The QRC began in Fall 2011 and has since been a major institution here at Lewis & Clark. While it first started holding office hours in Templeton in 2011, the QRC first came to life in a small double in lower Spruce a year earlier. Kerry White, the founder of the QRC, was meeting with Gabe Montes de Oca and Maisha Foster O’Neil who were both Seniors and highly involved in Unisex at the time. Both were great examples of what it means to be a strong advocate for the Queer community. This meeting had one main question: Why was there no space dedicated to giving support to the Queer community? From this question they started talking long into the night about what that support would look like. And from that conversation the QRC was born.
Kerry met with Tricia Brand, David Rosengard, Kelly Hoover, Charlie Alqueist and Jon Stewart. By the end of that first semester, the QRC had a budget, it had a mission statement and it had a purpose but it still didn’t have a staff to run it. That summer Kerry asked everyone he knew to be a peer counselor and was able to find 8 incredible counselors that were so passionate. The first QRC staff consisted of Faolán Thompson, Mel Sweet, Erin Ruprecht, Kyle Yoshioka, Matthew Sims, Gus Wolff, Josh Francis, Allison Crowley, and Kerry White. It wasn’t an easy year, they were operating out of a conference room in Templeton, and they had few peers come for counseling, but it was a miraculous year because they pushed through and established the QRC as a legitimate service on campus. One could start to hear people reference the QRC, at ASLC senate meetings, in the hallways of Howard, and at the Bon.
Since that first year, the QRC has continued to become an established resource on campus and has continued to expand the ways that it advocates for the community. In 2013, the QRC and Associated Students at Lewis & Clark partnered to create the Queer Community Representative (QCR). The QCR, as a voting member of the ASLC Senate, represents a new way to move forward on queer issues on campus. Also in 2013, the QRC created the Faolán M. Thompson Award, an award given to a member of the QRC who has dedicated their time here at Lewis and Clark to represent, advocate for, and support the queer community, to someone that has provided an extraordinary service to the QRC, and to somebody whose mark on the QRC, the queer community, and Lewis & Clark should never be forgotten. The Faolán M. Thompson award was created in recognition of the fact that the QRC is a representation of all of the incredible work that has been done by all of the members of the QRC and the peer counselors.