Aiden Cropsey ‘14 has been named Geneseo’s first LGBTQ+ coordinator, following calls by students, faculty and staff for a staff member specifically designated to support the LGBTQ+ community on campus.
“This position is something that was long overdue and severely in need,” Cropsey said. His official title is Graduate Assistant of LGBTQ Programs and Services.
Cropsey echoed the sentiments of many who identify as LGBTQ+ on campus that seek professional guidance outside of the Pride Alliance organization. He emphasized that he intends to provide “… a safe place to express ideas, confide in someone and find other professional resources.”
Cropsey, who graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, possesses a sense of familiarity with the campus as well as offering unique insight into the needs of the LGBTQ+ community, being a member himself.
“I know what it’s like to be in that position on this campus, and I know what’s needed from my perspective,” he said. “I am looking to get the perspective of current students, alumni and faculty as to what we need to do to make this a safer place.”
Cropsey returned to Geneseo to work with the Lauderdale Center for Student Health & Counseling to fulfill the capstone project requirement for his graduate program at George Washington University: giving training on LGBTQ+ cultural competency.
Cropsey explained that after collaboration with other faculty members, it was decided there was a greater need for a staff member to serve the LGBTQ+ community full-time at Geneseo.
“With a short amount of time and a lot of work, people came together and created a space for me to serve as that professional position,” he said. “I am so excited to be here … I have some relationships with faculty already––the faculty and students have been unbelievable with helping me.”
Geneseo Pride Alliance president senior Bella Rabinovich explained the relief this position will provide for the organization.
“What sets us apart is we didn’t have the resources that we, LGBTQ+ people, needed … we didn’t have anyone dedicated to this specifically,” she said. “Now that we have Aiden [Cropsey] … it takes some of the load off of us as Pride, and allows us to [be able to] do fun things and social activities.”
Gaining a coordinator for the LGBTQ+ community is an important step, albeit one that was considerably overdue.
“If you look at other State University of New York schools, just about everyone has not only an LGBTQ+ coordinator but a Pride Resource Center which is comprised of 10-15 staff members,” Cropsey said. “Clearly, Geneseo is taking a great step by getting this position, but there’s so much more that we can do.”
With that said, Cropsey emphasized that his first priority lies with working with the student body and learning how he can fulfill their needs.
“There are LGBTQ+ students who are not in Pride, are not out, or need someone who is a safe person to speak with,” he said. “I really hope I can serve that need.”
Crospey is currently on campus Sundays from 12-4 p.m. and Mondays from 12-2 p.m. in room 348––the Center for Community––in the MacVittie College Union.