Special Collections and Archives recently received organizational records of the Cal Poly Pride Center and the collection is available for research!
The Records of the Cal Poly Pride Center (UA0081) includes six boxes of records dating from the 1970s – 2010s, created and collected by the staff and students of the Cal Poly Pride Center and transferred to the University Archives in 2018. The collection has been proccessed by the archives staff and is now available for research.
About the Gay Student Union
The year 1972 marks the first documented effort by Cal Poly students to develop a officially-recognized LGBT organizational presence on campus. Students began the process of applying for the Gay Student Union (GSU) in 1972, but faced resistance from campus administration and other campus constituents as well as from the public. The GSU spent five years fighting a court battle that ultimately involved the California State Attorney General. The GSU was granted official recognition as a student organization by the University and by the Associated Students, Inc. in 1976.
The Gay Student Union was a membership organization developed to provide a forum for the study of “homosexuality on campus and community level.” The organization provided a forum for discussion and intellectual development for the gay community and the campus as a whole. Despite initial resistance to the organization, many community members and organizations on and off campus were in support of the GSU including local churches and CSU students, professors, and staff.
Scope of the Pride Center collection
The Pride Center collection dates from 1972-2018 and includes documents related to the development and activities of the Gay Student Union; the Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Union; and the present-day Pride Center. Formats of materials in the collection includes bylaws, minutes, surveys, event announcements, and correspondence. There are also records documenting the opposition to the formation of the GSU from campus administration and ASI (Associated Students, Inc.) and documentation of authorization of the GSU, scrapbooks, and a letter of support from President Bill Clinton.
The collection includes documentation of GSU members work to oppose legislation denying rights on the basis of sexual orientation, records documenting their activism on campus, and campus flyers for events such as National Coming Out Day, human rights, and LGBTQIA and gay rights activism.
Learn more about the collection at the collection guide: https://oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/c8tb1dcp/
See items digitized from the collection here: https://digital.lib.calpoly.edu/rekl-ua0081
Related collections include:
- UA0088 Records of the Pride Faculty Staff Association
- UA0184 LGBTQIA Oral History Project
- MS0203 Records of the Central Coast Queer Archive Project
- UA0003 Student Newspaper and Periodicals