Past Features

December 11, 2006 (Vol. 4, No. 7)

Building CUNY Support Programs for GLBTQ Students

John Holloway
John Holloway
John Holloway, associate dean of student affairs, and Dr. Annecy Baez, director of the Counseling Center, represented Lehman at a CUNY-wide colloquium held December 5 to help build student support programs for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students. The forum, hosted by New York City College of Technology, was entitled "Gay Today: The State of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (GLBTQ) Student Services on Our Campuses."

Student affairs professionals from throughout the University engaged in a comprehensive discussion of the challenges involved in building these programs. Their focus included best practices, past accomplishments and goals for the future. Participants worked in smaller groups to brainstorm possible services and programs for unmet needs of this student population, such as consideration of gender-questioning, immigrant, HIV, at risk, and people of color sub-groups.

Holloway reported that Lehman's Division of Student Affairs recently hired a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Coordinator/Counselor, who has facilitated support groups and conducted student outreach on campus. Staff in the Counseling Center have also been trained in "Safe Zone," a national program that prepares staff and allies to assist members of the LGBT community. Volunteers participate in training that introduces them to the issues these students confront and explores how they can be supportive allies.

"I am pleased," Holloway said, "that the University community is assembling to discuss LGBT matters within CUNY."

Dr. Baez noted that additional workshops will be conducted on campus this spring to address LGBT concerns, and that a list of outside resources in this area is also available on the Counseling Center's website.