The UF Multicultural and Diversity Affairs department welcomed a new director of LGBTQ+ Affairs on Monday.
Tiffany Richards is a UF alumna who has spent most of her career advocating for equality for the LGBTQ+ community, people of color and women. She was chosen from a pool of more than 100 applicants to fill the position after it had been vacated by Billy Huff, who now works in the communications department at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, said William Atkins, the associate dean of students and the senior director of MCDA.
Atkins said Richards was selected for the position because of her phenomenal performance during the interview and her ability to effectively engage with students and faculty.
“I look forward to her engaging with students, faculty, staff, alumni and really figuring out what the needs in 2020 are and being strategic around how to support student success in the LGBTQ+ community,” Atkins said.
Aldrin Gaffud, a 21-year-old UF civil engineering and architecture senior, said he’s spent a lot of time in the Rainbow Room, the space for LGBTQ+ students inside the MCDA, when he held meetings there as president of the Queer Professional Organization.
He described the previous director as nice but difficult to reach, and said he has high hopes for what the new director could do to provide a voice and advocate for students.
“It’s very hard to feel supported on this campus,” he said. “A lot of what UF does isn’t as impactful or effective as we deserve as LGBTQ+students.”
Richards joins recent hires Bianca Quiñones, the director of Hispanic-Latinx Affairs who was hired last July and Associate Director Patricia Jordan, who is expected to start Monday.
The Alligator attempted to speak with Richards but was told by Atkins that she wouldn’t be ready to speak to any media for about a month until she is done with her onboarding and established within the department.
Contact Kaelyn Cassidy at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @kaelyn_cassidy.