Denison University’s Center for Cross-Cultural Engagement was awarded a $5,000 grant for their initiative, “LGTBQ Online: Creating a Safe and Supporting Campus,” from the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges (OFIC).
The initiative is a 30-minute online, interactive training simulation that assists institutions of higher education in creating a safe and supportive campus community by increasing awareness and empathy for the challenges faced by LGBTQ students, and by building the skills of students to connect and communicate with respect.
Participants in the simulation will build the resources to respond to students when someone makes a biased comment or expresses prejudice or to respond supportively when a peer comes out as LGBTQ. They also will learn to recognize warning signs of psychological distress, including suicidal ideation, and to help connect peers who may be in distress with campus support services.
Erik Farley, associate dean of students and director, center for cross-cultural engagement, commented, “We’re very grateful for this grant and the well-informed training this will make possible for our students. Denison also is purchasing similar materials to inform its faculty and staff.” He added, “The LGBTQ community is a complex group, and people can be unsure of the best ways to provide support. This training will give them the information and confidence to sustain and succor our LGBTQ students and colleagues.