For the second annual educate2impact day on May 13, 2015, a panel of LGBTQ experts held a Google Hangout on how students can find and create an LGBTQ friendly campus. Here’s part two of Hangout the recap. (And don’t miss part one)
The panelists turned their attention to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), campuses that are culturally responsive and how they have – or have not – worked to open their arms to LGBTQ students. Tim’m, who spent a semester of his undergrad education at Howard (an all-male HBCU in Washington DC) , said that at an HBCU, the issue of race is often off the table for people of color (POC), where at a predominantly white institution, they are forced to deal with being POC and LGBTQ. In that way, Tim’m said, it was easier to be gay at Howard than at Duke.
Kim, a member of the University of Utah’s faculty, spoke from the perspective of college faculty. She suggested being out and available for LGBTQ students, and finding allies in other faculty members. “Faculty can work together to supply resources and have lunches together and talk about what they’re doing and work toward a full integration, which is how students see this being most effective because it’s more reflective of their lives.”
Our panel had some great thoughts on how to help straight/cis/privileged students to be great allies of LGBTQ students, students of color, and other minorities! Jacob said that, “colleges draw students from completely different backgrounds that have never been exposed to such a diverse group of people and expect that there isn’t a huge learning curve there.” They then suggested that one way to ensure that all students are respectful of LGBTQ and other minority students is for colleges to treat those issues the same way they treat issues around drinking – to require students to take a class or read material on the topic before they can register for classes or complete another necessary task.
The panel had some great closing words: “There are people on every campus who are there for you,” said Kim. Jacob had some awesome life advice, “To any LGBTQ student who is having trouble… staying in school and succeeding, if you can bear it, is the best way to stick it to the jerks who are making you feel like you don’t belong!”
Overall, “There’s been some good progress over the last 10 to 20 years,” said Shane. “Campuses want to be called LGBT friendly, but they don’t know what the B stands for, they have no clue about the T, and they’re just barely doing work for lesbian and gay folks.”
A great big thank you to our panelists and moderator – you all rock!
What are YOUR thoughts? Tweet at us with #educate2impact.
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