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Resource centres planned for all campuses

Thu 16 Feb 2012 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

  Work is underway to create lgbt resource centres at tertiary campuses across the country after the first-ever Queers in Tertiary Education Hui. The proposal was put forward by Otago University Students Association Queer Support Coordinator Jamie Burford at this week’s hui, which involved staff and students from all the main centres. Burford holds the nation’s only paid glbti position in a New Zealand tertiary institution and has seen the benefits of having a lgbt resource centre first-hand, as OUSA has one. He outlined why such centres are so amazing, how to go about setting them up, and how to involve students, staff and straight allies. The idea was supported by Tom Hamilton from Rainbow Youth who said it would enable tertiary institutions to more effectively tie in to networking at the community level. "The hui provided a useful opportunity to begin a national conversation about the place of queer and trans people in higher education in New Zealand. The conversation ended with a commitment to work on some specific actions, and to keep talking," Burford says. "The hui also provided an opportunity to bridge the intergenerational divide, with students, staff and community members able to share their own experiences of tertiary education. Staff were able to share their experiences of isolation, and hetero/cis sexism, and students shared the real challenges they faced with trans/homophobia, and cultural safety on campus." The hui ended with a commitment to make the Queers in Tertiary Education an annual event, for staff, faculty and students across New Zealand, with a tentative plan that the next one will be hosted in Auckland next year to coincide with the Big Gay Out.\    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Thursday, 16th February 2012 - 2:40pm

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