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Provenance: Gift of the Southeast Rainbow Alliance 
Restrictions: Personal information has been redacted from certain parts of the collection.
 
Citation: Southeast Rainbow Alliance Collection, Special Collections and Archives, Southeast Missouri State University. 
 
Historical Note 
 
The Gay and Lesbian Student Association (GLSA) began as a support group through the Newman Center, a Catholic campus organization.  Initially, GLSA struggled to become a legitimate, university-recognized organization and in particular, attempted to receive funding through the student government.   During the spring semester of 1986 the university officially recognized the organization, though problems with funding would persist into the next school year.  In 1992 the organizations name was changed to the Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Association (GLBA).  In 1995, GLBA was defunct, and it was almost two years before another gay and lesbian organization appeared on campus.  During this period the Center for Health and Counseling attempted to compensate by holding a gay and lesbian support group.  Those students involved in the support group helped form the Lambda Student Union (LSU) in 1996.  By 2001 the name had changed to Southeast Rainbow Alliance[1]

These Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) organizations have accomplished much, especially in light of the large amount of opposition.  When the first organization formed in the mid-1980s, there was substantial opposition from both the campus community and the general Cape Girardeau community.  The opposition continued through the 1990s with harassment in the form of hate mail and destruction of property.  Even with these obstacles, some form of a GLBT organization continued to exist and function on campus.  They have sponsored and/or organized campus events including the NAMES Project, Gay and Lesbian Awareness Week, National Coming Out Day, and Get Smart Week.  The most current GLBT organization, Southeast Rainbow Alliance, continues to function as a formal, university recognized organization which supports the GLBT students and educates the community on GLBT issues.
 
Scope and Content 
 
The collection contains six scrapbooks.  The material found in this collection deals directly with the formation and operation of GLBT student organizations on campus starting with the GLSA in 1986.  The material also addresses national and local GLBT issues.  The collection contains many forms of publications including flyers, pamphlets, forms, website page printout and newspaper clippings.  The collection also contains private papers including correspondence, call logs, and organizational notes and agendas.  Some material has been restricted or redacted to protect the privacy of people mentioned therein.  
 

[1] Lambda Student Union History, Scrapbook 4, Southeast Rainbow Alliance Collection, 1822/11,  Special Collections and Archives, Southeast Missouri State University

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