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In a valley with few resources for LGBTQ Utahns, a key center closes its doors

Utah State University's Old Main building, shown in 2023. The Logan school has closed its Inclusion Center in the wake of the state's new anti-DEI law.
Francisco Kjolseth
/
The Salt Lake Tribune
Utah State University's Old Main building, shown in 2023. The Logan school has closed its Inclusion Center in the wake of the state's new anti-DEI law.

It joins a growing list of casualties under the state’s new anti-DEI law.

For Samson Calderon Diltz, a queer person of color, Utah State University’s Inclusion Center proved influential in his decision to attend the Logan school. Moving from a town where white people were the minority, the center appeared to offer a crucial safe space.

And it did. Until Monday.

That’s when the center permanently closed in response to a recent Utah law barring diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in the state’s public schools and colleges.

Now, Diltz is unsure where he will turn for support.

“I don’t know where I fit in on this campus, and I don’t think that they care about that,” he said. “They don’t want me to fit in. They want me to get in and get out of here. I’m sure that they’d love to offer to put me on some of their posters, but that’s just about it.”

The center is one of few LGBTQ+ spaces available in Logan. The city’s other options are off campus and less accessible to students.

University President Elizabeth Cantwell recently announced a restructuring in response to the new law,HB261, but details on how the center’s programs will be altered and handled were scarce. Even Inclusion Center staffers are unsure about the future. All that’s clear is that everything once managed by the center has been redistributed — without a dedicated space.

Before the closure, the Inclusion Center provided support groups for students of color and programs for LGBTQ+ students. Those responsibilities now will be managed by Academic Enterprise, and clubs will move to the Student Involvement and Leadership Center.

Cultural celebrations will be overseen by a newly established Center for the Study of Community.

Read the full story at sltrib.com.

This article is published through the Utah News Collaborative, a partnership of news organizations in Utah that aims to inform readers across the state.