Queer Support

Queer Support

Queer Support

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. Feel free to pop into the student support centre or arrange an appointment.

  • 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. The Queer Support Coordinator can peer you up with one of our super friendly and well-trained interns. Just having someone you know in the community makes things seem a whole lot less scary.

  • Advocacy

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. To talk with the Queer Support Coordinator, for peer support or for advocacy please email: q.support@ousa.org.nz

  • 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. We run these events through a group collective and are always looking for more help! 
Email : OtagoUniQ@gmail.com or join them on Facebook

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, running or going to the gym 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.