The cozy, quaint homes of the Lionel Cantú Queer Resource Center and KZSC 88.1 FM are slated for transformations in coming years.
Generations of LGBTQ+ student groups and budding broadcasters have sought life-changing experiences in the two wooden buildings perched on stilts behind Merrill College. Prompted by needs for seismic renovations, the student-run radio station and the Cantú Center see an opportunity to grow.
KZSC envisions expanding its training to accommodate more of the students who apply. It also wants to build on the professional experience KZSC volunteers receive by adding nonprofit management and journalism courses. Broadcast advisor Keith Rozendal hopes capital improvements include workstations for modern production methods and more space for classes along with an endowment to permanently fund instruction.
Cantú Queer Center Director Travis S. Becker hopes his facility will be able to grow its legacy of innovative support for LGBTQ+ students. When it was established, the resource center dedicated to the queer community was unique in the UC system. Now the center has outgrown the building many of it users call a “treehouse.”
With more space, the Cantú Center would expand its programming and provide more room for student groups, confidential meetings, and counseling. Renovations would also include dedicated space for the Cantú library, clothing exchange closet, and food pantry.
A student fee would fund a portion of the work. Meanwhile, the Cantú Queer Center and KZSC have begun a campaign to seek the rest of the resources from charitable contributions.