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Queer Wellbeing Survey Launched

Queer Wellbeing Survey Launched

This week the country’s only University Queer Support coordinator launched a Queer Wellbeing survey to delve into the perceptions of queer and questioning students studying at Otago University. In 24 hours over 500 students have taken part the Otago University Students’ Association’s survey which is looking to compare the results to those of similar studies in the United States and Auckland.

"This is an important opportunity to gauge how inclusive and safe our campus environment is for all people but especially our queer and questioning students." said Neill Ballantyne, OUSA Queer Support Coordinator.

International studies have demonstrated that University or Higher Education campus environments for LGBT students are often “chilly” and less than satisfactory in regards to the areas of acceptance, inclusion and safety (Rankin, 2003; Baker, 2008).

"Otago is seen as being a national leader in providing campus queer support services as we’re the only campus in the country to have a dedicated support coordinator. So this research should show the results on that investment." said Mr. Ballantyne.

The purpose of this project is to undertake both qualitative and quantitative research into the perceptions and experiences of queer and questioning students on the Otago University campus in order to compare to a study conducted by Toni Woods (2012) at Unitec Auckland, and the Rankin (2003) study undertaken at US campuses.

"The Unitec studies showed systematic cultures of non-disclosure and fear of discrimination. Whilst I would like to think that we are doing better here at Otago, this study will help us get a better understanding of where we’re at." said Mr. Ballantyne.

The survey will remain open until April 30th and has a target of over 500 student responses.


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