Julie Weber, director of campus housing, received this year’s LGBT Ally Award from UofL’s LGBT Center. She was chosen unanimously from nominations submitted by students, faculty, staff and alumni.
“There is probably no other aspect of college life that has a great impact on LGBTQ students than housing and residence life — where we live, who we live with and how we feel about the place we come home to each day makes all the difference in the world,” said Brian Buford, assistant provost for Diversity and executive director of the LGBT Center. “Our staff is the best in the country, bar none. I have seen the care and love they put into every room assignment and into training every RA and that all comes from a great leader in Julie Weber.”
Buford added that under Weber’s leadership:
- The housing team provides one-on-one support and guidance to transgender students to make sure they are assigned rooms and roommates where they can flourish and feel safe.
- Our Bayard Rustin Themed Housing Community has grown in size and prominence, thanks to Weber’s dedication to making sure students have opportunities like this.
- RAs and RDs receive great training on being allies and regularly host LGBT-themed floor meetings and workshops to send a message of inclusion. They do a great job of asking residents about their preferred names and pronouns, and creating a climate of trust.
Buford also shared a personal story about Weber, outside of her work with campus housing.
“Our students have been raising awareness for several years about the FDA ban on gay men giving blood. After the Orlando Pulse Night Club tragedy last year, Julie and her team hosted a blood drive for the victims and as always, we invited people to give in honor of someone who could not because of the ban,” Buford said. “I had loved seeing people do this over the years because it’s the kind of activism that I love most, but nobody had ever given for me. Julie called me and said, ‘Look I hate giving blood, but I want to give for you and I will do it if you will sit with me and help me through it.'”
“We believe very strongly in all of our students being as important as one another, and providing great service to each and every student that lives on campus is what matters to us,” Weber said, acknowledging her staff that is “so firmly committed to treating our students fairly and equitably and with the highest service that they can.”
Watch Weber’s acceptance speech below: