Once a month, people from every corner of campus convene at the NYU LGBTQ+ Center to talk over lunch. “At each Quench we focus on a topic related to resources and community building for LGBTQ+ students and other folks on campus,” says Consi Faling. They are the student coordinator for the series, and they found many of their closest friends through activities at the Center. “Our hope is for Quench to be a place where students can connect with each other.”
And while the series is generally aimed at students, anyone can attend. “We also welcome all members of the NYU community and folks of all genders and sexualities,” Consi explains. And don’t worry if you’re not an expert on any month’s topic. If you’re interested, just show up. “There’s no preparation necessary,” Consi emphasizes. “Quench is simply a space to meet folks and learn. It would be amazing if people could just come with an open mind and heart and a readiness to learn!”
What’s on the Agenda?
Everything from the LGBTQ+ study abroad experience and queering faith to trans activism and reproductive justice is up for discussion. But this year, the very first session was one of the most valuable ones. “We discussed the resources available both within the NYU and broader New York City communities. We invited NYU LGBTQ+ club leaders to speak about the resources they find most helpful, both in terms of leading their clubs and their own personal experiences,” explains Consi. “And we spent time talking about our experiences of being queer/trans in New York City as well as shared wisdom about how folks take care of themselves and their communities as queer/trans people.” Queer self-care is a recurring theme throughout the year, and when it’s time for finals, Quench often hosts a special de-stressing session that includes meditation and tea-making.
Quench surfaces intersectional issues within LGBTQ+ communities and gives people the knowledge and tools to advocate for themselves and others. It also creates a space for students to ask questions and discuss experiences related to their LGBTQ+ identities, and it helps them create a community where they can find support and understanding. For Consi, resources like Quench have had a formative influence on their NYU experience. “NYU is a big school, and seeking out spaces like the NYU LGBTQ+ Center and trying out different clubs where I could meet people who share similar beliefs and interests helped me find a community,” says Consi. “It took a lot of work for me to push outside of my introverted shell and start conversations with people. But it helped me meet the folks who are now some of my best friends in the world.”