For the first time since Hurricane Katrina, LGBT students at Tulane University will have an office within the Division of Student Affairs exclusively tasked with making sure there are appropriate resources and programming for that student population. The commitment is underscored by the appointment of a new director, Red Tremmel.
Red Tremmel is the director of the newly minted Office for Gender and Sexual Diversity. (Photo by Cheryl Gerber)
Tremmel’s first order of business was to change the name of the office from LGBTQ Student Life to the Office for Gender and Sexual Diversity. He says the new name more accurately reflects the students the office intends to serve and future-proofs the office for the continuing shifts he sees in the gender and sexual communities.
“These communities are changing and redefining themselves all the time,” Tremmel says. “Based on that trajectory, we can anticipate that we’ll have more gender identities and sexual cultures in the future, so we’re prepared for any new student.”
Before his appointment, Tremmel was a visiting professor in the history department and the gender and sexuality studies program
. He says his goal is to make the office a resource hub for a student population that has grown significantly in the last five years according to faculty, administrators and students with whom he's spoken.
“More and more students that are arriving on campus ‘out,’” Tremmel says. “They have organizations in their high schools and they’re ready to be plugged in when they get here.”
Tremmel says he’s excited about his new position because the office will make “a significant difference in the lives of these students.” He sees the office as an affirmation for students that the administration is listening to their requests for resources tailor-made to their needs.
“I think it makes a big difference to see that the administration sees them as a valuable part of the community,” Tremmel says. “I think that goes a long way.”