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LGBTQ William Walter

and

Kaelen Austin

Relevancy to the Resident Assistant position: -

9 out of 10 LGBTQ students are bullied in high school. (http://www.glsen.org/cgi-bin/iowa/all/home/index.html) - Students will be coming to college hoping to gain more acceptance, but may be expecting to receive the same treatment. - Resident Assistants can be their number one resource if a resident feels mistreated or if they are in need of a safe person to talk to. As Resident Assistants, we are expected to be that resource. Even if we cannot help them personally, we can help them find the resources that they need. Challenges residential students may face when dealing LGBTQ issues: -

A lot of college experiences involve parties and a student may chose an inappropriate time to come out (when they are intoxicated at a party). - A student may have a roommate(s) or friends that have expressed their lack of acceptance prior to knowing that that student was part of the LGBTQ community, and the resident may be scared/reluctant to come out. - The student may just be unaware of how many resources are offered for students and are unwilling to seek such help. Challenges RAs may face when helping residents with this issue: -

-

If a student experiences backlash after coming out, how should an RA handle it appropriately? An RA may not know what being part of the LGBTQ community entails, who is a part of it, what the terms are in it (i.e. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Queer, Identify, etc.). The student may not seek you out for help, so it may be up to the RA to take the initiative if they know help it needed (refer them to resources such as the Wellness Center). Photo resources: http://www.siue.edu/lgbt/ http://equity.lsnc.net/tag/sexual-orientation-and-race/page/2/


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LGBTQ Resources for students dealing with issues in the LGBTQ community: Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley

The Gay Alliance works to facilitate tolerance and acceptance of LGBTQ people, both within the LGBTQ community itself and the wider Rochester community as a whole. Their volunteers offer dozens of workshops over the course of the year. These workshops are dedicated to training new volunteers and presenters, as well as teaching members, friends and family of the LGBTQ community. The GAGV produces The Empty Closet, which is New York State’s oldest LGBTQ publication. Additionally, the GAGV offers support groups to all members of the LGBTQ community, as well as crisis intervention and short-term counseling. These support groups cater to members of all generations, including college-age people. http://www.gayalliance.org/images/downloads/AnnualReport11.pdf

Empire State Pride Agenda

The Pride Agenda represents New York State’s LGBTQ community. They work for civil rights through “education, organizing and advocacy programs,” in order to ensure that LGBTQ people are represented in our government. The Pride Agenda provides counseling for individuals and families, services for homeless youth, health and wellness programs (which include preventative care), domestic violence counseling and services for survivors of sexual assault. http://www.prideagenda.org/Our-Programs/NYS-LGBT-Network.aspx

AIDS Care of Rochester

AIDS Care works with the community to curb the spread of Sexually Transmitted Infections through education and testing. They routinely offer free testing for STIs, as well as counseling to those who have contracted an STI or those who put themselves at risk for contracting them. Additionally, AIDS Care offers support groups for those living with an STI, as well as treatment and counseling for those addicted to drugs and alcohol. http://www.acrochester.org/en/


Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)

PFLAG was started in 1973, and has its own chapter in Rochester. They strive to improve relationships between families and their LGBTQ members through education and support groups. One of their main concerns is how a LGBTQ person will be accepted by their family and friends. To aid LGBTQ people, they offer support groups to help straight individuals learn about the LGBTQ community. Rochester has its own PFLAG chapter, and their Facebook page can be found by searching for “Pflag Rochester.” http://community.pflag.org/page.aspx?pid=539 https://www.facebook.com/people/PflagRochester/1679277665#!/profile.php?id=1 679277665

Madeleine Reynolds Bolz, St. John Fisher College

Dr. Bolz has a degree in Mental Health Counseling from St. John Fisher College, as well as specific training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She had offered her services to Fisher’s Gay Straight Alliance, and is available to all Fisher students. http://www.sjfc.edu/campus-services/wellness/about/fac-staffdetail.dot?id=70d7729c-237a-426f-a954-28a3c8ae91d1

Fisher’s Gay Straight Alliance

Fisher’s GSA was started as a resource for LGBTQ students on the Fisher campus. Throughout the year, they put on events to educate students about the LGBTQ community. The club is open to all Fisher students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. The GSA’s club members wish to be seen as open and encouraging of all sexual identities, and wish to make the campus a more welcoming space for LGBTQ students, faculty, and staff. fishergaystraightalliance@sjfc.edu

For immediate answers, RAs are encouraged to contact Fisher’s GSA or Matt McKay (the advisor for the club). If the members of the GSA are unable to provide adequate information because of the sensitivity of the issue, it is recommended that RAs either contact one of the above sources or ask that their resident(s) contact them. As always, RAs should contact their RD or Safety and Security if they have immediate concerns about the welfare of their residents.


LGBTQ Facts about the LGBTQ community: - 9 out of 10 LGBTQ students experienced bullying (1) - Two-thirds of LGBTQ students felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation (2) - On college campuses throughout the U.S., there are 700 LGBTQ clubs and organizations (3) - A marriage equality amendment was put into effect on July 24, 2011 in New York. This allows for same-sex couples to legally marry. However, the benefits that heterosexual couples receive from the federal government are still not given to same-sex couples - Facts about New York: protects sexual orientation under hate crime laws (4) -does not have specific protections for transgender students - 20% of homeless youth are LGBTQ (5) - LGBTQ youth who did not have access to support groups in high school are more likely to attempt suicide (6) - LGBTQ teens are five times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual counterparts (7) Resources: 1 http://www.glsen.org/cgi-bin/iowa/all/home/index.htm 2 http://www.glsen.org/cgi-bin/iowa/all/home/index.htm 3 http://www.dosomething.org/tipsandtools/11-facts-about-lgbtq-life-america 4 http://www.hrc.org/laws-and-legislation/state/P360 5 http://www.nationalhomeless.org/factsheets/lgbtq.html 6 http://www.sprc.org/library/SPRC_LGBT_Youth.pdf 7 http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/study-gay-teens-five-times-more-likely-to-attempt-suicide/


LGBTQ Case Study What is it about? You are an RA on the St. John Fisher College campus, in a freshman Residence Hall. Three weeks into the semester, you are approached by one of your male residents (Stanley) who says that he is considering transferring at the end of the Fall semester. He is acting very uncomfortable around you, and upon further questioning about his reasons for transferring, you find out that he is gay. He tells you that his roommates have routinely been making derogatory jokes about the LGBTQ community, although they are not directed at Stanley himself. While they are unaware that Stanley is gay, he feels that if they were to find out about his orientation, they would become hostile and reject him. Stanley does not indicate that he is interested in harming himself or others, or that he is concerned that his roommates will physically hurt him. His roommates, Gregory and Timothy do not seem to notice Stanley’s discomfort, and he is worried that it will not end if action is not taken. What is the first step for the RA? First, we would sit down with Stanley and let him know that we support him and his sexual orientation, and will do our best to rectify the situation. It is important that we encourage him to be open with us about this issue, as it clearly is presenting a problem for his college experience. We would then ask if he had any specific ideas about how he would like us to handle the situation. If not, we would suggest to our options, which are: 

Encourage him to speak to his roommates on his own o

Explain that the comments either make him uncomfortable or that he is worried about how others will take the comments

Sit-down with the room as a whole

Hold a floor-wide program (ensuring that it will not be directed at him or his roommates) to encourage diversity Refer him to the RD, the Wellness Center, or other resources around the Rochester area (if he is more comfortable talking with someone who is not connected to the campus) Sit-down with the roommates without Stanley present

o

 

Explain that the derogatory comments and jokes are not acceptable on campus

How does the RA follow-up with the resident(s)? After Stanley has agreed upon a course of action and it has been followed through with, we would check back with him about four or five days later. If he chose to confront his roommates on his own, this will give him time to decide how he would like to approach


them. If he asked us to talk with the roommates, this will give him time to assess if they have changed their behavior, and if it has gotten better or worse. Additionally, this would also give us time to plan an appropriate program to encourage residents to be aware of their language around others. We would also follow-up with our RD and co-RA, to make sure that there is adequate communication between the student, the co, ourselves, and our supervisor. If Stanley’s situation has worsened:  Talk with the RD to figure out a course of action  Follow-up with Stanley on a day-to-day basis to ensure his overall safety and mental well-being o Again, suggest that he go to the Wellness Center  If Stanley had previously decided that he wished to confront his roommates, or we had a program about the issue and the issue became worse, we would encourage him to let us talk with the roommates one-on-one How does the RA take steps to ensure that this is not a common occurrence among other residents? We would start with holding a program, building-wide if possible and strongly endorsed by the RDs and other pro-staff. Staying in regular contact with our supervisor about the overall community on the floor, especially as it pertains to this issue, is very important. At the staff meetings, we would bring up the issue and strongly encourage everyone to be especially vigilant if they hear a resident making derogatory comments. We would suggest that they create Passive programs about the issue, to ensure that there is a constant reminder to the students about the problems that can arise from this type of behavior.

RA Final Project  

RA Final Project 2011 for William Walter and Kaelen Austin

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