BMC: Kaleidoscope Continuum of Care
A Message from the Kaleidoscope Coordinator
I want to thank you for taking the time to read the results included in the Kaleidoscope LGBT Continuum of Care. The Continuum of Care is just a part of the resources developed by the Kaleidoscope Program. Other resources include the Kaleidoscope Resource Packet, a collection of resources for individuals on Brethren and Mennonite campuses as they relate to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people; as well as the Safe Zone Packet, a guide for leaders and participants through a meaningful training to combat homophobia. In addition to our resources, the Kaleidoscope Program also hosts events such as the Spring Retreat, our annual “Queer Camp” geared for lgbt college students, in addition to many events at the BMC Convention, on college campuses, and other academic conferences.
The results listed in the Continuum of Care give an overview of the state of lgbt care at individual Brethren and Mennonite institutions. This survey grew from a quest to learn more about the Brethren and Mennonite Institutions with whom the Kaleidoscope Program is involved. The policies and actions of each institution play a large role in the life of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students. The health and academic success of lgbt students is at risk when colleges and universities fail to take into account their needs. Therefore, this survey asked general and some specific information from each institution, in order to highlight positive aspects and encourage them to review areas in which support for lgbt students may be lacking. Although the continuum ranks many factors in policy and procedure, there is a difference between a policy and how things actually work at a college or university. I would encourage you to visit a college, ask questions of current students, and use your own experiences to draw a definite conclusion of any institution listed here.
I would also like to draw attention to the fact that there were differing degrees to which sources filled out the surveys. Leaving questions unanswered, while up to the discretion of the institution, may have skewed the percentage of their total positive or negative answers. Some sources also listed more information along with their “yes” or “no” answers that provide more insight into those answers.
Heartfelt thanks go to those institutions who have participated in this survey. Despite where their policies may lie, they have shown an effort to examine their own institutions through this survey, and support their students by being open to improvement. Special gratitude goes to Hesston College and Conrad Grebel University College. These two schools were the only Mennonite institutions to participate in the study, and it shows a commitment to their students, faculty and staff for them to take this initiative.
All colleges and universities listed in this survey were contacted by post, email, and phone, in an effort to get them involved with the survey. Again, for the institutions that chose to participate, thank you. For those who chose not to participate, their silence here speaks to the type of education and support for students received at these institutions. Most institutions who did not participate did so by not returning multiple requests for information. However, both Goshen College and Bridgewater College outright refused to participate. Bridgewater College was the only Church of the Brethren affiliated institution not to participate. I hope that institutions who chose not to participate will reconsider their involvement with the Kaleidoscope Program in the future, thereby sending a clear message of care for all their students and the education they receive.
All the Brethren and Mennonite schools were founded out of traditions that struggle for peace and justice for their neighbors next door, and around the world. It is this struggle for justice that BMC reflects in its work with churches and their related institutions through the Supportive Communities Network, the Kaleidoscope Program, our publications, and events. Please use this study as a tool to further your own work for justice.
Kaleidoscope Coordinator 2003-2005