LGBTQ Resource Center offers ally training
The LGBTQ Resource Center on campus holds many ally trainings, workshops and discussion groups about the community. The goal of these trainings and discussions — inclusivity and awareness.
The three-hour ally training gives students, faculty and staff the opportunity to get a better understanding of situations faced by LGBTQ students through practice exercises and simulations.
“We will have more staff, faculty and more students who have a better understanding of those identities and then can, therefore, act in a more sensitive and inclusive manner towards the LGBTQ community,” Director of the Resource Center Lorraina Schroeder said.
In the case of awareness, the trainings and discussions cover terms, definitions and information on who is included in LGBTQ, such as identities outside of heterosexual and cisgender.
Public relations junior and member of the LGBTQ community Matthew De Leon fully recognizes the importance of allies and this training.
“It just helps normalize LGBTQ+ culture and makes campus more inclusive,” De Leon said.
Throughout each department’s offices, plaques can be found on the door of staff members who have successfully completed the ally training course. This alone helps LGBTQ students with the ability to be themselves in the classroom.
“I’ve heard from students that when they see the ‘Cougar Ally’ placard we give out to people who have completed the training that there is a level of comfort that a student feels in just being their authentic selves in the presence of that person,” Schroeder said. “The more of those they see on campus, the more welcome and included they feel.”
On top of the Cougar Ally training, the LGBTQ Resource Center also offers Cougar Ally 2.0 Workshops. The training is about an hour and a half and focuses more on particular identities or issues.
Though staff and students are the main attendees to the trainings, Schroeder encourages more faculty to register and attend the next one. She said these training sessions are offered to interested departments on campus for their entire faculty to complete.
“I feel that the ally training is incredibly important because it educates people on the LGBTQ community and the issues affecting us,” De Leon said. “It just gets more knowledge out there and more knowledge provides a more inclusive campus.”