2SLGBTQ+ students asked to share experiences with working group

Brock students who identify as members of the two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or + to encompass spectrums of sexuality and gender (2SLGBTQ+) community are invited to take part in a new working group.

Hosted by the Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre (SWAC) Student Advisory Panel, the group will set out to gather knowledge about the health and wellness experiences of 2SLGBTQ+ students in hopes of creating a new knowledge-translation project that will benefit the entire Brock community.

“Our aim is to gather knowledge that can provide insight and be put into practical use,” said Student Advisory Panel Facilitator Dawn Shickluna. “As a student-serving department, we constantly seek to provide effective, student-centred services in line with the University’s strategic priorities and our student mental health and addictions services plan.”

Shickluna said the scope and execution of the new project has been left deliberately vague to ensure students who take part are given the lead in what is to be produced and how much time is needed from participants.

“It’s important to hear from the students we serve and have the project line up with the University’s strategic priorities around student experience and inclusivity,” she said. “We don’t have any other specifics because we very much want the end result to be driven by what the participants feel would be best.”

The working group will meet once before the holiday break and four more times between January and April. Each meeting will last for approximately one hour.

Student Advisory Panel Member Manu Kahlon, who will be part of the working group, said the chance for students to dictate the terms and style of the project presented a compelling opportunity to make a difference and dive deeper into the panel’s mandate to provide SWAC with input and feedback on its programs and services.

“I identify with the 2SLGBTQ+ community and l’m excited to help make that community better and work toward collective goals,” he said. “As an advocate of 2SLGBTQ+ people of colour, this project is a great way to give a voice to specific intersectionalities, which is something I want to do in my career as well.”

With his own participation already set, Kahlon hopes others will join him in the working group.

“The 2SLGBTQ+ community continues to be at higher risk for adverse mental health outcomes,” he said. “Socioeconomic determinants, discrimination and intersectionality all contribute to these worse outcomes. We would like to see members of the community join our working group to make our voices heard and develop tailored messages to promote a supportive environment where we can tackle the health challenges 2SLGBTQ+ individuals face at Brock.”

To learn more about the working group, contact Shickluna at dshickluna@brocku.ca or x4590.

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