HAVEN to provide educational training for GLBT issues

An on-campus resource group for GLBT students and supporters at Sam Houston State University will host a training course on April 21 to give students and faculty the tools to tackle gender identity and sexuality issues.

HAVEN – a program dedicated to creating a safe and accepting campus environment for GLBT students – has put together GLBT 101 to give student, staff and faculty allies information to aid in a mission to eliminate stereotypes and myths about the GLBT community.

The program was founded originally in 2008, but has been revived recently by psychologists from the counseling center on campus.

Selena Guerra, Ph.D., a psychologist at SHSU’s counseling center, said the course will cover topics such as GLBT vocabulary, gender identity, power and privilege, discrimination as well as current law and being an ally.

According to Guerra, these programs were created to help support a student population that traditionally has been marginalized and treated unfairly due to lack of knowledge or understanding.

“The HAVEN program helped me connect with more diverse students and faculty that really care,” Kathryn Vanderhoef, Gamma Sigma Kappa secretary said. “HAVEN offers trainings to teach what everything means in the LGBT+ community.”

HAVEN, Vanderhoef said, offers a space where GLBT students who do not have supportive families can feel safe and accepted.

“They show why it matters to become an ally and the best ways of doing so,” she said. “Also, it’s important to show non-LGBT people that we exist and that we go through so much adversity.”

The HAVEN course aims to give students, faculty and staff the resources to be better allies to and have a better understanding of GLBT students while lessening transphobia, homophobia, biphobia and heterosexism.

To participate in HAVEN’s course on April 21, send an email to org_haven@shsu.edu with the body “Register me for GLBT 101, please.”

The course will be from 5:30-7:30 in the LSC Annex 129, and HAVEN hopes to host a GLBT 102 in the fall 2016 semester that will cover other issues in the GLBT community, such as coming out, as well as shorter specialty topics.

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