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March 9, 2009 | by  | in Opinion |
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Would you like queer with that?

Hi Kids! I’m Nathan, your Queer Officer for 2009! My job is to represent Queer students at Victoria, to advocate on their behalf, and to work towards improving access, equity and support for queer students on campus. Basically that means I work with VUWSA to look out for the queer kids, and make sure the scary world of university doesn’t crush them like delicate flowers.

‘How do you do that, Nathan?’ you might ask. Good Question!

Well, let me tell you all about the Queer Mentoring Programme! The Queer Mentoring Programme is a project first envisioned by former Queer Officer Rachael Wright, which I’ve been working on over summer to get it up and running this year.

The programme is a joint venture between the Student Counselling Service, the VUWSA Queer Rep and UniQ, and is a way to connect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning students with friendly and experienced student mentors. The programme is available for any student who is coming out, embracing a new sexual identity, questioning their sexuality, or unsure of their sexual identity.

‘Wow! How do I sign up?’

To request a mentor, or even just more information on the Queer Mentoring Programme, send an email to queer.officer@vuwsa.org.nz with ‘mentor’ in the subject line. After finding out what you need, you will be put in touch with an appropriate mentor, who will contact you by phone or email and arrange to meet you.

‘Yeah, that sounds cool and all, but I’m worried about my privacy’

All mentors have been trained by the Counselling Service, and know to respect your privacy, and the level of ‘outness’ you desire. As part of the initial discussion you have with your mentor, the two of you will negotiate a mutually acceptable level of discreteness. Your details will be treated as confidential and stored securely.

Of course, not everyone will need a mentor. Luckily there’s also UniQ – The Queer Student Rep Group. UniQ meets every fortnight or so during term-time for fun social events like Movie-Nights, Pot-Lucks, Tea-Parties, and Games-Evenings (to name a few), as well as organising a few dance parties and other events throughout the year!

The first UniQ Meeting of 2009 will be on Thursday 12 March (That’s this week!) in Meeting Rooms 1 and 2 of the Student Union Building from 5pm! There’ll be pizza, and movies, and new friends and the election of a new UniQ executive, so don’t miss out!

For more information about UniQ, the Queer Mentoring Programme, or being queer at Vic, email queer.officer@vuwsa.org.nz.

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