Who We Are

The Office of LGBTQ Student Life was established in 2008. Since that time we have grown significantly. The office and it's programs are manged by staff and a team of students serving on the LGBTQ Student Life Advisory Board and as QGroup Leaders.

Fast Facts

  • The Office of LGBTQ Student Life hosts over 60 programs a year.
  • There are over 100 individual QGroup meetings a year.
  • Over 2,000 participants a year attend Office of LGBTQ Student Life events.
  • The Office of LGBTQ has partnered with over 40 organizations.
  • The student advisory board has had members from every profressional school in the University.
  • The Office of LGBTQ Student Life hosted the largest event at 5710, a lecture by Christopher Ryan, that was attended by 180 people.
  • The University of Chicago was listed as one of the top 25 LGBT-friendly campuses by Newsweek in 2010.
  • In 2012, the University of Chicago became the first university in Chicago to receive a perfect 5 Star rating from the LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index.

Office of LGBTQ Student Life Mission

The Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Student Life is the hub for all LGBTQ student life at The University of Chicago. The Office serves LGBTQ students, questioning students, and allies in the College and graduate and professional schools, while recognizing multiple and intersecting identities, in order to create an inclusive and safe community. The Office provides educational, social, and professional opportunities and resources for all students in the university.


1969: Students found the University of Chicago Gay Liberation Front, the City of Chicago's first gay liberation organization.

1984: OutLaw, the organization for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and allied law students at the University of Chicago Law School, is founded.


1991: The University of Chicago hires George Chauncey, becoming the second university in the country to offer a tenure-track position to someone with a gay history thesis.

1992: The University of Chicago becomes one of the first schools to offer domestic partnership benefits to gay and lesbian couples.

1996: The Center for Gender Studies is established.

1997: Led by George Chauncey and Elizabeth Povinelli, the Center for Gender Studies founds the Lesbian and Gay Studies Project.

1998: The University of Chicago adds sexual orientation to its non-discrimination policy.


2001: Kathy Forde and Jim Howley establish the LGBTQ Mentoring Program.

2004: The University of Chicago creates the LGBTQ programming internship position.

2006: The University of Chicago adds gender identity to its non-discrimination policy.

2006: The University of Chicago hosts the swimming and martial arts competitions of the 2006 Gay Games.

2008: 5710 S. Woodlawn opens with offices for the Office of LGBTQ Student Life  and the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, as well as a new LGBTQ Lounge.

2008: Office of LGBTQ Student Life is established. Jeffrey Howard is hired as the founding Director for the Office of LGBTQ Student Life.

2008: The University of Chicago adopts the gender-neutral Open Housing policy.

2009: The LGBT Alumni Network for the University is established.


2013: The University launches the Preferred Name Policy, allowing students to choose their preferred name to be used on Chalk, Grade Rosters, Class Rosters, and the Online Directory.

2014: LGBTQ Student Life begins offering the Safe Space program, creating an ally development training for university community members.