Doug DiBianco LLC celebrates one-year anniversary


The Doug DiBianco floor will celebrate its one year anniversary of being founded Friday, Oct. 21, 2021.

Kay Reno, Campus Reporter

This coming Oct. 24 will mark the one-year anniversary of the creation of the Doug DiBianco Living Learning Community in McKinney Hall.  

After a push from LGBTQ+ students and allies for gender-inclusive housing it was finally awarded in 2021, marking a positive change at Eastern for LGBTQ+ students. 

The Doug DiBianco LLC is a safe housing option for LGBTQ+ students at Eastern. 

The new floor allows LGBTQ+ residents to have an environment where they feel safe expressing themselves authentically while carrying on the legacy of Doug DiBianco, a former music professor at Eastern. 

DiBianco was the founder of what today is known as and referred to as EIU Pride. Back at the time of its creation it was called the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Allies Union, or LGBAU for short.

Alix Kennedy, a freshman psychology major who acts as the spirit chair for McKinney Hall, talked about his experiences living there this semester. 

“Living in the DDB housing has given me the opportunity to have community and safety on campus,” Kennedy said. “Getting to know other members of DDB living has been wonderful, because I now have a huge community of friends behind me.” 

The Doug DiBianco LLC allows LGBTQ+ students to meet and mingle without the likelihood of backlash to their identities. They can talk and hang out while not having to second guess allowing their floormates to really know them.  

“I absolutely feel safer living with other queer people,” Kennedy said. “That was the main reason I chose to live here, my safety and the safety of others. There is an extra layer of comfort when living among others with the same kind of marginalized identity. None of them will judge that identity and many will help defend it. That mentality has been part of Doug DiBianco living even during its creation.”

Last year, students protested to fight for the name itself by holding a sit-in where students stayed in front of Old Main until the name was approved. The name Doug DiBianco didn’t fit certain standards involved in the current way of naming dormitories at Eastern, leading to its initial rejection. 

Today, Eastern strongly follows philanthropy and donations to the university as a way to choose a name.

At this semester’s State of the University Address, Glassman mentioned the success of the Doug DiBianco floor and the new additional second floor added for this fall.

“The Doug DiBianco Community opened in Fall 2021 in McKinney Hall as the university’s first gender-inclusive residential community,” Glassman said. “It was met with such interest and enthusiasm by our LGBTQA+ community, the space was expanded to the second floor of McKinney this fall.”

Students today are still thankful for the headway of change DiBianco laid out for LGBTQ+ students.

“This has given me an opportunity to meet other queer people. Without living in this community, I would have no idea where to start looking,” Kennedy said. 


Kay Reno can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].