New QSU: A Safe and Supportive Community for LGBTQ+ Students



By McKenzie Parish 

Lewis and Clark Community College has a new club emerging on campus this semester. The Queer Student Union (QSU), founded by Devone Stenke, aims to promote inclusivity and support the mental, emotional, and other health needs of members of the LGBTQ+ community on campus.  

“We started our group because we recognized that the LGBTQIA+ community on campus was underserved and lacked a dedicated organization focused on activism and outreach,” Stanke said. “By creating a separate group, we aimed to provide a fostering environment for students to connect, advocate for their rights, and work towards creating a more equitable and just campus for everyone.” 

The club’s mission is to provide a safe and supportive environment where LGBTQ+ students can come together, connect, and feel accepted. The club also aims to promote understanding and acceptance of the community through education and advocacy initiatives. 

The club has been in the works for about two months and was approved at the Student Government Association general meeting on March 1. 

The long-term goal for QSU is to have the club sustain past the current members’ terms at L&C. The executive board wants QSU to survive on campus for generations to come and to make an impact on queer students’ lives for generations of L&C. 

Executive board member Joel Barker joined the club to help make a difference.  

“For me, it was a combination of not only wanting to provide support and assistance for people but also it seemed like an activism group, and that’s something that I thought was really interesting…” Barker said.   

It seems this is the big draw of the QSU. Not only is the club aiming to be a safe space itself, but they are also aiming to expand on that and make the entire campus safer and more welcoming to the queer population on campus. 

QSU is always looking for new members in and outside of the queer community. Those interested can reach out on Instagram @lc_qsu, via email to faculty advisor Penn Cloud at, or attend a weekly meeting held on Mondays at 2 p.m. in Hatheway 204 (the pool overlook room). 

About McKenzie Parish

McKenzie is pursuing a degree in Graphic Design as well as a certificate in Animation. She plans to graduate in Fall 2023 and finish her education at a 4-year university.
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