UCSF's Center for LGBT Health & Equity presents a wide variety of educational and mentoring programs for LGBT students, advocates for LGBT student needs, and offers informal advising to individual students. Students, alums, and all involved in student services are warmly invited to contact Center Director Shane Snowdon with any concern.
The Center’s student services can be readily adapted in any higher education setting. (For information about services specific to health students, visit Health.) The Center offers an Out List, so that students can network easily with colleagues and faculty, as well as a listserv that connects students to each other and the entire UCSF LGBT community. The Center also presents a number of events designed especially for students, including faculty-student mentoring programs, panels of out LGBT faculty and other role models, and workshops on LGBT-specific career issues. Information about the Center is provided in student welcome packets and at new-student orientations, and the Center provides consulting and training to student services, including counseling, health, housing, registrar, police, and career advising.
The Center worked closely with students to open UCSF’s married-student housing to same-sex domestic partners, to raise awareness of LGBT-related admissions concerns, and to include transgender coverage in UCSF’s student health insurance policy. The Center also collaborates with the LGBT Students Association and the Student/Resident/Postdoc/Fellow Subcommittee of the Chancellor’s GLBT Advisory Committee to present regular events tailored to student needs and to infuse LGBT topics into the curriculum (visit Resources for info about both groups).
The LGBT Health & Equity Center has played a key role in making the University of California a leader in LGBT equality within higher education. The website of UC’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex Association (formerly chaired by LGBTR Director Shane Snowdon) describes UC’s extensive LGBT student services, which would be invaluable in any higher education setting.
These services include LGBT centers at nine UC campuses, LGBT minors at six campuses, transgender health coverage for students at four campuses, and LGBT theme housing at six campuses. In addition, all UC campuses include same-sex domestic partners in married-student housing, offer assistance for LGBT students cut off from family support, provide a host of transgender student resources, and have created single-stall gender-neutral restrooms.
Crucially, the UCSF LGBT Health & Equity Center and the other UC LGBT centers have heightened awareness of the particular mental health concerns of LGBT students, as well as other challenges to their retention and success. All of the centers, like UCSF's, provide training to student services, offer students a wealth of educational and networking events, and collaborate closely with LGBT student groups. Most of the centers have also led efforts to survey students about their campuses’ LGBT climate, and many centers provide information about topics of special interest to LGBT students, including blood drives, military recruiting, and United Way campaigns.
UC’s systemwide LGBT association also sponsors an annual conference for LGBT students, and stays in close touch with UC’s LGBT alums. In May 2008, the UC Office of the President and UC’s alumni associations worked with UC’s nine LGBT centers to hold two historic receptions for LGBT alums that attracted over 500 participants.
The UCSF Center for LGBT Health & Equity is one of nearly 300 LGBT offices in U.S. colleges and universities. These offices’ activities and impact are detailed on the website of the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals, created in 1997. Whether an institution is considering an LGBT office or already has one, the site offers a wealth of information about LGBT concerns in higher education.
The Workplace page details UCSF’s extensive services for LGBT faculty and other employees.