Illinois Lesbian and Gay Student Caucus

A social and gay-rights student association


The Illinois Lesbian and Gay Student Caucus, also called the Gay and Lesbian Student Caucus was a now-defunct social and gay-rights organization formed in Chicago in 1983.  The primary purpose was to co-ordinate the activities of the various Gay and Lesbian student groups on the universities in and around Chicago.  Jonathan Katz, who was the then president of the University of Chicago's Gay and Lesbian Alliance, claims to have been the founder or co-founder.  His lover at that time (or perhaps shortly afterward), Irwin Keller also claims to have been an early member if not also a co-founder.

The members were drawn from the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, DePaul University, Loyola and the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Only the first two of these, to my memory, actually had gay student groups.  There were also some "at-large" members, meaning they were not associated with any university.  Monthly meetings were supplemented with various social outings, and social gatherings.  There was also one fund-raising event, at the youth nightclub on that same block.

The monthly meetings, always took place at the Gay and Lesbian center in the Newtown neighborhood of Chicago, then located at 3225 North Sheffield.  These meetings, consisted of the various members describing past or future activities of their local Gay and Lesbian student association, mentioning action issues with which other members might want to become involved, or announcing upcoming social events.  A phone-tree was also set-up to keep marginal members informed of what had transpired at the meetings, including the further announcement of future social outings and events.

The group had a core of about eight semi-regular members, meetings never exceeded twelve people.  The group had an adviser, who worked at the center, either as a paid or volunteer worker, but I can't quite recall his name... Phil something?  I believe he later moved to Japan?  The group disbanded in or about 1985 or 1986.