Students are trained to interact with their peers to combat homophobia, transphobia, and heterosexism through innovative activities and workshops. The InQueery team of student peer educators provides workshops and other activities in residence halls, classrooms, athletic teams, and student organizations. Using their personal narrative, students share their stories while integrating contemporary issues. Peer education workshops and activities will be offered throughout the academic year depending on student availability.
Peer educators are required to complete a ECCE 3 hour credit course offered through Women & Gender Studies (WGS 357 also cross listed in Sociology/Anthropology, and Political Science). The course is offered during the Spring semester.
“Peer Educators are AWESOME! The Diversity and College Experience class learned so much from their peers. They were introduced to information concerning the LGBTQ community and a vocabulary to allow them to create a respectful, welcoming community to all.“
–Dr. Clarice Ford, Executive Director Diversity Center, Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Services
“From my perspective, the peer education programs are well-tested, well-thought, and well-intended. I feel good knowing that we’ve got such active students bringing light to LGBTQ equity and education on the UIS campus.”
-Liz Steinborn, Resident Director, Lincoln Residence Hall
“I highly recommend inQUEERy presentations for the UIS classroom! This project is an example of successful peer education. inQUEERy is a course highlight that will stay with students long after the class session.”
– Dr. Hinda Seif, Assistant Professor, Sociology/Anthropology
Request a Program
Programs are available by request and available to any UIS group or department. Please use the online request form. Requests are subject to the availability of peer educators and must be submitted four weeks in advance. You will contacted by a staff member after completing the online request form.
Interactive Programs & Activities:
- Crossing the Line & Student Panel: In this, the presenters engage students in an activity called Crossing the Line and a student panel. Crossing the Line highlights contemporary and historical information about LGBTQ people and issues by asking participants to move across a line in the middle of the room to express the answer they believe is correct. After each question, a brief facilitated discussion ensues that also includes information to better inform. The activity is followed by the presenters sharing personal stories in a panel format and concludes with a question and answer session for the audience. Estimated time: 60-90 minutes.
- Gender this Stick Figure: This lighthearted and fun presentation educates on and deconstructs the gender binary. The presenters will have two stick figures, without any markings. The participants will be asked to provide descriptive suggestions that define each stick figure such as hair, tops, bottoms, accessories, name, job, class, identities, etc. The audience will inevitably give all female traits to one, and all male traits to another. The presenters will then deconstruct the process of gendering the stick figures, show that the gender binary is strong and present in society, and how that is challenging to many. Difficult and uncommon terminology will be defined and explained, as well as personal stories included, which gives the presentation a deeper meaning. 60-90 minutes.
- That’s So Gay: This is a facilitated crossword game competition with prizes that is geared toward understanding basic terminology. Included are some demeaning words with negative connotations. These negative words are handled delicately and their impact explained in a very educational manner. The aim is to get the audience to understand the effects that words can have on individuals. The presentation includes some personal stories and an open question and answer format. 60-90 minutes.
- Guess the Straight Person: This is a fun, exciting, and interactive game show type presentation, where the audience will ask questions to a set of contestants with the goal of trying to guess the individuals’ sexual orientations. Through this, the audience will learn stereotypes that are commonly attributed to the LGBTQ community and the basis of their origin. The learning objective is to get the idea that it is not possible to tell someone’s orientation by outward appearances, interests, hobbies, etc. The presentation includes some personal stories and an open question and answer format. 60-90 minutes.