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LGBTA Center to host town-hall meeting

Members of the Athens lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community will gather at the Multicultural Center on Monday to discuss their stances on hiring a new director for the LGBTA Center.

Susanne Dietzel, interim director of the LGBTA Center, in conjunction with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, are holding the town-hall meeting to gather input from those who are involved in the center, including students, faculty and community members.

“The meeting is designed to solicit feedback about finding the new director and the future of the center and provide opportunity for people to have input in the search,” Dietzel said. “This will help us shape the future of the center. It’s very important to accurately portray the center to potential candidates.”

The town-hall meeting marks the beginning of a search to replace Mickey Hart, who left in August after 11 years as director. He accepted a position as director of residence life at Columbus College of Art and Design.

“Honestly, I hope the new director possesses the qualities of Mickey Hart,” said David Descutner, interim vice provost for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. “Someone who is extremely dedicated within the LGBT community, someone who will look at blending the academic and student side as well.”

Following the town-hall meeting, the search committee will create a job posting and begin its nationwide search for the new candidate. Dietzel said that, depending on the pool of applicants, they’re hoping to have an ad out by Oct. 1 and have a new director in place by Jan. 1.

“We have a very ambitious timeline,” Dietzel said. “But the search has not started; we’re in the very beginnings.”

Because the search is beginning so soon, the LGBTA Center staff urges those in the community to participate in the meeting.

“The search for a new LGBT Center director is on, and we want your help in finding the perfect person for the position,” said Sarah Lilly, a sophomore studying sociology and a staff member at the center.

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