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SPARQ! is a network of resources sponsored by the OIE that strive to support students’ positive development of gender, (a)sexuality, and (a)romantic identity. We offer peer mentoring, ally education, and targeted programming focused on specific LGBTQIA+ identities accessible to the entire Bates community. Through these resources, SPARQ! will provide a consistent presence which aspires to foster a true sense of safety and belonging for trans, queer, and questioning students.

Click here , text 207-558-2654, or stop by the Qube, 220 Chase Hall, to be matched with a SPARQ! Peer

SPARQ! Peer Mentors

SPARQ! Peer Mentors are the foundation of the SPARQ! Program. Mentors are trained to provide support for personal, social, and academic concerns to all students who identify as LGBTQIA+, or questioning their sexual or gender identity.

Click here to be matched with a SPARQ! Peer or text 207-558-2654. 

YaraYara Abdelhady, SPARQ! Peer Mentor & Educator, is a junior from Egypt. Yara is excited about being a part of SPARQ! because they want to take positive action towards making the campus more inclusive. Yara enjoys their spare time learning and advocating around Middle Eastern politics, philosophy, football (not the American kind), and scuba diving.

image1 (4)Deshun Peoples, SPARQ! Peer Mentor, is a senior Studio Art and Rhetoric double major and Chinese minor. In his sophomore year, as a Queer Peer Mentor in the OIE, he was able to help his mentees explore identity and navigate transitioning to college. Having gone through the coming out process almost entirely from Bates’ campus, Deshun understands how significant our Bates experiences are in shaping who we become as individuals. As a mentor, he was absolutely honored to have walked with several mentees through the coming out process-arguably one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do a a queer person-and to this day, Deshun has yet to know a greater joy.

rachelRachel Marks, SPARQ! Peer Mentor, is a senior studying Women and Gender Studies from New York City. As a leader of Outfront for the past two years, Rachel is excited to continue her involvement in the LGBTQ+ community at Bates with SPARQ! Taking on a mentorship role, she is looking forward to providing support to all students at Bates regardless of what identities they hold. Rachel has also been involved with AASIA, the Women’s Rugby Team, and DJ society.

FullSizeRenderCameron Huftalen, SPARQ! Peer Mentor, is a sophomore from New Hampshire, currently studying history and European studies. As an incoming genderfluid, pansexual first-year, Cameron found great friends and support through SPARQ! and it’s programs, and is very excited to be a part of the team this year and to be able to help others to find the same success. Cameron has mentored with Outright L/A, and hopes to continue being engaged with LGBTQ+ issues and events both on and off the Bates campus.


You can always stop by the Qube to chat with a SPARQ! Peer Mentor as well. For more information please contact the program supervisor, Alexandria “Lexie” Mucci

For more info join our SPARQ! listserv or email

The Qube

The Qube, a comfy room on the second floor of Chase Hall, provides a safe, welcoming, and private space for students to meet with SPARQ! Peers. The Qube is also used for SPARQ! programming and discussions.

Drop in hours are Monday-Thursday from 4-6pm

QConnect Dinners

QConnect Dinners are a time for students who are queer, trans, and/or questioning their sexual or gender identity, to connect and form a sense of belonging at Bates. QConnect is hosted one Thursday a month in Frye Street Union and provide a comfortable and private space for students to explore, connect, and express. Faculty & Staff who identify as LGBTQ+ are invited to join two special QConnect Dinners a semester.

SPARQ! prioritizes the privacy of all students who attend these events.

Please refer to the Calendar or Events or Facebook for more info!

Fall 2016 Semester

Thursday Sept. 22

Thursday Oct. 13

Thursday Nov. 17

Thursday Dec. 8

Winter Semester

Thursday Jan. 19

Thursday Feb. 9

Thursday Mar. 2

Thursday May 4

Out2Lunch Discussion Series

 Out2Lunch is a monthly lunchtime informational discussion series focusing on topics, identities, and resources relevant to LGBTQIA+ college students and their allies. Out2Lunch is open to all faculty, staff, and students. Grab your lunch from commons and join us upstairs.

Check out the OIE Calendar for event dates!

Active Ally Trainings

Active Ally Trainings are formal and interactive workshops providing awareness, education, skills, and forms of actions individuals need to perpetuate a safe and welcoming campus. Each training is tailored to the needs of the audience. Trainings are open to ALL students, staff, and faculty.

Student Sign Up

Faculty/Staff Sign Up

For more info, please click here.


Check out our LGBTQ @ Bates Page!