CyberCenter provides LGBT students a safe, nonjudgmental space
By on April 10, 2014
Toi Thibodeaux, program coordinator in the LGBT Resource Center, looks at the new signage on the David Bohnett Foundation Cyber Center at UC Riverside. Photo courtesy LGBT Resource Center
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A grant from the David Bohnett Foundation will allow the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center at the University of California, Riverside to continue to offer LGBT students a safe place to do research and academic work, student group projects, job searches and social networking.
A grand re-opening celebration for the David Bohnett CyberCenter, located within the LGBT Resource Center in Costo Hall, was held on Wednesday, April 9, 2014. Paul Moore, program officer for the David Bohnett Foundation, was in attendance to present the grant, which includes six new iMac computers, a printer and a scanner. The machines feature the Microsoft Office Suite of programs, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and feature Adobe Desktop Publishing software.
LGBT Resource Center Director Nancy Tubbs (left) and Program Coordinator Toi Thibodeaux (right) chat with David Bohnett Foundation representative Paul Moore (center). Photo courtesy LGBT Resource Center
“Since the UCR CyberCenter opened in 2006, it has become more than a resource. It is really an integral part of UC Riverside’s LGBT community spaces,” said LGBT Resource Center Director Nancy Tubbs. “Many students, including those who are not out to their families or fellow students, are very careful about people seeing their internet history. They can be uncomfortable writing papers on LGBT issues or doing research on the subject. The CyberCenter provides a safe place for students to access the internet and it is great outreach for students who take advantage of printer access and other resources.”
“To me, the cyber center establishes a portal to which some students can access their educational material in situations where they are unable to do so,” said Vincent La, a second year medical school student. “It allows them to get their class notes, study guides, and other resources in a nonjudgmental space.”
The computer lab includes six new iMac computers, a printer and a scanner. Photo courtesy of LGBT Resource Center
There are currently a total of 60 active CyberCenters funded nationwide, including locations in Tulsa, Orlando, Salt Lake City, Dallas, Tucson, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City. Each is equipped with five to ten computer stations loaded with a broad range of updated programs and software for business and personal computing. Computer access is always free and training on job searching, best internet practices and online security is readily available.
The Bohnett Foundation is providing grants totaling $500,000 to support and refresh the centers, providing brand new, state-of-the-art equipment. This year, the Foundation is funding refresh grants to 29 locations throughout the country. To date, the foundation has provided nearly $54 million in grants in a variety of funding areas.