SPARQ signature programs

SPARQ offers a variety of social and educational programs and opportunities for all LGBTQ+, questioning/exploring and ally students.

See below for some of the many programs that SPARQ offers regularly. If you have ideas or thoughts about types of programs you would like to see or want support around, let a SPARQ Peer Mentor know!

Peer Mentorship


SPARQ Peer Mentors are student employees who are learning, growing and practicing intentional and impactful peer mentoring skills to provide support to other LGBTQ+, questioning/exploring and ally students as they navigate their time at Bates. SPARQ Peer Mentors can offer check-ins and processing spaces for personal, social, as well as general academic concerns.

SPARQ Peer Mentors also host programs and events that are both social and educational. Topics will vary each semester and based on the Peer Mentor’s interests.

Looking for a Peer Mentor, fill out our Mentee application

Bloom Community Dinner


Bloom Community dinners are monthly gatherings hosted by SPARQ Peer Mentors where they bring LGBTQ+ students and their allies to connect and foster a sense of community through cooking and/or sharing a catered meal.

Discussion topics are thought of in advance but there is also room for community to bring in topics they want to discuss. The conversations and intentions for the space are broad, yet influenced by queer experiences.

Bloom happens on the first Thursday of each month, 6:00-7:30p in the OIE back lounge. Register for them on Bates Engage

Queer Closet


SPARQ’s Queer Closet is a campus resource for trans, nonbinary students and gender-diverse students to find free clothing and accessories that affirms their gender expression. Trans and nonbinary students are able to use as much or as little as they want from what is available.  

The Queer Closet currently exists in the OIE located in Chase Hall, Suite 140, Room 141

We ask students to refrain from taking items for hobbies such as drag, cosplay or simply using the closet to store personal items or leave items they simply no longer want anymore. 

If you find yourself interested in donating items to the closet, here are some items we identified that students seek regularly:

  • Skirts, dresses, blouses (all sizes)
  • Pants, button-ups, shorts, jackets (all sizes)
  • Accessories, jewelry 
  • Trans-Affirming Shapewear

Please coordinate with Anthony Del Real, adelreal@bates.edu to discuss potential donations.

LGBTQ+ Active Ally Workshops (student)


What does it mean to be an Active Ally to the LGBTQ+ community? Can I be an Active Ally if I am still learning about LGBTQ+ identities and experiences? Through the “Getting Down to Basics” workshop, we will explore general understandings of LGBTQ+ identities and experiences as well as what it means to be an LGBTQ+ Active Ally.

We plan to host 1-2 sessions each semester. Time, dates and locations will vary. Registration for workshops is highly encouraged; check out Bates Engage for upcoming sessions.

All levels of understanding are welcome to join the conversation and workshop.

For questions or concerns, please contact Anthony Del Real at adealreal@bates.edu

Other signature SPARQ programs/events

The following are other annual programs and events hosted or supported by SPARQ:

  • LGBTQ+ History Month (October)
  • Coming Out Week (October 4 – October 11)
  • Trans Awareness Week (November 13 – November 19)
  • Trans Day of Remembrance (November 20)
  • Sex Week programming (In partnership with Health Education)
  • Trans Day of Visibility (March 31)
  • Out and Proud Week (April)
  • Lavender Ceremony

Do you have an idea about what types of programming/events you want to see happen for LGBTQ+ students? Connect with a SPARQ Peer Mentor and collaborate!