By Justin Schellenberg, October 12 2017 —
The Students’ Union’s plan to implement a new LGBTQIA+ advisory board has been put on hold due to a lack of student interest.
SU vice-president student life Hilary Jahelka said the advisory board could be started again this year if more students apply, but that it will be postponed until that time.
“We had our deadline set and when that deadline came we had no one apply,” Jahelka said. “We extended it by a week and did some more outreach and only had one person apply.”
The advisory board was to be made up of two members of the Queers on Campus club and two members of the Q Centre with Jahelka as the chair. It was also to include two students-at-large — positions that the SU was not able to fill.
“We can’t go forward with it,” said Jahelka. “If we don’t get any more interest, we’ll look at it again next year.”
Q Centre co-coordinator Melanie Trudeau said she was happy the SU was interested in creating this advisory board but that she didn’t think much new would come from it.
“The issues that do come up, for the most part, we’re aware of,” Trudeau said. “We are very in-tune with our visitors and we’re very in-tuned with our volunteers. We’re very close with them.”
The idea to create the advisory board emerged from an SU community meeting last year in which students recommended creating a new body to hear concerns from the LGBTQ community on campus after the Christian Truth Activists — an evangelical Christian group that advocates against non-heterosexuality and abortion — rented a table from the SU near the Q Centre.
Jahelka still hopes that students will apply to join the advisory board.
“We would look at starting it again, 100 per cent,” Jahelka said. “We’d be willing to do that because we want this board to happen.”
“And if it doesn’t work, it is something that we are going to try and continue to look at and continue to revisit every year,” Jahelka added.