OIE Hires New Assistant Director for LGBTQ+ Support

Jake Reeves is already at work supporting the LGBTQ+ community on campus in his new position as assistant director of inclusion and engagement for LBGTQ+ support.

Andrew Claybrook

Reeves is the new assistnat director of inclusion and enagement. He is taking over the position from Rallie Snowden. Photo courtesy of Jake Reeves.

The Office of Inclusion and Engagement welcomes a new member: Jake Reeves, Assistant Director of Inclusion and Engagement for LGBTQ+ Support. Hired this year, Reeves is excited to be part of OIE and W&L, already at work to support the LGBTQ+ community on campus. The previous LGBTQ+ Coordinator, Rallie Snowden, held the position since 2014. 

On campus and among colleagues, he is already well received, with Snowden citing his “welcoming personality and energy.” Chase Isbell, ’21, a LGBTQ+ Peer Counselor and president of Queer Liberation Alliance, praises Reeves’ “genuine enthusiasm for understanding our community, meeting our needs, and expanding our visibility.”

 Isbell also notes the significance of his full-time position, reflecting W&L’s commitment to the university’s growing LGBTQ+ community.

Reeves himself describes his job as “providing comprehensive, full time support to queer students, faculty, and staff.” As Snowden notes, “he has hit the ground running for sure,” already working on adding new information to the LGBTQ+ Resource Center website and leading Safe Zone training. 

One such new resource is an informational guide on pronoun usage, as well as an email template for students to use when communicating with professors to help ensure that all students feel respected in the classroom. 

On social media, Reeves has been boosting the presence of the Resource Center through the creation of @wlu_lgbtq_rc, an Instagram account for sharing news, providing education resources, and highlighting LGBTQ+ media.

Reeves is a graduate of Appalachian State University, where he completed his undergraduate degree in 2017 before obtaining a master’s in Student Affairs and Administration two years later. 

As a graduate student, Reeves worked at Appalachian State’s Henderson Springs LGBT+ Center, where he revitalized the university’s Safe Zone training, a program to educate community members about LGBTQ+ identities and how to support them. Within the span of two months, he had trained over one hundred faculty and staff.

After graduating from Appalachian State, Reeves began working at Old Dominion University as the coordinator for LGBTQIA+ programs and initiatives. Reeves co-chaired and oversaw the implementation of Safe Zone training, as well as coordinated broader support for ODU’s LGBTQ+ population. 

Regarding programming, Reeves took dedicated steps to highlighting the diversity and intersectionality within the LGBT+ community, including collaborations with Alpha Phi Alpha, historically Black fraternity, and what Reeves describes as “an event on masculinity within the Latinx community,” exploring gender within a Latinx context.

Looking forward to his time at Washington and Lee, Reeves hopes to make connection an important part of his work.

 For example, Reeves has already noticed that many undergraduates do not know much about OUTlaw, the Law School’s LGBTQ+ organization, or how to get in contact with them, an issue he aims to remedy. Reeves hopes he can begin to act as a sort of bridge, “maintaining connections and opportunities for engagement.”

Ultimately, Reeves stands to help serve both LGBTQ+ students working in larger, established organizations, as well as students who may not be out, or people looking for more information about the LGBTQ+ community. 

 “That’s kind of the nature of being queer, sometimes, you want to be more protective of identities and information… having that one person you know you can go to and get some of that information is critical,” he said.