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About Us

Welcome to the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Queer Issues (CACQI) website. We are excited you're interested in connecting with our committee and the work we do to affirm the experiences of our LGBTQ+ community at UC Merced.


The LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee was originally formed in June 2015 as a subcommittee of the Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture and Inclusion, CCCI. Our founding members included Andre Fries, Undergraduate Student & President of Lambda Alliance, Angi Baxter, Coordinator of Women’s Programs & LGBTQ+ Initiatives, Armando Contreras, Academic Advisor & Student Success Coordinator, Christopher Ramirez, Lecturer in the Merrit Writing Program, De Acker, Director of Campus Climate, Jamin Shih, Graduate Student, Irene Beattie, Professor in Sociology, and Wei-Chun Chin, Associate Professor in Bioengingeering. We are unique as our committee is comprised of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff.

Over the course of the 2015-2016 academic year, we focused on development of the committee, website, creating opportunities for the LGBTQ+ faculty and staff to socialize, and identifying issues that the committee could address. We celebrated three socials where we brought together LGBTQ+ community members from across campus, two hosted within the city of Merced. These socials went a long way in helping our LGBTQ+ faculty, staff and post docs build community.

After deep consideration, the LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee decided it would be more effective if we became our own standalone Chancellor’s Advisory Committee. We started discussions with Chancellor Leland regarding this initiative and officially became the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Queer Issues, CACQI, in Sept 2016. As a Chancellor’s Advisory Committee, we were able to significantly impact the campus community and further our goal of creating a welcoming and affirming campus climate. 

Additionally, we officially created the Rainbow Lunch Series, an opportunity for faculty, staff and post docs who identify on the LGBTQ+ spectrum to gather for lunch to build community and support, which took place monthly throughout the academic year. Further, we hosted two open socials, our fall Meet n’ Greet which takes place during welcome week and Lavender Community Unite during Pride Week in April; both of these social gatherings are open to all students, faculty and staff.