Princeton U. Students Visit QSpot

Princeton U. Students Visit QSpot

QSpot LGBTQ Community Center hosted a day-long outing for Princeton University students taking part in the school’s Community Action Program on Sat., Sept. 2. The Community Action Program is a student-led orientation program designed to introduce incoming undergraduates to meaningful service, community building, and social issues before beginning their first academic year. The focus of the day was on social activism, emphasizing LGBTQ+ history and introducing the students to local communities and activists who make up integral parts of the community outside of Princeton.

John Mikytuck, QSpot Executive Director, began the event with a screening of the documentary, “From Kitchen Table To QSpot,”  a short film about QSpot’s history. The film was followed by a presentation from MaryAnn Vitiello, one of QSpot’s founders, who recalled her career in HIV care and prevention in the U.S and sub-Saharan Africa under PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief). Vitiello shared her personal history, talked about her involvement in the important early days of QSpot, and living in Asbury Park for the last 20+ years.

Vitiello was followed by Phil McCabe, CSW, CAS and Health Educator, Rutgers School of Public Health, who shared about his experience as a life-long resident of Monmouth County, coming out as a gay man, and his work helping the LGBTQ community over the last 40+ years.  McCabe concluded his talk with a short presentation on risks and protective factors for sexual violence in the LGBTQ community. McCabe’s presentation was part of QSpot’s on-going efforts to prevent sexual violence in the LGBTQ+ community.

After their time at QSpot, the students visited Trinity Church in Asbury Park.  Derek Minno-Bloom, Director of Social Justice for Trinity, spoke about his work at the church fighting homelessness, food insecurity, and LGBTQ+ rights.  He concluded his presentation with the message “love should be fierce.”

The day-long event was attended by over 30 students from across the country and globe, including Denver, Chicago, Los Angeles, United Kingdom, China and Ukraine.  The student’s fields of study included nursing, music, political science, computer science, engineering, public policy, biology & philosophy.

The students concluded their day with a visit to the Asbury Park beach and boardwalk.