Jean Miller Center debuting fall quarter, new resources available

Neda Serrami

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De Anza College’s Jean Miller Center, launching in fall quarter, has the funding it needs, but lacks an actual working space.
Staff and volunteers are currently in the process of negotiating with De Anza’s senior staff to create a space for the center, named for a deceased English instructor.

According to the center’s program overview, the center and the individuals representing it value and respect all women, genders, identities, gender expressions, bodies, sexual orientations, abilities and racial and ethnic identities.

Interns at the center said its purpose is to provide information about the LGBTQ community and an area for students who do not feel safe on campus to connect with others.

The staff said they are working together towards creating an equitable, safe and just campus environment.

Another goal of the staff is to work toward programming and connecting with the MyPortal system to create a “Preferred Name” option for transgender students who identify with names other than their legally given names.

“I think it is a community space for the entire campus,” said Bob Stockwell, interim director of De Anza’s Institute of Community and Civic Engagement. “Basically it’s about creating a more equitable, safer, more inclusive campus.”

Staff member Nahielly Torres, 21, social and behavioral sciences major, said in addition to working on the center’s future space, the staff is looking forward to hosting more event on campus.

“We want to do more events,” Torres said. “Right now we’re currently working on the event for pride month, which is June.”
There will be costs associated with the directors, supporting staff and interns who run the center.

According to intern Matthew Travers, 22, sociology major, the Jean Miller Center has been given $28,600 by the DASB Senate.

“That covers a direct deposition, three paid interns and assorted money for supplies, printing and capital,” Travers said.

Interns said they are especially excited to see the organization grow and provide multiple benefits to the De Anza community.

“Next year I definitely think it’ll be a place where people can gather and organize, or just chill, if they wanted to between classes,” said intern Mei Suzuki, 19, history major.

Moving the project forward was going relatively smoothly until workers discovered the lack of space on De Anza’s campus.

“We have been thinking creatively and we are hopeful that next year we will have an institutional space that will be allocated for the room, that won’t be an office that will be occupied by another teacher in the fall,” Travers said.

The work of the center will be centered on education, advocacy and referral, promoting growth within individuals, as well as the De Anza College community.

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