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Gay and Lesbian Student Union (GLSU) Records

Collection ID: RG 37-5A

Scope and Contents

The collection contains administrative and related records of the Gay and Lesbian Student Union (GLSU), the first student organization dedicated to the LGBTQIA+ community at Old Dominion University. Included in the collection are organizational materials such as constitutions, bylaws, minutes of meetings, and announcements; material related to various events held by the organization; documents related to other LGBTQIA+ organizations on the regional, state, and national level; and other miscellaneous material related to LGBTQIA+ issues. The organization is currently known as the ODU Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA), and the collection includes documents from the various name changes of the group over the years.


  • 1988-2023, undated



4 Linear Feet

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Before publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from Special Collections and University Archives, and the holder of the copyright, if not Old Dominion University Libraries.

Biographical or Historical Information

The Gay Alliance was organized in 1976 and was open to faculty, staff, and alumni, not just students, but disbanded in the early 1980s. The ODU Gay and Lesbian Student Union (GLSU) was founded in 1988 and held its first meeting in January 1989. Before that time, in the mid and late 1980s, gay and lesbian students met at a weekly support group held at the University’s Campus Catholic Ministry. In 1993, the Gay and Lesbian Student Union changed its name to Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Students and Allies in order to be more inclusive. The group changed its name in 2002 to become Old Dominion University Out (ODU Out) and again in 2018 to Old Dominion University Sexuality and Gender Alliance (ODUSAGA).

In the early days the organization was met with some degree of intolerance, if not outright hostility. Flyers and posters were torn down or defaced with anti-gay slurs.  The group sought to change stereotypes and misconceptions through a “Shattering the Myths” poster and flyer campaign. They held an annual National Coming Out Day Social, every October 11, and a Lesbigay Awareness Week every spring. Lesbigay Awareness week was usually held in conjunction with the Annual Breaking the Ice Winter Gay Pride Festival in Webb Center co-hosted by the GLSU and the Hampton Roads Gay and Lesbian Pride Coalition. The GLSU also co-hosted the Sexual Orientation Support committee. This group was made up largely of straight, female staff members who had previously worked on the campus AIDS committee. Staff from the Student Health Center, Counseling Services, the Women’s Center, Student Activities, and other departments were represented. The GLSU also went to gay and lesbian conferences hosted by other Virginia colleges, and  networked with other Virginia colleges through two grassroots organizations known as the Triangle Network and the Virginia Area Rainbow Student Alliance (VARSA).  Many GLSU members were also a part of a Hampton Roads gay and lesbian youth groups known as Youth Out United (Y.O.U.). In fact, both groups shared common founders. After a series to anti-gay propgranda and vandalisim in 1991,the GLSU has concerns. In January of 1992, the GLSU met with President Koch and other University officials to discuss their concerns about the safety and security of LGBTQ+ students.They called for the abolishment of other inequities on campus toward gay and lesbian students, faculty, and staff, as well as advancements that would help make the campus more equal for gays and lesbians. Other wish list items included an office for Gay and Lesbian concerns, partner benefits for faculty/staff, expanding ODU curricula to include Gay and Lesbian Studies courses, and removing ROTC from campus until it complies with ODU’s non-discrimination policy. Many of these things did not come to pass, but a insturctor was brought on campus in 1992 to train staff on LGBTQ+ student issues.

Language of Materials



Materials for this collection date from the 1980s through the present, with most of the materials dating from the 1990s. Included are organizational materials such as the group’s constitution, meeting agendas, and correspondence; flyers and information on various events and protests; agendas and minutes from other campus gay and lesbian groups.

Arrangement Note

The collection is organized into eleven series: Series I: Organizations; Series II: Events; Series III: Other Campus Groups and Committees; Series IV: Local Hampton Roads and Virginia Organizations; Series V: National Organizations; Series VI: Issues and Protests; Series VII: Resources; Series VIII: Gaynet Messages; Series IX: News Clippings and Articles; Series X: Miscellaneous; and Series XI: Other Media.

Source of Acquisition


Method of Acquisition

Various transfers.

Related Materials

Our Own Community Press (MG 143).

Processing Information

The collection was processed and a finding aid was created by Mel Frizzell, Special Collections Assistant.

A Guide to the Gay and Lesbian Student Union (GLSU) Records
Mel Frizzell
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Revision Statements

  • 09099999: The finding aid was revised in 2014.

Repository Details

Part of the ODU University Archives Repository

3000 Perry Library
4427 Hampton Blvd.
Norfolk VA 23529 US