The House of Representatives has recently passed the Equality Act which protects Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) individuals as an expansion of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The bill would prohibit any discrimination against LGBTQ Americans. This prohibits LGBTQ Americans from being discriminated against based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing and other services as well as access to public accommodations, including public universities systems.
UWG is committed to providing resources and equal opportunities for all LGBTQ students on campus through specialized resources and programs. LGBTQ students are currently protected under Title IX of the Education of Amendments.
Inclusiveness is one of UWG’s Core Values to ensure that UWG is a place where all students are welcomed. The school offers several resources on campus to help LGBTQ students, including access to the Counseling Center.
“The Counseling Center has a very clear diversity statement on the front page of our website, stating its support to LGBTQIA++ members of our campus community,” says Taimyr Strachan-Louidor, Therapist and LGBTQIA++ Liaison at the Counseling Center. “Further counseling offers support and advocacy for LGBTQIA++ students. Counseling can help students understand themselves better and build frustration tolerance and resilience, which are protective for members of the LGBTQIA++ community.”
On-campus resources are available to students that allow a one-on-one approach for help. All on-campus resources are available free of charge to current students.
“UWG Counseling Center offers counseling services to all students here at the university,” says Strachan-Louidor. “Additionally, the counseling center has an LGBTQIA++ Liaison, as well as a Diverse Populations Counselor on staff who are tasked with building relationships with these students and assisting in advocacy efforts.
“All counseling staff is licensed and trained to meet the needs of a diverse student population,” Strachan-Louidor continues. “The current LGBTQIA++ Liaison has received extensive training in providing systemic therapy to individuals under the LGBTQIA++ umbrella.”
Aside from services offered at the Counseling Center, UWG also has additional initiatives to incorporate LGBTQ student focus. A few of these options include Housing and Residence Life which offer Transgender students room assistance upon request, all-gender restrooms are available throughout the UWG Carrollton Campus, individualized care for LGBTQ students at Health Services and a wide range of resources through the Center for Diversity and Inclusion.
“We have the SAFE (Sexuality Acceptance for Everyone) Group, which is specifically for LGBTQIA++ students,” says Stachan-Louidor. “In this group students have a safe space to process events and connect with other students.”
The university has also created UWG Cares, a program that allows students to find resources if they are in need of immediate assistance. More information on UWG Care can be found on the UWG website. If passed by the Senate, the Equality Act will begin to go into effect sometime later this year or beginning in 2022.