CLAGS Dues, History, and You

We did some early spring cleaning of the CLAGS offi ce over
the winter break, and one of the many treasures we discovered
was a slim, three-ring binder labeled “CLAGS Pre-1989 Financial
Records,” from the days before CLAGS was even CLAGS. There
in the binder was our very fi rst budget from 1987. What did this
prehistoric document tell us about CLAGS’s fi nancial status twenty
years ago? Since there was no CLAGS yet, the single cash account
was administered through the Center for the Study of Women in
Society. And how much money were we working with? Not much:
our expenditures for the year were less than $1,000.
Four years later, in 1991, CLAGS became its own research center
at CUNY. With autonomy and a lot of hard work, we grew
exponentially, and so did our budget. The 21st century CLAGS
raises funds for and administers major projects, including the International
Resource Network,, our own calendar of
LGBTQ Studies Colloquia, Seminars in the City, and the Pedagogy
Workshops in Sexuality Studies, among others. Twice a year we
publish a newsletter that goes out to about 4,500 CLAGS members
around the globe, and we administer several fellowships and travel
grants every year. What does that add up to? Well, our expense
budget for 2007-2008 is just over $300,000.
In 1987, CLAGS set dues intentionally low, and our income was
primarily from membership dues: $35 for individuals, $50 for
households, and $10 for students. While fi nancially everything else
has changed for CLAGS, those dues rates have not. Now, twenty
years later, we think it’s time to increase dues to keep up with our
growing expenses.
In the twenty years since CLAGS started our expenses have risen,
from offi ce supplies to the services we require to the cost of living.
Additionally, our staff has expanded, and we need to pay them a fair
and competitive wage. To continue growing and moving forward
with our programming, publications, fellowships, and support for
the local and international queer scholarly community, CLAGS is
raising its dues rates for the fi rst time in our history. Not a lot, but
enough to make a difference for us, our programs, and for you.