Title

Assessing the Needs of a University LGBT Resource Center: Encouraging a Caring Campus Climate

Location

1054

Format Type

Paper

Format Type

Paper

Start Date

12-1-2017 3:40 PM

End Date

12-1-2017 5:00 PM

Abstract

In today’s political climate, it is vital to look at lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) perceptions and issues within higher education. For this qualitative case study, we focused on the needs of a university LGBT resource center in the Southern United States. Aside from the collection of demographic survey data, we used a qualitative case study approach to tackle the difficulties of data collection among the LGBT population. Through open-ended survey questions, focus groups, and stakeholder interviews, we facilitated in giving a voice to the needs of a LGBT population that, more than ever in recent history, is attempting to be silenced. We took delicate care and much needed time to build up rapport with the center’s gatekeepers, as well as the students, faculty, and staff that utilize the center’s services.

The timing of this needs study was strategic, recognizing the life cycle of the center. For example, as this LGBT center has been operating on campus for more than five years, it was a critical time for such a needs assessment to occur. We will discuss the importance of building fellowship, as it relates to showing care for the LGBT population and their allies. Additionally, we will discuss specific findings from the needs assessment that included increased access for students with disabilities, improved outreach to engage a wider audience including faculty and international students, and continued student input into operations.

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Jan 12th, 3:40 PM Jan 12th, 5:00 PM

Assessing the Needs of a University LGBT Resource Center: Encouraging a Caring Campus Climate

1054

In today’s political climate, it is vital to look at lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) perceptions and issues within higher education. For this qualitative case study, we focused on the needs of a university LGBT resource center in the Southern United States. Aside from the collection of demographic survey data, we used a qualitative case study approach to tackle the difficulties of data collection among the LGBT population. Through open-ended survey questions, focus groups, and stakeholder interviews, we facilitated in giving a voice to the needs of a LGBT population that, more than ever in recent history, is attempting to be silenced. We took delicate care and much needed time to build up rapport with the center’s gatekeepers, as well as the students, faculty, and staff that utilize the center’s services.

The timing of this needs study was strategic, recognizing the life cycle of the center. For example, as this LGBT center has been operating on campus for more than five years, it was a critical time for such a needs assessment to occur. We will discuss the importance of building fellowship, as it relates to showing care for the LGBT population and their allies. Additionally, we will discuss specific findings from the needs assessment that included increased access for students with disabilities, improved outreach to engage a wider audience including faculty and international students, and continued student input into operations.