campus for 25 years and they see that space and it is immediately emotional for them,” Haddock said. “As I have heard so many times, they never imagined that this would be a possibility when they attended K-State.”

Debra Bolton, director of intercultural learning and academic success, works with Haddock very closely and said they help provide K-State’s LGBTQ+ community with safe spaces on campus.

“[Haddock improves] the campus by being on committees to tell administrators that they have left a group out of their policy and work to get that changed,” Bolton said. “They are an advocate for historically excluded identities.”

Carr said many people have helped improve K-State’s campus to be more inclusive and accepting, but Haddock is leading the charge.

“This work takes a lot of people. If it were not for the Office of Student Life, the CARE office, Diversity and Multicultural Students Affairs, Lafene Health Center and all of our partners on campus, this work would not get done. It is not just Brandon, we also have queer faculty staff and administration,” Carr said. “Brandon will say it is wholeheartedly a community effort, but Brandon has led the charge for a lot of this work.”

A lot of Haddock’s work includes working with administration, faculty, staff and students. Haddock is also the advisor for the Sexuality and Gender Alliance, Gender Collective and OSTEM.

“[Haddock does] so much for us on the planning side of things,” Anna Casner, senior in social work and SAGA president, said. “They help us with finances, making sure we are getting our promotional content sent out to the right places and getting events registered. … They are just wonderful.”

Maggie Borders, academic specialist for the McNair Scholars Program, has known Haddock for 10 years and said Haddock’s example helped her feel comfortable being out at K-State.

“Obviously, there are still problems, but I can have pictures of my spouse in my office now, and my spouse can come into my office,” Borders said. “All of my students know my spouse and are happy to see her, and I do not have to worry about it or what people will think. A lot of that — I would argue — goes to the work that Brandon has done in 10 plus years.”

Haddock said the job is not done.

“There is always going to be another hurdle. If I can help make that hurdle shorter, I will,” Haddock said.

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