Learn to create a “Climate of Inclusiveness for LGBTQ Students” in April 5 UCITE discussion

Universities are often assumed to be bastions of progressiveness and inclusion. But even if they are more welcoming and tolerant of differences than society at large, research shows that one-third of undergraduate students across the country have experienced anti-LGBT harassment in the past year and 20 percent of LGBTQ college students fear for their safety on a regular basis. LGBTQ youth under the age of 24 are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual and/or gender normative peers. In addition they exhibit significantly higher rates of substance abuse and mental health issues. The cumulative impact of these realities has the potential to negatively impact a student’s ability to excel and threaten the success of their college career.

The upcoming UCITE session, “Creating a Climate of Inclusiveness for LGBTQ Students,” will provide participants concrete information to better understand LGBTQ students and thus help them in their efforts to create a supportive and safe space for learning. From decoding the “alphabet soup” of LGBTQ to discussing how homophobia and heterosexism adversely impacts all students, regardless of identity, this session will give participants strategies for creating a learning climate that is supportive and inclusive of LGBTQ students.

Liz Roccoforte, program coordinator of CWRU’s LGBT Center, will provide current information about LGBTQ identities, explore effective ways of responding to homophobic, heterosexist, and transphobic comments in the classroom, provide educators with resources for making LGBTQ issue-related referrals, and give realistic examples of appropriate and supportive ways of responding if someone “comes out” to them.

The discussion will be held April 5 from noon to 1 p.m. in the Herrick Room on the ground floor of the Allen Memorial Library Building. Pizza and sodas will be provided; RSVP to ucite@case.edu.