Welcome to OUSA Queer Support
We are dedicated to making the University of Otago and the Otago Polytechnic, the most inclusive tertiary institutions in New Zealand. We recognise that often your student years are ones where you are exploring your identities and getting ready to tell others about who you are. Finding out about and coming to terms with gender and sexual identity is sometimes a challenging and confusing experience.
It can be daunting to be confronted with labels such as gay, lesbian, bi, trans, 'queer'. OUSA and OPSA recognise that sexual orientation and gender identity are not fixed but are parts of what makes us the unique individuals that we are at any given time.
What we offer:
- A confidential chat with the Queer Support Coordinator.
Sometimes having someone to talk to is an important first step into understanding who you are and preparing yourself to tell others about it. Our Queer Support Coordinator is friendly and well trained in theory around pastoral care and queer identities. Feel free to pop into the student support centre or arrange an appointment by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. All conversations are guaranteed to be professional and confidential.
- Peer Support
Once you have figured out your identity, often a student’s next step is to try and find community and friends who are like-minded. This is where our super-awesome, well-trained interns can come in! The Queer Support Coordinator can peer you up with an intern to hang-out with, have coffee chats with and to attend queer events with you. Just having someone you know in the community makes things seem a whole lot less scary.
This is our weekly queer and questioning discussion group. This is a great way to meet other queer and questioning students in a controlled and safe environment. We chat about a whole range topics and often watch video clips and check out other online material to keep up-to-date with queer news from around the world. There is always food, drink and good times so check us out at the OUSA Student Support Centre, 5 Ethel Benjamin Place, every Tuesday of the semester from 3 til 5pm.
Are you getting a rough time at uni due to your sex, sexuality or gender identity? The University is committed to providing a safe campus environment for all students, so if this is not your experience then come and chat to the Queer Support Coordinator. We are well placed to help you make change through policy development, lodging complaints or mediation. Even if you are not wanting to make change, just reporting incidents of homophobia or transphobia is very important for our records and research.
Check out the tabs above for more information about SPACE, Transgender enrolments, Resources, Library and contact details.
|About Neill, our Queer Support Coordinator
Hi, my name is Neill and I am the current Queer Support Coordinator. I have been in Dunedin and associated with the University of Otago for more than six years and absolutely love it here. I came down to study a BA majoring in both politics and theology. I grew up on a farm just inland from the small town of Oamaru and still miss being on a farm. I enjoy reading, sailing, tramping, films and supporting the queer community. I believe that I can relate to people from across the queer communities and I have an inclusive Christian background so I can comfortably talk with you about the intersections of faith and sexuality. I look forward to meeting you!
'Queer' is a term used to describe the many variations of sexual attraction and sex/gender identity, including intersex, transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, asexual, fa'afafine, takatapui, lesbian, bisexual and gay. Although it may not be the preferred term for everyone, it is used to challenge binary representations of sexuality, sex, and gender.