History & Mission

Where we come from. Where we're going.


Our History

For over 44 years, the Queer Student Union has offered a safe and supportive community for the University of Virginia’s LGBTQ students. Founded in 1972 as the Gay Student Union, our organization evolved into the Gay and Lesbian Student Union in the 1980s before becoming the Queer Student Union in the early 2000s. Across our various organizational iterations, we have always fought to defend every person's right to define who they are. Originally functioning as a support group in which to talk about queer-related issues, QSU has expanded its activities over the years to include social events, queer educational endeavors, activism on behalf of UVA’s LGBTQ students, and other forms of community outreach. QSU has hosted dances and rallies, written letters and painted Beta Bridge and met, every year since our founding, within the reassuring walls of the Wesley Foundation on Emmet Street.

Our Mission

We know that every person has the right to be themselves, and our twin purposes at UVA stem from that foundational conviction. At the University of Virginia, we first strive to cultivate a community where students feel safe enough to exercise that right––to be who they are––and to do so more fully and meaningfully in the company of others doing the same. Second, QSU is proud to advocate for that community to the rest of the University, pursuing administrative policies and a University culture that spreads safety beyond the boundaries of our meetings.