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Homophobia also reported in Otago Uni Halls

Thu 18 Aug 2016 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

An Otago University survey has indicated that some students in the Halls of Residence at the University have been on the receiving end of homophobia and it is suggested that a better response to incidents of harassment and homophobia is needed. Earlier this week a University of Auckland student spoke out about recurring incidences of homophobic harassment at one the University Halls of Residence and says that these incidents have not been dealt with adequately by the University.   Hahna Briggs, Queer* Support Coordinator at the OUSA Student Support Centre, says that at Otago University, the “campus climate survey from 2014 indicated that instances of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia have occurred in some Halls of Residence”. The survey is currently in being written up in order for publication. “In addition,” says Briggs, “Halls of Residence were specified in the survey as a location where improved communication could help reduce harassment. For instance, more education and information sessions for residents and staff, and an increased awareness of OUSA Queer Support Services is needed.” As part of her role, Briggs provides training for Resident Advisors in the Halls at the beginning of each year. “We discuss how we can create queer friendly living spaces; the importance of challenging any discriminatory behaviour and language we encounter; and how to best support residents if they approach us to talk about their gender or sexuality,” she says. Briggs says if any Otago University students are experiencing issues within their hall of residence they are asked to contact Student Support. If you are a University student who has experienced homophobia, transphobia or biphobia in a Hall of Residence and would like to share your story, please contact    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Thursday, 18th August 2016 - 4:32pm

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