Welcome to the Manhattan College Pride Center! We create and foster a supportive environment for students, faculty, employees, and alumni who identify as LGBTQ+, as well as strengthen the community connection between LGBTQ+ Jaspers and our allies. In so doing, the Pride Center joins other Catholic colleges in providing a space that supports LGBTQ+ Jaspers, while providing programming, awareness, training, and collaboration.
Our central mission is to provide a campus home to LGBTQ+ students, as well as faculty, staff, and alumni, so that they may fully explore and express their personal, educational, vocational, and spiritual identities as valued and respected members of the Manhattan College community. This mission thus embodies our values as a Lasallian institution, committed to social justice and inclusion, as well as the education of “the whole person.”
Embracing a core value of our Jasper community, the staff and students in the Pride Center focus on collaboration. In our service to LGBTQ+ Jaspers, we work with a wide variety of constituencies on campus to initiate and to support an expanding array of activities in the academic curriculum, co-curricular and extra-curricular programming, residence life, recruitment, alumni engagement, and policy development.
The Pride Center, first and foremost, is a gathering space for LGBTQ+ Jaspers. Volunteers (employees and students alike) maintain regular Center staffing hours for drop-in visits, giving LGBTQ+ students not only a place to gather and build community, but also to find mentorship and guidance. So . . . no need to wait for one of our many events to join us. Drop by for a visit!
Resources: To further support the LGBTQ+ community, the Center maintains two key resources. The first is on the “Resources'' section of our homepage. In addition, the Center operates a lending library of LGBTQ+ books donated through a "Go Fund Me'' campaign. Come grab a book, sprawl out on the couch, or take it home to read!
Assessment & Policy Development: The Center operates as the central home for policy development and support specific to the LGBTQ+ campus community. In addition to providing Safe Zone Training and operating an Employee Resource Group for LGBTQ+ employees, the Center will release in Fall 2023 the results of a campus climate survey of LGBTQ+ students and employees at Manhattan. Such an effort represents our commitment to ongoing assessment and data-driven decisions, as well as enabling us to share our work with other Lasallian institutions, enhancing Manhattan’s reputation as a thought leader in the Lasallian Higher Education community.
Programming & Education: The Center--independently and in collaboration with other campus constituencies--organizes lecture presentations; movies and other social events; educational, personal, and professional development sessions; and research and scholarship opportunities. Click here for our Events Calendar, and join in!
Alumni Networking: The Center is the base of support for Manhattan’s LGBTQ+ alumni network, with the goal of supporting alumni mentoring and engagement. In so doing, the Center affirms to our LGBTQ+ alumni that their alma mater recognizes their whole identity, fulfilling the promise the College has made to students for generations: to educate and support the whole person.
Finally, the Pride Center is the central outward-facing institution on campus with regard to external constituencies in the LGBTQ+ community. We receive daily outreach from local and national LGBTQ+ organizations, educational institutions, potential students, elected officials, and the press. These involve outreach regarding potential campus appearances, bulletins providing important resources and information for the LGBTQ+ community, and requests for information from prospective students and their families, just to name a few. With the Pride Center as the visible, centralized representative of the LGBTQ+ campus community, we optimize our ability to communicate swiftly and effectively, as well as pursue and develop strategic partnerships whenever possible.
The Pride Center is co-directed by Dr. Rocco Marinaccio and Tiffany French, who oversaw the LGBTQ+ Task Force of the Diversity Council beginning in 2021. Through that group, among other activities, the task force developed new policies, formed an employee resource group, redesigned Safe Zone training, and administered a campus climate survey focused on the LGBTQ+ community. From this work, it was determined that broad institutional support was needed for LGBTQ+ persons on campus, and thus the Pride Center was created.
Co-Director Rocco Marinaccio
Rocco Marinaccio is what you might call a “Jasper lifer.” Born and raised in The Bronx, he graduated from Manhattan College in 1981. He returned to begin his teaching career there in 1996 and is a professor in the English Department, teaching courses in modern and contemporary American literature, LGBTQ+ literature, and food studies. Rocco learned from his own experiences as a Jasper commuter how important it is to feel at home on campus, and so his mission is to make Manhattan the most welcoming and supportive community it can be for queer Jaspers like himself.
Tiffany French has worked in various roles in administration at Manhattan College since 2014. She now works in the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment and as an adjunct instructor in the Computer Science Department. She is also a Jasper and graduated with an M.S. in Computer Science from the College in 2023. For Tiffany, it’s important to have a space on campus that makes all Jaspers feel belonging on campus so that they can bring their complete and integrated identities to work and school in order to strengthen and build our Jasper community.
A Pride Center Advisory Board, composed of faculty, administration, staff, and students from all relevant sectors of the College, as well as key off-campus individuals, contributes to the Center in an advisory role. Routine operations of the Center are largely overseen by the Pride CenterSteering Committee, a sub-committee of the Advisory Board, composed exclusively of Manhattan students and employees from the LGBTQ+ community and allies. Current Board members include:
Natalia Imperatori-Lee, Professor of Religious Studies (also Steering Committee)
Br. Daniel Gardner, Director of CMSA
Fr. James Martin, S.J.
Analia Santana, President of the Rainbow Jasper Student Club (also Steering Committee)
Rebecca Kern-Stone, Professor, Communication (also Steering Committee)
Nick Marter, Associate Director, Admissions (also Steering Committee)
Jennifer McArdle, Director, The Counseling Center
Carlos Tonche, Registrar (also Steering Committee)
Matt Lewis, Director-Residence Life (also Steering Committee)
The Manhattan College Counseling Center services are provided at no charge to help students reach their educational goals and work through any personal issues that are causing anxiety or distress. Regular office hours are 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., but evening appointments are also available by request.
The Health Services office provides students with urgent care for common minor illnesses and injuries. For serious or prolonged illnesses or injuries, students are referred to a local hospital or private physician.
Gender and Sexual Misconduct
Along with the Women and Gender Resource Center, the Pride Center centralizes resources for those experiencing gender-based and sexual-identity based harassment, discrimination, and violence on campus. We are not a confidential resource; our staff are required to report cases of sexual misconduct to the campus Title IX office. If you come to us in crisis, we will:
remind you that we are mandated reporters, and offer to help you access confidential resources on-campus if needed;
invite you to breathe with us and offer support;
ask for your consent to take notes;
walk you through the appropriate reporting process, when appropriate.
Remember, while we have to report alleged misconduct, you can decline to follow up on that report. If you do file a report, we can:
offer you a support person through the reporting process;
offer you and your community resources for supporting you;
work with you to create the healing practices you need;
support you in seeking community with other survivors.
The Rainbow Jaspers: LGBTQ+ Student Group is a student organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning students, their partners and supporters. The organization aims to connect, support, and spread awareness of the LGBTQ+ community on campus. In addition to hosting regular meetings on campus to discuss LGBTQ+ issues, the club also promotes LGBT+ awareness with a variety of co-curricular and extra-curricular events.
Rachel Martin of NPR speaks with Fr. Bryan Massingale, an openly gay Catholic priest and professor at Fordham University, about Pope Francis' statements regarding the rights of LGBTQ people to civil unions.
Fortunate Families, a Catholic Family, Friends & Allies Ministry, supports LGBTQ+ sisters and brothers by facilitating respectful conversation and sharing personal stories within dioceses, parishes, and communities, especially with bishops, pastors, and Church leadership. By accompaniment and bridge building, Fortunate Families seek to uphold and safeguard the dignity of LGBTQ+ daughters and sons of God.
Dignity USA works for respect and justice for people of all sexual orientations, genders, and gender identities—especially gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons—in the Catholic Church and the world through education, advocacy, and support.
The National Center for Transgender Equality is a national social justice organization devoted to ending discrimination and violence against transgender people through education and advocacy on national issues of importance to transgender people.
NBJC is a civil rights organization focusing on racial justice and LGBTQ+ equality. They promote awareness of the struggles of black individuals within the queer community and seek to empower their community.
In this Facebook post, created by Fr. James Martin, SJ, he reflects on the LGBT community. He focuses especially on those who find themselves identifying as gay and Catholic and how members and leaders of the Catholic church can respond in faith.
In this Facebook post, created by Fr. James Martin, SJ, he reflects on the importance and value of transgender lives. Attached are several resources on how to better support the transgender community within the Catholic church and beyond.