LGBTQ group seeks higher profile at Humber

by | Sep 27, 2013 | News

By Kerrisa Wilson

Other than a few posters hanging around Humber’s hallways, it seems there is not a lot of talk about the LGBTQ community on campus.

The Gender and Sexual Diversity Committee told Humber News, ever since the doors opened to students in 1967 there has not been an area for  LGBTQ students to meet, socialize and be themselves without judgment.

Compared to other schools in Toronto, Humber’s LGBTQ community seems low key and that concerns Jason Hunter, Humber’s vice president, student and community engagement.

“It may be in part because places like Ryerson or York, when students are there for longer periods of time because of the number of degree programs, that there’s just more time to invest,” said Hunter.

Humber’s Gender and Sexual Diversity Committee co-chair Thomas Silcox-Childs said they’re ready to make a change.

Humber's Gender and Sexual Diversity Committee wants more recognition and a safe space for LGBTQ members on campus.

Humber’s Gender and Sexual Diversity Committee wants more recognition and a safe space for LGBTQ members on campus.

“Because we are a volunteer based committee, we are certainly putting ourselves out there and telling people if there is anything relating to LGBTQ we want to help you,” said Silcox-Childs.

Humber President, Chris Whitaker said he is on board with the idea of more promotion and resources for the group but has concerns about the limited amount of space.

“Safe areas should be easy to establish. Our challenge with lounges is a challenge we have with everything at Humber, is that space is limited,” said Whitaker.

One of the initiatives that the GSDC is emphasizing this year is establishing an educational and positive logo or sign to represent a safe zone for LGBTQ members on campus.

“As much as it’s really important to put visible and rainbow symbols around campus it also has to be accompanied by an education program to support the fact that it truly is a safe zone or safe space,” said Silcox-Childs.

Some students may recall seeing the LGBTQ poster near the Tim Hortons, which is ironically  located next to what is at best an office door, but at worst a closet.

People can look at this poster next to this door as a sign that awareness and action to create a proper safe zone needs to happen on campus, said Silcox-Childs.

“The irony is I wouldn’t ever want to take a symbol like this down because we need more symbols. Picking on that door is a lightening rod for the issue but doesn’t necessarily for me relate to the issue,” said Silcox-Childs.

With the collaboration of many Humber outlets the GSDC wants to see growth and awareness of the LGBTQ community, which does look promising, said Silcox-Childs.

“We feel very supported by all levels of students, staff, faculty and administration. It’s a good sign, good feeling,” said Silcox-Childs.