By Aymen Sherwani, October 24 2022—
After what seemed like quite the controversy surrounding the Students’ Union’s (SU) COVID-19 precaution policies, the Q Centre — the campus hub for sexual and gender diversity — has officially reopened its doors to U of C students, with their first open house which was on Oct. 6. Despite being told to keep their doors closed by the SU, while other services were prioritized in the reopening process, the Q Centre continued to emphasize the importance of their presence on campus for LGBTQ2SIA+ students and plan to show it this academic year.
“I think the Q Centre is very important,” said Isi Parente, a program coordinator at the Q Centre. “It not only offers resources and formal support to the community, but also offers a safe-space for people to be themselves and receive natural support from other community members and volunteers.”
In the past, the space has facilitated name changes for concerned students who wanted to be able to use preferred names on campus servers in accordance with their sexual and gender identities, as well offering a Queer Mentoring Program that work towards student solutions surrounding coming out, identity, networking, friendship, dating, volunteering, working, other extracurricular activities, stress, relationship issues, and/or health and wellness.
“My favourite service is the Q Mentoring Program,” said Parente. “Matching undergraduate students with more established community members creates an invaluable experience for both the mentors and the mentees [because] not all students have safe home environments to be themselves or get an understanding that it is okay to be queer.
“The mentoring program helps students be more comfortable in their own skin and learn some great tools from people who have been through it all,” she continued. “People can apply to this program via the Q Centre website, and applications close Nov. 4.”
The centre’s open house had about 80 students walk through the doors, making it clear that students — especially newer ones — are excited to be on campus, to gather and make meaningful connections, especially within the space.
“I love the vibrant community that I get to work with every day — every day I meet a new community member with a new story, and look forward to seeing them in the space,” concluded Parente.
For inquiries, visit the Q Centre’s website or email them at email@example.com.
This article is a part of our Voices section does not necessarily reflect the views of the Gauntlet editorial board.