Maintaining a safe space for Hamline’s LGBTQIA+ community

Spectrum is an organization focused on providing community to the queer population on Hamline’s campus through inclusivity events, awareness efforts and mutual support.

Lucy Severson, News Reporter

In a world where the future of LGBTQIA+ rights are uncertain, it’s a comfort for students to know that there is a place for them at Hamline University. Spectrum, Hamline’s LGBTQIA+ student organization, aims to raise awareness and promote inclusivity.

“We encourage understanding, tolerance and self pride by having meetings at least every other week that reflect these values as well as creating social events with the same mentality in mind,” Spectrum’s Presence webpage says.   

Using a sample of over 180,000 undergraduate and graduate students, the Association of American Universities reports that almost 17% identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual, queer, or questioning. In this same survey, 1.7% students identified as transgender, nonbinary or questioning for their gender identity. 

As more students are publicly identifying with the LGBTQIA+ community, organizations encourage them to be themselves in an accepting environment. Spectrum works with both students and faculty to help provide resources for the many struggles that LGBTQIA+ students face and strives to educate people on those struggles and inform them of how they can support people who identify as LGBTQIA+. 

Spectrum’s president and Oracle staff member Michael Horton highlighted that at Hamline, Spectrum is that accepting space.

“Spectrum is important because it’s an org for LGBTQIA+ students led by LGBTQIA+ students. There are many students coming in from high schools or other colleges where they might not have been accepted for who they are. I want those students to know that no matter what, they have a place here at Hamline,” Horton, a Hamline senior, wrote in an email. “They can be who they want to be here at Hamline. And Hamline isn’t perfect, but there are people who can and will support those who need it.” 

Recently, Spectrum celebrated National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11 by organizing lots of inclusive events for the week, such as this year’s iteration of Hamline’s annual drag show on the lawn of Old Main. 

“That was a big hit!” Horton wrote. 

Spectrum holds general meetings every two weeks on Tuesday from 5-6 p.m. in the West Hall Bridge Classroom. 

“We like to change up the theme of each meeting a bit,” Horton said. “Our next meeting is Nov. 1st and our plan is to have it be a movie night! People can come and enjoy a movie and some snacks.” 

Spectrum continues to organize events throughout the school year, the next one being a Trans Day of Remembrance Tabling and Candlelight Vigil on Nov. 18-21. 

Students can get involved in Spectrum by coming to general meetings or volunteering for events. Contact or for more information. 

Instagram: @huspectrum