The LGBTQ community has for long struggled to be included within the society and the nation at large. The need to identify with this group has resonated with individuals as well as institutions including higher learning centers. Creating an inclusive community has provided platforms through which the LGBTQ and the rest of the community articulate with the LGBTQ society. This has produced a positive impact within the university communities limiting issues of discrimination and harassment. The purpose of the following paper is to assess the efforts that Florida Universities have made in line with inclusivity of the LGBTQ community. The focus is on Florida Atlantic University, University of Florida and Wellesley College in comparison to the information provided to the National Centre for Transgender Equality.
The Wellesley College is a trendsetter when it involves the inclusion of the LGBTQ within the University. According to its website, the college has instituted an entire framework and structural concept of how the LGBTQ is catered for within the university. The University has a dedicated staff regarding the LGBTQ community. The faculty comprises of a director of services and programs as well as the advisor for the LGBTQ students. The director is Dr. Leah M. who directs education, programming and advisory efforts to the community concerning the LGBTQ community. The committee is housed under the diverse community program within the University (Wellesley College). The primary purpose of the LGBTQ program at Wellesley College is to identify the experiences that LGBTQ students go through and provide a psychological counseling platform for them. Additionally, the committee is tasked with the duty to empower the LGBTQ community by providing a safe harbor for the students through multiple platforms. The platforms include religion, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation.
The Wellesley College also provides programs and events which identity with the LGTBQ community through various absorption activities within the university. Among them include the LGBTQ community dinner, history month celebrations, athletics, and sports inclusion program and meetings promoting education on the LGBTQ community. For example, the college provides a queer history month celebration. The celebration occurs in October every month with diverse activities undertaken within the campus. The entire month of October is dedicated to the LGBTQ community.
Florida Atlantic University (FAU)
FAU has dedicated an entire structural concept concerning LGBTQ. The university has provided a resource center that offers individualized care for the LGBTQ students. The resource center an on-campus, off-campus and organization and website support system. For example, on-campus support includes Police services and victim services, whereas, off-campus contains the human rights council and parents and families and friends of lesbians and gays (FAU).
Additionally, FAU provides peer mentoring which entails a program that empowers the LGBTQ students while living on campus. The program seeks to empower the students to understand themselves and live productive lives. FAU has also dedicated resources in providing a gender-neutral restroom as described in the website. The information contains the locations of the restrooms as well as the meaning of the labels on the bathrooms.
Florida University provides services for the students and the staff members as well. The programs center on the services that the LGBTQ community can have active participation in the community (FU). The staff is encouraged to join the LGBTQ advisory committee whose main role is to discuss the pertinent issues surrounding community within the campus. This includes the assessment of the quality of life of the LGBTQ community at the university and provides recommendations from an educational perspective on how to improve their experience. Further, Florida University also provides for housing specifications for the LGBTQ community. The services are provided within the Office of Off-Campus Life. The university has provided a trans-resource network. The network coordinates with all the departments within the university including designing courses on the unique needs of the LGBTQ community. The main purpose of the resource network is to provide an inter-departmental programming as well as continued education sensitization to other students within the campus. Also, Florida University provides counseling for undocumented LGBTQ students who may not feel comfortable revealing their sexuality.
Comparison of the Learning Institutions on the LGBTQ Community
In contrast to Wellesley College, FAU has made a significant step in identifying the LGBTQ community. FAU has provided a peer mentoring and a resource center compared to the Wellesley College. Peer mentoring allows other students within the LGBTQ community to mentor each other. Wellesley College has not provided such funds to the students. According to the Wellesley College website, the institution only provides a staff that is dedicated to LGBTQ empowerment and identification within the community. On the other hand, Wellesley College provides for professional counseling for the LGBTQ which FAU does not offer. This role may place the college ahead of FAU when it comes to an understanding the personal needs of the LGBTQ students.
Florida University compared to Wellesley College provides more complex and integrated services for the LGBTQ community. These services range from resource centers to LGBTQ services on educational platforms as well as an advisory committee that handles the LGBTQ problems and concerns. Additionally, Florida University also provides specific housing accommodations for the community similar to FAU. This feature places the two universities ahead of Wellesley College. However, Florida University provides recognition of both staff and students concerning the LGBTQ issues whereas, Wellesley College and FAU do not.
The National Center for Transgender Equality
According to the national center for transgender equality determines that students are protected from discrimination and harassment provided under the federal and state laws. This requires any America college and university as well as other higher learning institutions to ensure safety for the LGBTQ community. The protection status is granted within TITLE X of the federal law that bans sexual discrimination in schools. The proposal indicates that a student should be treated fairly based on their gender identity, the right not to be bullied or harassed and have the right to use restrooms and locker rooms that match their personality. Wellesley College, FAU and University of Florida have taken the initiative to ensure an inclusive culture within the campuses for the LGBTQ community.
The current paper has provided detailed accounts of how Wellesley College, University of Florida and FAU caters for the LGBTQ community. The paper has also provided differences within the institutions when it comes to delivering individualistic services. In summarization, the University of Florida and FAU provide special services compared to Wellesley College.
Wellesley College. LGBTQ Community. [ web]. Accessed 2/4/2019. https://www.wellesley.edu/studentlifeportal/diverse/lgbtq/queer_history_month
FAU. LGBTQ. [web]. Accessed 2/4/2019. http://www.fau.edu/diversity/lgbtqa/restrooms.php
The University of Florida. LGBTQ Affairs. [web]. Accessed 2/4/2019. https://lgbtq.multicultural.ufl.edu/resources/undocumented-lgbtq-students/