Commission on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues

  • LGBT FlagCreated in 1998, the University Commission on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) Issues is an advisory group to the Office of Social Equity and the president.

    The purpose of the commission is to improve the climate for diversity within IUP, and to specifically address issues affecting the welfare of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender members of the university community.

    The commission supports multiple campus programs and groups, including:

    • Annual LGBTQIA Film Festival
    • Annual Visibility Day
    • Chalk-on-the-Walk Sidewalk Commentary
    • Lavender Graduation
    • PASSHE Consortium
    • Pride Alliance
    • Safe Zone
    • Six O’Clock Series

    Read the LGBTQIA Advocacy Brochure (pdf).

    The Safe Zone Program improves the visibility of—and support for—LGBTQIA students.

    Safe Zone Orientations take place in two required parts each semester. A completed “Membership Application” is required as registration. Please refer to the Safe Zone site. For further information, please contact Rita Drapkin at 724-357-2621 or

    Interested in a minor in LGBTQ Studies at IUP?

    LGBTQ Studies is an interdisciplinary minor housed in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences that provides students the opportunity to critically examine diversity in sexual and gender identities. The minor is designed to supplement all majors in the university and provides valuable preparation for careers in all fields, including business, criminal justice, education, health care, human services, and the military.

    Lavender Graduation 

    The seventh annual celebration of IUP’s LGBTQIA community and ally graduates will be held on Friday, April 21, 2017, from 3:15 to 5:30 p.m. in Breezedale. The university community and family and friends are invited to attend the graduation. Graduating students can request to participate by contacting the LGBTQIA Advocacy Office and Tedd Cogar at or Vicky Nalbone at Download (pdf) the 2017 Lavender Graduation Application.

    Preferred First Name Policy

    IUP has established a policy that allows students, faculty, staff, and alumni to indicate their preferred first names to the university community, even if they have not legally changed their first names.  Read the policy, FAQs, and obtain a request form through the Office of Social Equity Preferred First Name Policy page.


    For LGBTQIA and other related events, please also refer to the IUP Diversity Calendar.

    For further information about LGBTQIA initiatives at IUP, please contact:

    Tedd Cogar, assistant director of Student Conduct and LGBTQIA Advocacy, 724-357-1264 or

    Shelly Bouchat, assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics, 724-357-2605 or