Event Title

LGBTQIA+ Campus Climate at a Small Liberal Arts University: An Exploratory Study with the Aim of Improving the Environment for Queer Students

Faculty Advisor

Meghan Burke

Graduation Year

2019

Location

Room E101, Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

Start Date

13-4-2019 11:00 AM

End Date

13-4-2019 12:00 PM

Description

Research suggests that a significant portion of LGBTQIA+ individuals report that their sexual orientation and/or gender identity play a substantial role in choosing which postsecondary institution to attend; thus, it is incumbent upon institutions for higher education to assess their respective campus climates. This project evaluates LGBTQIA+ campus climate at a small, private, Midwestern liberal arts university. Utilizing a grounded theory approach, I interviewed my queer-identified classmates – selected via a combination of strategic and snowball sampling – about their experiences on campus. Through these discussions, I gained a better understanding of queer students’ experiences within the classroom, extracurricular activities, living spaces, and elsewhere throughout the institution. Findings include a divide between cisgender and transgender or nonbinary participants’ perceptions of campus climate, as well as incongruence in institutional policy and students’ lived experiences. The information I gleaned from these interviews was then used to suggest ways for the university to better serve its LGBTQIA+ population.

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Apr 13th, 11:00 AM Apr 13th, 12:00 PM

LGBTQIA+ Campus Climate at a Small Liberal Arts University: An Exploratory Study with the Aim of Improving the Environment for Queer Students

Room E101, Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

Research suggests that a significant portion of LGBTQIA+ individuals report that their sexual orientation and/or gender identity play a substantial role in choosing which postsecondary institution to attend; thus, it is incumbent upon institutions for higher education to assess their respective campus climates. This project evaluates LGBTQIA+ campus climate at a small, private, Midwestern liberal arts university. Utilizing a grounded theory approach, I interviewed my queer-identified classmates – selected via a combination of strategic and snowball sampling – about their experiences on campus. Through these discussions, I gained a better understanding of queer students’ experiences within the classroom, extracurricular activities, living spaces, and elsewhere throughout the institution. Findings include a divide between cisgender and transgender or nonbinary participants’ perceptions of campus climate, as well as incongruence in institutional policy and students’ lived experiences. The information I gleaned from these interviews was then used to suggest ways for the university to better serve its LGBTQIA+ population.