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. Both institutions recognise that sexual orientation and gender identity are not fixed, but are part of what makes us the unique individuals that we are at any given time.
News and Notices:
Last updated 05/07/2018
OUSA Diversity Week is almost here!
Diversity Week is an annual event aimed at raising awareness and visibility of queer identities and issues on campus. We use 'Queer' as a umbrella term to describe the many variations of attraction, sex and gender identity, including intersex, transgender, genderqueer, asexual, fa'afafine, takatapui, lesbian, bisexual and gay.
This year we are holding Diversity Week in semester two, Monday 30th July - Friday 3rd August.
What we offer:
- A confidential chat with the Queer Support Coordinator.
We recognise that often your student years are ones where you are exploring your identities and we know it can be daunting to be confronted with labels such as gay, lesbian, bi, trans, 'queer'. Having someone to talk to can be an important first step into understanding who you are and preparing yourself to tell others about it.
- Peer Support
Once you have figured out your identity, often a student’s next step is to try and find a community and friends who are like-minded. The Queer Support Coordinator can peer you up with one of our super friendly and well-trained peer supporters. Just having someone you know in the community can make things seem a whole lot less scary.
- Support groups
This year we are running our Queer and Far LGBTQIA cross-cultural group. We meet weekly, have a secret Facebook group plus we plan fun social outings.
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.
OUSA Queer Support offers FREE Queer Awareness workshops to University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic staff. Once you complete a Queer101 workshop you will be eligible to become part of the Queer Friendly Staff Network (QFSN). You will be asked to complete a short refresher every three years to remain on the QFSN.
In addition to the Queer101 workshops we can come to you to deliver tailored workshops within your school or department. These workshops can be available to both staff and students.
We hold a biannual Queerest Tea Party and an annual Diveristy Week to help rasie the profile of queer students and culture on campus. Diversity Week 2018 will be held on the week beginning Monday 30th July - we have a great line up of events including the Queerest Tea Party, Sex Seminars, a Human Library and more!
- UniQ Otago
UniQ Otago is an OUSA Student Club that provides a social support for Dunedin-based queer and questioning students. UniQ provides safe, queer friendly spaces and regular social events.
Email: OtagoUniQ@gmail.com or join them on Facebook
If you have any feedback about our Queer Support service please contact our Queer Support Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you feel uncomfortable approaching the Queer Support Coordinator please contact the OUSA Student Support Manager Sage Burke: email@example.com.
Hahna Briggs: Queer Support Coordinator
I moved to Dunedin in 2007 to pursue my passion for contemporary dance by completing a Masters in Dance Studies. During this time I began to explore my sexuality identity. Queer Support and the student group, UniQ were important resources during this time.
I have held many exciting roles in my working life predominantly in the Disability and Dance sectors, including tertiary and community teaching, support and advocacy, and administration. I was honored to receive the 2013 Caroline Plummer Fellowship in Community Dance here at the University of Otago, School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Science.
I spend most of my leisure time dancing or knitting and of course hanging out with my partner and our beautiful black cat, Maui.
Feel free to pop in for a chat or make an appointment to receive some support. 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.