Safe Spaces

This is a Mount Holyoke News clip in which students from multiple lesbian and bisexual organizations asked for a cultural house. After their requests were denied multiple times over several years, students protested. The students’ protest began in the wake of President Creighton’s Plan for 2003, which, among other things, stated that there were no plans for additional cultural houses.

On the first day of the protest, students listed 11 demands, only several of which were met. One of the unmet demands were the creation of cultural houses, so students took to the streets, or rather, the lawn of President Creighton’s house and the gates in front of Mary Lyon Hall. After several days of protests, students felt that their voices were still unheard, and they decided to occupy Mary Lyon Hall. Although President Creighton announced that she would suspend any and all students involved in the building takeover, she later revoked that statement. In response to the takeover, the students were granted an LGBTQ house, built in 1999. This house is called the Marks House, dedicated to Jeannette Marks, President Mary Woolley’s longtime partner and a professor of English Literature at Mount Holyoke.

By Chloe Jensen