Learning About UCSB’s Trans and Queer Commission

Illustrated by Bridget Rios

Emily Zomoroudi

Contributing Writer

Committed to promoting the well-being of LGBTQ+ students at UC Santa Barbara (UCSB), the Associated Students Trans and Queer Commission (TQCOMM) is a strong advocate of sexual and gender diversity awareness on campus.

At every meeting, important decisions are made among members to allocate funds to certain organizations or plan queer-friendly events. The Trans & Queer Commission is the most influential LGBTQ+ organization on campus since they are responsible for funding and hosting large, popular events such as Pride Week and consistent quarterly programming.

The Bottom Line reached out to Julia Bielenberg to learn about TQCOMM and how they provide for the LGBTQ+ community at UCSB.

Can you start off by telling me who you are and what position you hold in TQCOMM?

“Hi! My name is Julia (she/her) I’m a fifth-year art and feminist studies major, and I am the Vice Co-Chair of TQCOMM.”

For those who don’t know, what does TQCOMM do?

“TQCOMM is a group under Associated Students which advocates for and provides funding to trans and queer students and their communities. We create and put on events for queer and trans students throughout the year and provide funding to various other organizations and clubs around campus which either advocate for or provide space to uplift queer and trans individuals. TQCOMM also puts on UCSB’s annual Pride Week where we celebrate our queer and trans community by putting on fun events such as movie nights, fashion shows, panels, and Drag events while advocating for recognition and celebration of our identities on campus.” 

What are some events TQCOMM has planned for the rest of winter quarter?

“We currently have a book club called Reading Rainbow which reads and discusses queer literature. We also have plans to create and distribute a zine which will center queer BIPOC as well as a movie night where we watch queer films. TQCOMM is currently planning UCSB’s Pride Week for the beginning of spring quarter which already has some incredibly fun events planned and a few exciting special guests we hope to bring to the campus community.”

Could you walk me through a typical TQCOMM meeting?

“Generally we begin our meetings by doing a fun ice breaker and having all attendees introduce themselves and their position, if they have one. We then head into a public forum where we outline which funding requests we will be hearing and give any general announcements that pertain to the commission. All commission members give reports on what they are currently working on and then we head into presentations for funding requests and other action items. Once we’ve heard all presentations, we have a discussion and vote on how we will proceed with each funding request. We end the meeting by allowing room for any remarks or questions on what has been discussed during the meeting.”

How do funding requests work?

“In order to request funds from TQCOMM, you must plan your event and make a detailed budget which you will then submit to us through our website. Once you’ve submitted your proposal you will then attend our general body meeting where you will present your proposal[,] explain why you are requesting funds from us specifically, and how your event helps to support and uplift the queer and trans community.”  

Can anyone attend TQCOMM meetings without being an official board member?

“Yes! Anyone can attend TQCOMM meetings; if you attend more than two meetings throughout the quarter, you can become a voting member without having to hold a position.” 

When does TQCOMM meet?

“TQCOMM meets every Monday from 7:30-8:30 p.m. We are currently holding meetings via Zoom and hope to once again hold in-person meetings in the NATI Conference Center (the second floor of the Multicultural Center), although a Zoom option will always be provided. If anybody wants to learn more about us, our email is tqcomm@as.ucsb.edu and our Instagram page is @ucsbtqc!”