Colleges are more than just institutions of higher learning. They’re also places for people to socialize and find common ground with others. For marginalized groups like the LGBTQ+ population, colleges can be a refuge where they feel as if they can finally express who they truly are without fear of opposition. However, this largely depends on whether or not the schools they are attending are willing to show inclusion. If you work for a college, you may be interested in some ways the campus can be made more inclusive to LGBTQ+ students. At a Christian school, the emphasis could properly be placed on the notion that all people are God’s children, and we are admonished not to judge others.
Even if there’s already counseling on campus, you need to include LGBTQ+-specific counseling. The experiences and emotions of these students can be particularly complicated, and you should hire people who are able to understand. It can greatly help to have counselors who are on the LGBTQ+ spectrum. They should be able to demonstrate empathy and active listening that will let them help students. LGBTQ+ students should also be made aware that there is counseling available.
Support LGBTQ+ Clubs and Activities
Clubs are where people can find kinship with one another and realize that they’re not alone. Your college should have clubs geared towards LGBTQ+ students. If you’re feeling stumped on where to start, the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) offers a kit especially made for schools to help LGBTQ+ students know they’re supported. Don’t be afraid to ask people in the LGBTQ+ community questions about how to best cater to their needs. They will appreciate you showing solidarity with them through listening.
Unfortunately, LGBTQ+ students can be the target of discrimination and harassment. To show that your college truly cares about them, you need to take action against any type of intolerance. Should a student or faculty member show any sort of abuse, such as verbal threats or physical assault, that person needs to be reprimanded at the very least. Expulsion or termination may be appropriate. Your college cannot call itself a place of inclusion if mistreatment is tolerated. Every student should be able to feel comfortable moving about the campus.
Being inclusive to LGBTQ+ students doesn’t mean that other groups are being excluded. It simply means that the pool of inclusion is widened. Showing students that they’re welcomed and that their needs are being considered says a lot about what sort of campus you have. This can help to attract more bright and thoughtful individuals who hope to make the most of their college experience.
Donating to local charity causes and having fundraising events to help those within the LGBTQ+ community greatly helps people know that you support them. We are all trying to do our best for everyone to be as happy as possible. Helping others doesn’t cost much, please give the gift of charity today.