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Lambda, LGBT Credit: Alexandra Fleischman

On Tuesday night, College junior Corinne Rich was elected chairperson of the Lambda Alliance — Penn’s umbrella organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.

Rich is the first female chairperson of the Lambda Alliance since the organization was founded in 2005. She sat down with The Daily Pennsylvanian to look back on her year as vice chairperson of internal affairs and discuss her plans for the coming year.

The Daily Pennsylvanian: What were the key highlights for the Lambda Alliance this year?

Corinne Rich: In the past year we made some really big strides. We got health insurance for transgender students, which was huge. This week, we’re implementing a survey to the athletic community, gauging how they feel about LGBT individuals in the community … Admissions has been huge too — we’re getting students who come out in their essays and applications flagged so that we can communicate with them. This year was a really interesting year politically.

DP: What are your main goals this year?

CR: I want to turn our focus back to our community. I want to push freshman outreach … and increase the visibility of our constituent groups on campus.

We’ve also recently made really big strides in LGBT-Greek life relations, so I’d like to see those continue to improve … through better sensitivity training for fraternities and sororities. We could possibly form an LGBT Greek-affiliated group.

DP: The Lambda Alliance created a new vice chair of outreach position this year. What will this entail?

CR: [The new vice chair] will be closely involved in the LGBT admissions process — talking to incoming students, talking to prospective students.

We also want them to reach out to members of our community … [who] are maybe closeted or not totally comfortable being out in the [LGBT] community.

DP: Are there certain communities at Penn that the Lambda Alliance hopes to reach out to?

CR: There is always room for improvement. Two of our biggest targets are going to be the Athletic community and the Greek community … We wish to reach out to and make sure those individuals who are supporters of LGBT or are LGBT themselves … feel completely comfortable with both their identities.

DP: What does it mean to be the first female chairperson of the Lambda Alliance?

CR: It’s cool because up until now, the people who have been Lambda chair have been white, gay and male … Our community is much more diverse than that so I’m excited for our leadership to finally reflect that.

A big part of our constituency are gay men … I would like to think that my position would draw more queer and allied women in.

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