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College Pride: Queer/Straight Alliance on FSJ campus a first for NLC

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College Pride: Queer/Straight Alliance on FSJ campus a first for NLC

Sometimes a student has to take the first step toward making a change, and Northern Lights College (NLC) is proud to have had such a student in Ace*.

Ace just finished the Applied Business Technology Certificate program with NLC. During their time in the program, which consists of mostly women, Ace found themselves with feelings of dysphoria while in class.

“It’s mostly people who are feminine presenting. I’m trans and I noticed that I was having a lot of dysphoria around being with so many women and constantly being lumped in and referred to as a woman or a girl,” they said. “I love being in my class, they’re amazing, but sometimes it’d be nice to be around other queer people.”

As a way to try and combat those feelings, they asked if there were any supports in place for queer students at NLC. They discovered, to their disappointment, there was not.

So, they decided to create the supports themselves. With the encouragement of ABT Instructor Sylvia Fraser, Ace laid the groundwork for a Queer/Straight Alliance on the Fort St. John campus.

Sylvia believes that this is an incredible step towards NLC’s goal of being an inclusive environment for all. Part of her classroom management style is to be a safe and inclusive place for everyone and says creation and support of the QSA follows what NLC has laid out strategically for the student journey.

QSA gatherings were held in March and April, with about eight students in attendance. As it’s now the end of the academic year, meetings will be put on hold until the fall, but an online survey is available for students to give feedback on what they’d like to see from the QSA.

Even though Ace is now an alumnus, they plan to come back in September and volunteer for the QSA.

“It’s what I’m passionate about, so I’m more than willing to come back.”

*Ace is not out publicly to their family, and so is using a different name in this story.