LBGTQIA+ University Caucus with pride colors

lBGTQIA+ University Caucus Mission

The mission of the LGBTQIA+ University Caucus is to promote the equity, empowerment, and success of LGBTQIA+ students, faculty, and staff by fostering a safe campus environment; developing, suggesting,and supporting inclusive policies and curriculum; supporting LGBTQIA+ recruitment and retention initiatives; and promoting social and educational opportunities to meaningfully engage with the University community.

The Caucus will make recommendations to appropriate channels with the University when concerns arise regarding these areas. These functions are in keeping with and enhancing the mission of West Chester University.

If you are interested in joining the LGBTQIA+ Caucus, please email

Caucus Membership, 2022-2023

Name Department Role
Liam Oliver Lair (he/him) Associate Professor, Women’s and Gender Studies Faculty Co-Chair
Beth Shearn (she/her) Program Coordinator, Graduate Social Work Staff Co-Chair
Karen Dickinson (she/her) Professor, Department of Counselor Education Member
Summer Davey (she/her) Assistant Director of Admissions and International Outreach Member
Justin Sprague (he/him) Assistant Professor, Women’s and Gender Studies Member
Julie Tennille (she/her) Associate Professor, Graduate Social Work Member
Jen Bacon (she/her) Dean, College of Arts and Humanities Member
Orkideh Mohajeri (she/her) Assistant Professor, Educational Foundations & Policy Studies Member
Meg Panichelli (she/her) Assistant Professor, Undergraduate Social Work Member
Meredith Foster (she/her) Technology Generalist, Francis Harvey Green Library Member
Jason Vanfosson (he/him) Assistant Professor, English Member
Jackie Hodes (she/her) Professor, Educational Foundations & Policy Studies Member
Meg Hazel (she/her) Assistant Director, Equal Opportunity and Title IX Investigator, Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Member
Pier Cicerelle (she/her) Assistant Professor, Graduate Social Work Member
Lesley Siegel (she/her) Assistant Professor, Special Education Member
Brie Radis (she/her) Assistant Professor, Undergraduate Social Work Member
Tess Benser (they/them) Assistant Director of Outreach & Engagement, Center for Women & Gender Equity Member
Meg Hoffer-Collins (they/them) Instructor/Psychologist, Department of Counseling & Psychological Services Member
Jenna Bossert (they/she) Special Collections Technician at University Libraries Member
Jason A. Bartles (he/him) Associate Professor, Department of Language and Cultures Member
Carolyn Sorisio (she/they) Professor, English Member
Peter Loedel (he/him) Professor, Political Science Member
Leigh Robinson (he/him) Assistant Director of Data Administration, College of Education & Social Work, Assessment Office Member
David Thomas (he/him) Director and Assistant Professor, Office of Educational Accessibility Member
Nicholas Provenzale (he/him) Assistant Professor, Voice & Opera Studies Member
Michelle Gherardi (she/her) Adjunct Professor, Graduate Public Policy and Administration Member
Clayton Kolb (he/him) Director, Sykes Union and Student Activities Member
Beth Foster (she/her) Associate Professor, Adapted Physical Activity Member
Michele Cooper (she/her) Clinician in the Counseling Center Member
Amanda Thomas (she/her) Executive Director for Assessment and Planning Member
Thomas Kwiatkowski (he/him) Professor in Biochemistry Member
Jackie Owens (she/her) Assistant Professor, Nursing Member
Chrissy Riccardo (she/her) Assistant Professor, Nutrition Member
Jeremiah Daudert (he/him/they) Foreman, Project Work Force Member
Kelly Fisher (she/her) Associate Faculty, Human Rights Management Member
Sarah Hyson (she/her) Adjunct Faculty, English Member
Melissa Cichowicz (she/her) Assistant Department Chair, Chemistry Member
Tina Alessandria (she/her) Professor, Counselor Education Member
Kim Johnson (she/her) Associate Professor, Mathematics Member
Kelsey Organ (she/her) Associate Director of Candidate Services, College of Education & Social Work Member
Elizabeth Grillo (she/her) Professor, Communication Sciences and Disorders Member
Katrina Kelly (she/her) Assistant Director of Financial Aid Member
Lydia Lynes (she/her) Area Coordinator, Residence Life Member
Frank Stern (he/him) Student Success Coordinator, Registrar's Office Member
Jules Walls (they/them) Assistant to the Associate Dean, College of Arts & Humanities Member
Dean Johnson (he/him) Professor of Philosophy/Director of Peace & Conflict Studies Member
Nick Snyder (he/him) Assistant Director, Graduate School Admissions Member
Sam Brooks (they/them) Adjunct Professor, Women's & Gender Studies Member
Ari Sussman (he/him) Adjunct Professor, Music Theory & Composition Member
Kate Stewart (she/Her) Professor, Art + Design Member
Michael Hill (he/him) Adjunct Faculty, Communication and Media Member
Rebecca Grisillo (she/her) Assistant Dean/Budget Manager, College of Sciences & Mathematics Member
Alex Reed (they/them)   Member
Karin Gedge (she/her) Professor, Secondary Social Studies Member
Nicole Bobbert (she/her) Manager, Accounts Payable Member
Jordan Stokes (he/him) Assistant Professor, Music Theory, History, & Composition Member
Dave Barry (he/him) Assistant Professor, Early Childhood Education Member
Megan Schoettler (she/her) Assistant Professor, English Member
Shannon McCabe (she/her) Senior Accountant, WCU Foundation Member
Barrett McGee (he/him) Associate Director of Student Activities Member
Reva Zimmerman (she/her) Associate Professor, Communication Sciences & Disorders Member
Ryan Monaghan (he/him) Adjunct Faculty, Literacy Department Member

We also recognize the members of the LGBTQIA+ University Caucus that do not wish to be publicly recognized on the website. Their contributions to the efforts of the Caucus do not go unacknowledged and we are grateful for their support.

Caucus Bylaws

To view a copy of the Caucus bylaws, click here .

Upcoming Events

Please check back for upcoming events. 

1st Amendment FAQs

Why This Is Here

Sometimes we have uninvited guests on our campus. We call these groups “uninvited guests” because they do not share the university’s values and because we do not want to give groups like this any more public recognition than necessary. Some of these groups are not here to engage in dialogue or make a genuine effort to affect change. Instead, they create conflict and sow division within our community. We encourage you to avoid engaging with them if you pass by them on the quad, or avoid those areas of campus altogether. 


1st Amendment FAQ

Created by Dr. Chris Stangl

Updated October 24, 2019


Why are uninvited guests permitted to show up on campus and present whatever message they choose to?

As a public school, a sizable part of the West Chester campus is considered a “public forum,” or space “devoted to assembly and debate.”


Wait, so these groups can show up pretty much anywhere on campus and do what they do?

Not entirely. There are three levels to public forum doctrine: 1) public forum, 2) limited public forum, and 3) nonpublic forum. While these legal concepts are quite complex, for purposes of the kinds of issues we have been addressing, it is sufficient to note that any open area or sidewalk on campus is likely a public forum. Basically, if a resident of the borough can walk their dog there, it’s probably a public forum, and individuals or groups are permitted to express their own views in such areas.


But West Chester has a Values Statement.

We do. However, the Values Statement cannot violate the First Amendment, which means that, when it comes to a public forum, West Chester must observe the principle of viewpoint neutrality. This means that WCU cannot pick and choose what perspectives it permits to be expressed on any topic of debate and which it does not. [In limited circumstances, WCU could restrict expression on all viewpoints on a general area of content, but this is subject to a very stringent test that would be almost impossible to be meet in situations when uninvited guests appear on the quad.]


So there are no regulations? Anything goes?

The classic regulations permitted are those of time, place, and manner. However, the middle of the day is clearly a reasonable time for expression and the quad is clearly reasonable place for expression, so that leaves only manner. Regulations on “manner” are permissible, but this does not mean that WCU may prohibit language it views as rude or inflammatory, or prohibit the use of large posters, each of which would likely run afoul of viewpoint neutrality requirements. A reasonable manner restriction means something like prohibition of bullhorns, microphones, speakers, etc.


What about “fighting words” though?

Fighting words is a category of speech that is not afforded First Amendment protection. However, the definition of fighting words—words that cause harm by merely being stated or that are tantamount to incitement of a breach of the peace—is very limited and has been defined almost out of existence by subsequent Supreme Court decisions. These decisions have regularly found speech restrictions to violate the First Amendment for reasons of vagueness (a reasonable person couldn’t tell what speech is allowed and what speech isn’t), overbreadth (even if a regulation is permitted in a particular case, it is written in such a way that it may be unconstitutional if applied to a different party and/or it covers substantially more expression than it needs to), or both.



If you have experience harassment or discrimination based on who are, you can submit a report to the Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion. Additionally, if you ever want to touch base with a caucus member, please reach out to any one of us for support. 


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