Mission: Our mission is to provide free and sustainable resources for trans, non-binary, gender non-conforming and queer students in a safe, affirming, and cooperative manner. Fostering members of our communities’ freedom to authentically express oneself through clothing and fashion strengthens our community and therefore the AU community overall. Dedicating private, non-stigmatizing physical space for students to swap unwanted clothing creates a sense of gender affirmation, gender euphoria, and community care.
Vision: We hope to be supported by the University in preliminary funding as well as our peers and community members through donations and collaborations with Family Weekend. We plan to provide binders to any student who requests one without financial constraints. Although housed within the university, we want to operate as a collective. As a collective, we hope that community members will voluntarily take autonomy and initiative to meet their common needs by donating un-used clothing and makeup. The Center for Diversity and Inclusion will provide support, guidance and resources. However, we ultimately want our community members to have creative influence and input as the space is created for and dedicated to them.
How it works: Clothes, makeup, and supplies in the TQ Co-op are completely free. There is a changing area within the space for privacy. There is also room for friends to join you inside the space in case you want to do a full fashion show! The space itself has two doors. The first door requires a key to get in. Once through the first door, there is overflow space from the Market and an office space for the grad student who manages the Market. There is a second door that locks from the inside where the actual clothing and space will be set up. This set up is ideal for safety and security.
Our hope is that our wider AU community will offer donations to keep the TQ co-op consistently filled. Our trans, non-binary, gender non-conforming and queer community is also encouraged to give donations. Folks can either take something to keep, or bring it back to the co-op for others to use, like a shared closet.
We also hope to fundraise so we can purchase higher priced items such as professional wear that may be less likely to be donated, as well as size inclusive apparel. We want our space to be usable to as many folks as possible as much as possible.
Hours/Access: Since there will be a Grad Assistant working outside the Coop, walk-in hours are 1-4pm Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Students can also schedule an hour timeslot outside of walk-in hours by emailing email@example.com. Students will be expected to drop the key back off in CDI at the end of their scheduled hour.
We want to know your ideas! Share feedback with the TQ Co-Op here.