Currently, the OUTList has over 110 members, with a majority being current students. The directory aims to increase and maintain visibility for queer issues by establishing a strong sense of community and bolster retention for students through a strong network of safety and security.
This network is especially critical as rhetoric and legislation targeting the community has increased across the United States in recent years, with a coinciding rise in harassment, vandalism, and assault.
Because any CPP student, staff, faculty member, or alumnus can submit to the directory at any time via a simple online form, the directory also empowers others who may be questioning their own identities and are looking to strengthen that network.
“The OUTList allows others who may still be questioning to know that it’s okay to be queer at Cal Poly Pomona,” said Joshua Salazar, identity development and education coordinator at the Pride Center. “It also shows the administration that there is a need and demand to acknowledge and support queer issues.”
The list was launched in direct response to student feedback. Through various channels and assessments, students asked for a more inclusive campus while reporting they found it difficult to be their authentic selves outside of the Pride Center. Students also sought more opportunities to connect with other queer students, faculty, and staff.
Throughout its history, the Pride Center has had difficulties accurately identifying its specific student population – a result of the CSU not collecting student data regarding gender or sexual identity.
“It’s been a challenge to accurately market and target students in need of our services/resources. After researching what other pride centers do to better engage queer students, we noticed a lot of them had directories that were thriving,” said Salazar.
This data and research served as the catalyst for the creation of the CPP OUTList, with a goal to create new and transformative programs/services that directly align with the queer community’s specific needs.
The Pride Center hosted a launch party in October in honor of National Coming Out Day, allowing members of the community to submit to the OUTList prior to its publishing.
The Pride Center encourages the CPP community to share the directory amongst their classes, colleagues, and teams to create an even bigger impact.
“Joining the OUTList at Cal Poly Pomona is not just about adding your name to a directory; it’s a powerful statement of visibility and solidarity within the LGBTQIA+ community,” said Armando Madrid, associate dean for student equity and belonging and OUTList member. “In a climate where the LGBTQIA+ community faces increased challenges and threats, your presence in the OUTList sends a clear message that diversity is celebrated, and unity prevails”.
For questions about the OUTList, contact Joshua Salazar at firstname.lastname@example.org.