Queer and Trans People of Color and Campus Climate : How Labor is Claimed by the Institution
Hernandez, Mireli Nadine
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Predominantly white institutions (PWIs) attempt to diversify their student body by enrolling people of color (POC) as students. For the purposes of this paper POC will include all people who identify as non-white, including black and indigenous persons. I want to acknowledge that all people of color have different experiences, and any one group of people of color will experience different oppressive forces than another, in the end they are all victims of the same matrix of domination. This shared struggle unites the POC experience, and is why I will focus on the whole group instead of individual ones. The increasing population of POC includes queer, trans, and gender non-conforming people of color (QTPOC) who are left without the structure and support they need to traverse the space. Not quite fit for student organizations that are oriented for students of color or for queer students QTPOC attempt to create comfortable spaces for their community. This inadvertently provides institutions with spaces and programs that PWIs can advertise as their own creations, attracting more marginalized bodies that the institution does not structurally provide for. Such high demands without support from policy, faculty and staff of the same identity, or student organizations leads to lower retention of QTPOC. Existing pieces of literature put in conversation with each other reveal the ways in which this population could be supported and excel in PWIs without compromising identity.