A Leader in LGBT Housing
Nelson Lin talks about his experience here as a Resident Adviser for the LGBT preference housing at the Village. Being a transfer student himself he wanted to become more involved in the campus life and becoming an RA has allowed him to be behind the scenes of on campus living. The residents in the Village look to their RAs for leadership and guidance especially because it is a completely new environment for them similar to incoming freshmen. They transfer from community colleges, state colleges and other universities as well. Coming to UCSD as a transfer can be a little unnerving and the Resident Advisers are there to help. I live in the LGBT housing in the Village and Nelson is my own RA. I wanted to see what he thought about taking on this position and his own perspective of LGBT housing at UCSD.
Lin didn’t originally choose to be an RA for the LGBT housing in the Village but he willingly accepted the challenge. He states that, “We are the biggest community compared to other dorm complexes for LGBT housing.” Choosing the LGBT preference housing is available for everyone, it offers a safe place for the LGBT identified community and its allies. There are of course other LGBT members all over the village because it is something one can opt into or out of.
Anti-LGBT bullying has sadly been in the news quite often as of late and I had asked Nelson if he had to deal with any conflicts concerning his residents or even non-residents being involved in LGBT harrassment or bullying. Lin, being an RA, has a certain kind of authority at the village and many people know who he is. He had discussed that his residents didn’t have any bullying problems within their own rooms but instead dealt with typical problems that occur in dorm living. However, one of his friends who lived in non-LGBT preference housing had come to him with some problems concerning his roommates. The situation was that this friend of Nelson’s was struggling with his sexuality and one of his friends had found out. In turn, another friend found out and started to bully him. Nelson tells me that, “…it became a pretty big deal…but it happened over winter break so it was kind of out of everyone’s reach even the supervisors. I tried to contact him but I guess it just ended.” I had thought that it was very noble for Nelson to step up and help his friend out in his time of need even during the winter break in between winter and spring quarter. As an RA, Nelson is more than just a guy that stops by and checks on you because it is his job, he is a person that people look to for help. He tells me that in his experience, “A lot of times, even though our generation is becoming better and better about it…even if its just to listen to someone complain about it, not to really bring it to the higher up level of authority is still better than not helping out at all.”.
I came to this university as a transfer student from the bay area, so coming down to La Jolla to attend UCSD was a major change for me. I was faced with a lot of questions and anxieties about what my experience was going to be like here. I had decided that I was going to live on campus in the transfer housing and opted for the LGBT preference housing because I thought that it would help me adjust to this brand new life so far from home. I waited anxiously as I moved into my new apartment to meet my new roommates. Knowing that the people I was going to be living with were at the very least okay with my sexual orientation was a huge comfort. Nelson had helped me and I’m sure many other students adjust to this new life. I know as a resident under his advisory that I can always go to him and he will put his best effort into solving my problems.
Being a Resident Adviser is a tough job indeed. Nelson Lin offers a look into the experience as to what it means to be a leader in the LGBT community, even if it is only for the housing because in fact this position requires so much more. Lin gives perspective as to how he has used his own judgement and skills to keep the peace in the village whether its within the building he oversees or otherwise.