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‘Glow Up’ & Growth: 1973 Center Expands to Serve More Students    

March 31, 2021


Two students utilize one of the multiple new gathering areas in the 1973 Center, the inclusive gathering space and community area for LGBTQ+ and underrepresented student groups located inside Hullabaloo Hall.

By Andréa Bolt, Communications Specialist, Division of Marketing & Communications

After 2020, a makeover doesn’t sound like a bad idea. 

Assistant Director of Student Diversity Initiatives Danny Roe ‘13 wholeheartedly agreed and recently completed a sizable update, both internal and external, of the campus’ 1973 Center, the inclusive gathering space and community area for LGBTQ+ and underrepresented student groups located inside Hullabaloo Hall.

The center, a longtime vision of Roe’s, finally looks and feels the way he always dreamed it would. Though officially opened for student use in November, Roe has been working to perfect the area in response to user feedback. 

The key words are inviting and community, says Roe. 

“Each area is more fully fleshed out now. We were very intentional about how the spaces were set up. What would a space that is supposed to facilitate community learning look like? That’s what drove us,” he explained. 

The lounge area, full of inclusive games, activities and art, has been expanded to include a sizable sectional couch and even cushy bean bag chairs. 

New couches and plethora of pillows fill the 1973 Center's lounge area.
New couches and a plethora of pillows fill the 1973 Center's lounge area.

“The kitchen is already inviting because food is so based around creating community, but even the bar stools are intentional because they’re activity stools,” Roe says in reference to the wobble-based high chairs positioned near the coffee pot. 

The dry-erase board tables across from the kitchen and featured in the adjacent meeting room also serve to facilitate gathering and engagement. 

Even the lighting and room scents are intentional. Students who suffer from sensory sensitivity can study in peace. Aromatherapy-influenced smells permeate the area to induce relaxation and further facilitate calm. The music in the lounge is all about maintaining “a very chill vibe,” according to Roe. 

“So often we see these populations of students who are international, or those who represent different ethnicities or sexual orientations, and these students who might not feel as welcome or struggle to find a sense of belonging. We’re trying to create that community, that sense of belonging for all here, that’s the goal.” 

Meaningful art depicting LGBTQ+ and Civil Rights trailblazers decorate the space, promoting a sense of belonging, representation and inspiration.
Meaningful art depicting LGBTQ+ and Civil Rights trailblazers decorates the space, promoting a sense of belonging, representation and inspiration.

Roe, whose office is right down the hall from the center, says it makes him smile to see students leaving messages, drawing things, and writing out chemistry compound formulas on the dry-erase boards and tables. 

“We’re already seeing community happen,” he states. 

When he got the green light for the center, Roe said he was more focused on getting the space up and running, as well as relocating the Office of Student Diversity Initiatives. 

“We put out a call for any and all old or unused furniture anyone had, and we were extremely grateful for anything we could get, but we had more needs, and we planned for something more modern and inviting for this younger group of students. We needed things they were going to want to use and find appealing, not a big, bulky wooden conference table from the 1980s,” he said with a laugh.

Six months later, that mission is accomplished in regard to furnishings, and faculty, too. 

Faculty Fellows

Roe is glad to welcome new Diversity Education Specialist Malik Hollingsworth to the Student Diversity Initiatives team, along with two new faculty fellows to the center. 

In partnership with the Galveston Campus’ Civic Literacy, Inclusion, Diversity & Equity Committee (CLIDE) and its chair, Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of English Dr. Carol Bunch Davis, Roe has worked to find faculty fellows for the center.

Those inaugural fellows are Department of Marine Biology Instructional Assistant Professor Dr. Jaime Steichen and the Department of Maritime Transportation’s Assistant Professor of the Practice and Captain Daniel Askins

Roe says Faulty Fellows are put in place to connect students utilizing the center with faculty who are committed to IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access) programming in their academic work and respective campus areas. 

Askins and Roe are currently working together on initiatives to increase cultural awareness within the Texas A&M Maritime Academy’s Corps of Cadets. Steichen and Roe have similarly partnered to target a different student population.

“By becoming a faculty fellow at the 1973 Center and being actively involved with the Anti-Racism Allyship group, I am continually learning how I can be a better advocate for underrepresented and minority students, faculty and staff,” said Steichen. “I am working to provide a more inclusive environment in my classroom so that all of my students are provided the tools and support they need to succeed in their degree and beyond after they leave the university.”

When two Aggie by the Sea students tragically died in January of this year, Steichen utilized the 1973 Center kitchen to bake cookies for her students and provide a safe, open environment for them to talk about their feelings and experiences related to these losses and others they may have personally endured. 

“That’s the goal right there,” explains Roe. “That’s what we’re here for, to be a place of shelter, understanding, belonging, and I’ll say it again, community, just now with more chairs.”

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Media contact:
Andréa Bolt
Communications Specialist
a_bolt@tamug.edu



Texas A&M University at Galveston is an ocean-oriented branch campus of Texas A&M University which educates nearly 2,300 undergraduate and graduate students in a unique blend of marine and maritime programs, including majors in science, business, engineering, liberal arts, and transportation. It is driving the development of the blue economy in the Gulf Coast Region and is a critical contributor to Texas A&M’s sea-grant portion of Texas A&M’s rare land-, sea-, space-grant mission with nearly $10 million in research expenditures.
 
Texas A&M-Galveston is also home to the Texas A&M Maritime Academy, one of seven in the U.S. and the only academy integrated into a Tier 1 academic institution, which trains over 400 cadets annually for maritime service and employment around the world. Texas A&M-Galveston is ideally located in Galveston, Texas on the Gulf Coast where is it surrounded by the industry, environment and programs essential to fulfilling its special-purpose mission. Aggies are known for their deep commitment to the success of each other and their strong desire to serve.

If you are interested in supporting this endeavor or research, please contact the Texas A&M University at Galveston Office of Development by email at GiveToSeaAggies@txamfoundation.com or by calling (409) 740-4481.