By Emily Clute
Published November 19, 2019
Every Thursday throughout the semester, you can find the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center filled with laughter and creativity as students participate in the Thursday Art Therapy program.
The projects vary throughout the weeks, providing something to do for art enthusiasts of every level. Last Thursday, it was Paint and Sip night with free coloring and glasses of sparkling cider.
“It can depend on what the season is, or how the weather is, or if events are coming up,” says Julien Nizam, a junior who volunteers with the GSRC and serves as the Art Director. “We’ve had a spa night, we’ve done pumpkin carving, we’ve had a wreath making— we even had plant pot decorating, and the next Thursday everyone got plants to put in them.”
The GSRC sometimes collaborates with other on-campus groups, like the Multicultural Resource Center, to provide different programs every week. The program began in the Spring 2018 semester and is funded through the GSRC budget.
“I feel like it’s definitely a place to relax and just be goofy and forget about what’s happening outside the center,” says sophomore Amber Lovett. “You meet people and you talk to other people you see in the center that you don’t normally talk to.”
Thursday Art Therapy isn’t the only service the GSRC provides for students on campus. The center, which is open Monday through Friday during the semester, is complete with a full lounge, providing students a place to relax with a flat-screen TV, Wii, and movies.
“Being able to be around people that are like me in the world, doing fun activities,” sophomore Lauren Myers says, “It’s really fun and a really nice break from the normal pace.”
Pride flags for many identities — including the trans, asexual, and pansexual flags — line the walls. It also holds resources for students, such as a small library and study space.
“Besides just giving them a place to relax and do something creative, it shows them there are resources available to them that they can take advantage of,” Nizam says. “We have condoms upfront and pamphlets that have different services available to them. It creates awareness.”
Other weekly programs in the GSRC include Tuesday Talks, the Queer and Trans People of Color Empowerment Circle (QTPOC) and informational Monday Conferences (MonCon).
Students are encouraged to stop by any time the center is open.
There are still two more Thursday Art Therapy nights before the end of the semester, where students will have the opportunity to make paper snowflakes and gingerbread houses just in time for the holiday season.
“It’s winter, it’s cold, snow is already falling,” says Nizam. “It’ll be nice to just decorate the Center with snowflakes.”
All students are welcome and encouraged to attend the Thursday Art Therapy programs as well as the other events hosted by GSRC.
For more information on events and resources, visit https://www.albany.edu/lgbt/.