LGBT Life for Faculty and Staff
Is there an LGBT organization for employees?
YES. Northern Pride is an informal social network serving the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender faculty and staff. Northern Pride meets weekly for lunch, and provides an informal avenue for faculty and staff who would like to connect with colleagues from across the university. Contact the LGBT Resource Center for more information.
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 for students, 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.
Does NIU provide domestic partner benefits for employees?
YES. NIU extends recognition to any domestic partnership meeting eligibility criteria and offers certain benefits to domestic partners of NIU employees. Benefits provided included family illness leave, bereavement leave, use of the Employee Assistance Program, use of University Libraries, and medical, dental, and vision benefits through the State of Illinois group insurance program. Specific questions about domestic partner benefits policies should be directed to the Insurance & Benefits Operations.
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. The Employee Assistance Program offers a variety of support, wellness and work-life services. There are LGBT-friendly campus ministries and local churches. There are LGBT-supportive counselors available in the community. There is an LGBT Studies Program for faculty members interested in LGBT-related teaching or scholarship. The University Libraries have extensive collections of LGBT books. We are happy to help you find the services you need.
What activities are there for LGBT faculty and staff?
Each year there are about 40-50 LGBT-related events on campus that are open to all. 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. Visit our online calendar of events to see what’s happening currently!
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.