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LGBTQ Associations

The Rainbow Centre in Waterloo and Queer Sphere (formerly Rainbow Alliance) in Brantford work to foster social, academic and personal growth for all individuals in the Laurier community, through personal support, awareness promotion, advocacy and education regarding LGBTQ issues, rights and experiences. 

The Rainbow Centre in Waterloo is a safe space on campus available to all students, faculty, staff, administrators and visitors who are LGBTQ identified, queer-friendly or allies. We provide awareness training, programming, research, education, advocacy and support through group events, speaker series, open forums, and a resource library. Our hope is to transform the community starting with ourselves.

We offer a space in which to house resources, hold meetings, and, most importantly, provide the opportunity to engage in discourse in an open and positive environment.

Our Programs

  • Queer Awareness Week
  • Campus Pride Parade
  • Trans Awareness Week
  • Trans Vigil

Discussions

The Rainbow Centre runs biweekly discussions to discuss LGBTQ-related issues, events and experiences. These meetings are intended to provide a supportive, positive, safe environment for individuals from the spectrum of sexual and gender diversity within the Laurier community, including allies. Every other week we have one of four common themes for the topic. The themes are: coming out, gender identity, community, and open discussions.

  • Coming Out: Coming out discussions are intended to tackle different aspects of coming out. Topics range from the benefits of being out to where you can be out and safe on campus as well as personal stories from others. The Rainbow Centre is a safe place where you can be out and express yourself in whatever manner you see fit.
  • Identity: Gender identity and sexual identity aren’t necessarily fixed. Our goal in discussing identity is to further expand our views about gender and sexuality and to explore all of the identities that do not fit into society’s binary system.
  • Community: Discussions about our surrounding community are open, positive environments to make ourselves aware of what is happening in the world related to politics, media and our general everyday lives. Community discussions will also allow members of the group to further tap into aspects of queer culture and queer community.
  • Open Discussions: The Rainbow Centre opens discussion to questions presented by the group. These discussions are designed to facilitate discussion about any topic that individuals in the group are interested in discussing.

All discussions are open to individuals at Laurier and in the broader community. It is important as a community that we work together and also get to know one another so as to broaden our networks and make new friendships and alliances.

The Rainbow Centre operates on a foundation of the basic policies of respect, privacy, confidentiality and no assumptions. These policies apply to every event, discussion or gathering hosted by the Rainbow Centre.

Queer Sphere is a support system that promotes awareness, acceptance and social advocacy for the LGBTQ2+ members and allies here on campus to meet and socialize with their peers, as well as to impact the university in a positive way. Regular events and meetings include discussions, games night, movie night and guest speakers.

Questions? Feel free to email us at queersphere@wlu.ca.

Values

  • provide safe spaces and reliable resources to LGBTQ2+ peoples and allies
  • raise awareness of LGBTQ2+ persons
  • honesty
  • integrity
  • education
  • kindness

Mission

Promote and establish a safe and inclusive environment for LGBTQ2+ students while educating the Laurier community on issues affecting the queer community through various initiatives.

Our Programs

Queer Sphere programs are designed to engage the Laurier community in thoughtful discussions, developmental activities, and special initiatives with the hopes of educating one another as well as formulating to bond to support our cause.

  • General Meetings: Held once a week, these meetings are to inform members and others on the activities Queer Sphere will be hosting throughout the month.
  • Queer Orientation: Held every September, this event is for students to meet and socialize with other students, staff, and faculty in the LGBTQ2+ community.
  • Trans 101: Held around Transgender Day of Remembrance, this workshop aims to educate about Trans identities and the continued violence experienced by the Trans community.

Resources

Email rainbow@wlu.ca (Waterloo) and queersphere@wlu.ca (Brantford) if you have specific questions. On the Waterloo campus, stop in at our centre in MacDonald House to view and sign out books and journals from our resource library.

Ways to Get Involved

Volunteers are responsible for a variety of tasks. Each volunteer’s area of involvement will depend on their interest, availability and previous experience. Volunteers may be involved in a number or areas.

In Waterloo, volunteers are needed to staff the centre throughout the day to ensure a safe environment for all individuals. 

In Brantford, to become a member of Queer Sphere, you must commit to attending a predetermined number of events and/or meetings throughout the year. Membership in Queer Sphere is beneficial to you as it entitles you to the leadership roles and you will be eligible to add Queer Sphere involvement to your Co-Curricular Record

Email rainbow@wlu.ca (Waterloo) and queersphere@wlu.ca (Brantford) for more details about volunteering.

“Volunteering for the Rainbow Centre is more than just another social outlet. It’s a place where you can go to feel safe, and more importantly, it’s a place where you have a voice. Between volunteer hours in the Centre, weekly discussion groups, social events and all the awareness campaigns, the Rainbow Centre volunteer experience is a great combination of meeting all kinds of diverse and interesting people while working to make Laurier a safer, more accepting environment for everyone.”

Michael Wright

Policies

The Laurier Rainbow Centre and Queer Sphere operate with a foundation of the following basic policies. These policies apply to every event, discussion or gathering hosted by these services.

Respect: Each and every person is entitled to respect. This means respecting their comments, ideas, and opinions that they share with the group. That doesn’t mean you have to agree with what someone said; it simply means you must allow them to share their opinion, and if you wish to disagree, please do so politely, without attacking or insulting the other person. It should be noted that any oppressive or derogatory remarks will be considered disrespectful and you may be asked to leave.

Privacy: Any comments, opinions, feelings (etc.) shared at an event, discussion, or other gathering are to be kept within the group. This is a safe space where each individual is valued; as such their privacy should also be respected.

Confidentiality: The Rainbow Centre and Queer Sphere are safe environments, where all individuals are welcome regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Everyone has a different experience with coming out, and as such their presence at a Rainbow Centre event, discussion, or other gathering should be left to their own disclosure.

No Assumptions: No assumptions are to be made regarding the sexual orientation of gender identity or anyone who attends an event, discussion, or other gathering. Just as with any other campus organization, there is a diverse group of individuals who access these services for various reasons.

Contact Us:

Rainbow Centre (Waterloo)

E: rainbow@wlu.ca
T: 519.884.0710 x3010
Office Location: First floor Mac house - Room 104

Office Hours:

During the Academic Year the Centre is open Monday - Friday: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

You will need your OneCard to gain access to the north entrance of the building.

Queer Sphere (Brantford)

E: queersphere@wlu.ca
T: 519.865.6706