LGBT Life for Students
Is there an active LGBT student organization?
YES. Prism is NIU’s LGBTQ & Ally Coalition. NIU has had an LGBT student group since 1970. Prism has an office on campus and sponsors events throughout the year. Their mission is to create a social outlet for LGBT students and to educate the campus on LGBT topics. The group welcomes anyone who wants to participate. For more info go to Prism's Website.
Is there a campus office that provides services for and about LGBT people?
YES. The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Center provides support services, educational programming, leadership opportunities, and advocacy for the LGBT community. The Resource Center works to educate the campus community on LGBT issues. Our services are open to anyone, including LGBT and questioning individuals themselves as well as their family members, friends, and allies.
Are there other support services and resources?
YES. The LGBT Resource Center works together with many other campus offices and community groups to meet the needs of LGBT people. There are LGBT-friendly campus ministries and local churches. There are LGBT-supportive counseling services on campus. There is an LGBT Studies Program for those who want to study LGBT topics in their classes. The University Libraries has extensive collections of LGBT books. We are happy to help you find the services you need.
What activities are there for LGBT students and their friends?
Each year there are about 40-50 events for LGBT students, faculty, and staff. The Resource Center, Prism, and partner organizations sponsor events throughout the year, such as our annual Rainbow Ice Cream Social in August. LGBT History Month in October and LGBT Awareness Month in April offer speakers, performers, films, an annual variety show, receptions, panel discussions, and more. Events throughout the year include movie nights, dances, bowling, karaoke, and more. Visit our online calendar of events to see what’s happening currently!
What’s it like living on campus?
Each year, staff members in Housing & Dining receive training to educate them about the needs and concerns of LGBT students so that our residence halls are a welcoming environment. In addition, the NIU Ally Program identifies supportive faculty and staff who display rainbow cards that identify them as allies. As allies, they attend workshops on LGBT issues, and can be a source of information and support for anyone who has LGBT related questions or concerns. click here for more information.
Are NIU and DeKalb safe communities for LGBT people?
Both NIU and DeKalb have policies that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Beyond that, we actively work to educate the community about LGBT identity to create and support a welcoming climate. The LGBT Resource Center can assist anyone who has experienced this type of discrimination or harassment. Fortunately such incidents are uncommon, although NIU and DeKalb are no different from other communities, in that harassment can happen here just as anywhere else. The important thing to know is that if an incident does happen, there are resources in place to provide help.