When College of Arts dean Samantha Brennan and Gwen Chapman, dean of the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences, joined U of G in 2017, they both noticed something was lacking in their new workplace. They came to U of G expecting a network for LGBTQ+ faculty and staff and were surprised to find none existed.

“So, we decided to start one,” says Brennan.

The new QUofG Network provides an opportunity for LGBTQ+ faculty and staff to connect socially and to bring about change.

“LGBTQIA+ folks are more visible today than they ever have been before. This is tremendous progress toward equity and liberation,” says Tommy Mayberry, educational developer in OpenEd and a member of the new network.

“Institutions of higher education need to help further that inclusivity. The QUofG Network is an exciting way we’re raising awareness, advocating and educating, and establishing safe spaces and brave spaces for LGBTQIA+ students, staff and faculty.”

The group’s mandate states:

We are a campus community made of intersecting identities and multiple histories. We envision a strong University of Guelph community that is equitable, respectful and visibly engaged in challenging systemic oppression. Our goal is to provide education, resources, programming and support for employees across the spectrums of gender and sexuality, with an emphasis on intersectional experiences.

The network is co-sponsored by Charlotte Yates, provost and vice-president (academic), and Don O’Leary, vice-president (finance, administration and risk).

“Building an inclusive and diverse campus is a significant priority of mine,” says Yates. “The QUofG Network supports that type of strong community at U of G. It’s a positive opportunity for faculty and staff who work here and helps make us an employer of choice for people who are considering joining our University.”

The network’s members intend to:

  • Create safe, welcoming spaces for LGBTQ+ faculty and staff to interact socially on a regular basis
  • Advocate for the creation and maintenance of a University community that is equitable, accepting and inclusive of people of all sexual and gender identities, and
  • Engage in education initiatives and outreach to the University and broader communities to raise awareness of LGBTQ+ issues and the presence of LGBTQ+ individuals on our campuses.

The QUofG Network’s next gathering

  • Inaugural meet and greet
  • Oct. 25 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
  • Keg Lounge at the Brass Taps, University Centre
  • Snacks will be provided
  • All staff and faculty from the LGBTQ+ community are welcome
  • RSVP to quofg@uoguelph.ca

Interested in learning more? Contact the QUofG Network at quofg@uoguelph.ca.