By River Ashe Maynard
SUNY Plattsburgh’s clubs and organizations have found themselves unable to host meetings and hold inperson events in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. After a two-semester hiatus, the LGBTQ+ Student Peer Support Group has returned to campus in an altered form to provide the same comfort as before. The on-campus support group gives students in the LGBTQ+ community a safe space to be themselves, ask for help or simply surround themselves with peers who understand their experiences.
According to Allsun Ozyesil, the LGBTQ+ support group advisor and counselor, there are benefits to attending the meetings.
“The meetings revolve around validation and acceptance,” Ozyesil said. “Each meeting is shaped by the students that attend that day.”
“There are not many opportunities for people to connect right now, especially for LGBTQ+ people and people of color,” Ozyesil said, “So, it is very important to get support and seek out that connection with other people.”
“I’m really excited to be bringing the support group back, I think that it has been really needed and missed,” she said.
They meet every Wednesday at 3 p.m. on Zoom which can be found on the Student Health and Counseling Center’s Facebook page and the Student Digest. The support group is a safe space for the students, run by students, and is a valuable resource for anyone and everyone who feels like they need some kind of support in their lives. No matter the identity, all are welcome, but the group is only open to students currently enrolled at SUNY Plattsburgh.
Ozyesil said, “Off campus, there is a nonprofit organization called the North Country Gender Alliance that is open to the public. They also host online peer group meetings that can be found on their Facebook page. On campus, there is the LGBTQ+ Resource Center run by the Title IX office, and the LGBTQ+ Student Union, which is currently struggling under the loss of a lot of members.”
For anyone interested in joining the student union and getting involved with the LGBTQ+ community on campus, contact Ozyesil at love7490@plattsburgh. edu.
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