Cornell’s LGBTQ+ program house, the Loving House, arrived on campus this semester — but with an extra $5,000 for resources, literature, decorations, kitchen appliances and furniture, members of the Loving House and residence staff hope they can make it seem like more of a home.
In order to achieve that goal, Loving House is actively crowdfunding in order to buy new furnishings, like bean bags and couches; appliances like a printer; and books about LGBTQ+ topics. The money would also go towards special programming such as LGBTQ+ History Trivia with Planned Parenthood, field trips to Niagara Falls and a “Dine and Dialogue” series.
The Loving House does source money from a program house fee, but it is one of the lowest on campus. With only 30 residents and a $30 fee, this raises less money than other program houses on campus, whose fees are as high as $100 per resident with many more residents.
In addition, Mews Residence Hall Director Taylor Bouraad said that long standing program houses often receive perks and donations from alumni and the University, which the Loving House, in its first year, does not.
“I hope that Loving House that can become a space that is more unique from other dorms. Right now, the walls and furniture are very similar to the rest of Mews Hall, and I hope that we can use the money to turn it into something that shows … our strong sense of community,” said current resident Laura Nawrocki ’23.
Located in Mews Hall on North Campus, the Loving House was first launched this year after years of advocacy from vocal LGBTQ leaders on campus.
As of publication, the Loving House fundraiser has raised a little over $2,000, almost halfway to its goal. So far, its top supporter has been the Cornell University Gay and Lesbian Alumni Association, according to Bouraad.
“Having a budget to furnish the space and to do programming will help in its mission. As a senior, the build-up to Loving House’s opening has been a large part of my college experience,” said Ian Wallace ’20.
Now, the Loving House “is a space of inclusivity that aims to provide students with a comfortable living environment to connect and bond over shared experiences through community-building activities and events,” according to the crowdfunding page.
“Part of the organizing process was bounce ideas off of each other on what things Loving House needs as a space, how we want to make the request to people and how we want to show our appreciation,” said Wallace.
Bouraad explained that student residents have been hard at work on creating a wishlist and reaching out to potential donors. Students also helped organize the filming and creation of promotional video for the campaign.
Those who would like to donate can visit the crowdfunding website until December 4, 2019.