Gay and Lesbian Student Groups Struggle to Serve Campus in the 1980s
The Midwestern college gay and lesbian student organizations faced a number of transitions in the 1980s, including increasing campus protections and status of non-heterosexuals. Challenges from the administration to such changes were substantial and pervasive; as students graduated, successive cohorts often raised the same issues and demands, usually centered on equity of access to campus programs, including Reserve Officer Training Corps. Over the decade, the organizations institutionalized the services they provided to their campuses, and responded to increased, organized resistance—and violence—from other students. At stake were the organizations’ claims of minority status on campus akin to racial minority status. Universities analyzed include the University of Illinois, University of Michigan, Ohio State University, University of Iowa, and University of Kansas.