If you’re like many at the University of Arizona Global Campus (UAGC), you may be looking for a dedicated place to connect with others in the LGBTQ+ community. Now you have that chance, thanks to the launch of the newly formed LGBTQ+Ally Association at UAGC.
Whether you identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, or you are a straight ally, and you are seeking to promote a safe, inclusive environment where you can interact and learn from peers, the LGBTQ+Ally Association might be the right fit for you.
Its creation is thanks, in a big part, to the work of UAGC students, such as entrepreneurial major Joe Rosenfeld. Joe says he saw the need for an LGBTQ+ community at UAGC. However, when he searched online for an outlet, he had no luck in finding one.
“So, with a little bit of tenacity and a lot of excitement, I approached the UAGC club senior leadership team regarding my aspiration to initiate and start this organization,” he explains.
Since its inception, the club’s membership has continued to grow. Joe says he’s been thrilled to the see the flood of support the group has already received.
Leah Belsey, UAGC Access & Wellness Manager and Title IX Coordinator, is a longtime LGBTQ+ ally who previously served as one of the club’s chapter advisors. During her tenure, she watched membership requests pour in via LinkedIn and is enthusiastic about the response she witnessed.
“It excites me that the club was initiated by UAGC students who propelled its formation,” she exclaims. “We have had so much engagement."
Think you could find your niche within the LGBTQ+Ally Association? Read on to discover seven reasons you should join today.
7 Great Reasons to Join the LGBTQ+ Ally Association at UAGC
1. Shape the Club's Future
Created in March of 2021, membership quickly has grown, and if you join, you can help craft the trajectory of the club and play a role in shaping its future as the club continues to evolve.
2. You Can Make Lifelong Connections
Need a support system? Students and alumni who join the LGBTQ+Ally Association will become part of a flourishing group of peers who can offer encouragement and advice in navigating topics important to both the LGBTQ+ community and their allies.
By joining the club, students can share stories, bounce ideas off one another, and find camaraderie with like-minded individuals, while supporting one another both within the academic world and outside of it.
“You’ll have the opportunity to network, meet with other students, make connections, and develop relationships,” Leah explains.
3. You Can Promote a Positive, Inclusive Environment
The club has a warm, welcoming atmosphere where many members, without prompt, have shared their support, personal experiences, and posted welcome messages to the group’s page. It is a supportive and safe space where everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate.
4. You Can Help Raise Awareness of LGBTQ+ Issues
As stated on the group’s LinkedIn page, the mission of UAGC LGBTQ+Ally Association is to provide a setting for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and ally students to foster social relationships and professional development events. It’s also was created to increase the engagement of the UAGC community on issues of importance to LGBTQ+ individuals.
According to research compiled by Catalyst.org, nearly half of LGBTQ+ workers in the United States are closeted within their workplaces and 20% have experienced discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Creating a space where students and alumni can discuss topics that directly impact their lives allows the group to not only serve as an outlet for finding support, but it can also play a pivotal role in increasing equity and equal rights for LGBTQ+ and their allies.
5. It’s Your Chance to Lead
Students and alumni may have a chance to be a part of the club's leadership team and serve as ambassadors to steer the club forward and engage the group in important topics of conversation.
6. The Future is Bright
There’s plenty of room for the LGBTQ+Ally Association to expand and further its impact within the UAGC community.
“In the future, I would like to see the group get more involved with the university community, invite guest speakers like faculty and alumni, start a book club, and engage in community service,” Leah says.
Joe adds that he would love to see the group expand even further outside the UAGC space.
“I have a passion for youth and mentorship and hope that we can also be proactive as a group in reaching out to high schools throughout the nation,” he explains. “It would be great to bring together the youth LGBTQ population and maybe have our members be able to volunteer as mentors to this community.”
7. It’s Open to Anyone
All UAGC students and alumni, regardless of their sexual organization and/or gender identity, are eligible to join the LGBTQ+Ally Association. Being an ally can be a powerful way to help put an end to discrimination globally and make UAGC in particular even more open and accepting of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals.
With such an active, vibrant response to the creation of the club already, you’ll find it has lots of potential. If you’d like to become a part of the fun, the time to join is now.
To get started, join UAGC Connect today and access the LGBTQ+ Ally Association and other organizations.
Leah Nanaa is a frequent contributor to the UAGC Forward Thinking blog.