What is Thriving on Campus?

Thriving on Campus is a multi-year study that explores the experiences, strengths, wellbeing, and academic development of diverse LGBTQ2S+ university students in Ontario.

The study involves four phases.

Phase 1:  A scan of the LGBTQ2S+ policies, resources, and services available at Ontario universities (spring – fall 2018)

Phase 2:  A province-wide online survey conducted with LGBTQ2S+ students (winter 2019, starting February 1)

Phase 3:  Follow-up interviews with LGBTQ2S+ students (fall 2019)

Phase 4:  Regional and provincial webinars to share the findings with community and university stakeholders (winter – fall 2020)

The study is guided by an advisory committee representing student and LGBTQ2S+ organizations and the student affairs field. The study is led by an interdisciplinary research team and involves students from social work, psychology, and other areas.

Why do we need this project?

Research conducted in the United States indicates that LGBTQ2S+ students often feel unsafe and face discrimination on university campuses. Discrimination can threaten students’ wellbeing and interfere with their academic development. Other research highlights the strengths and resiliency of LGBTQ2S+ students, and the factors that can foster their wellbeing and success.

Little is known about the experiences and wellbeing of LGBTQ2S+ university students in Canada. Therefore, research is needed to understand how best to foster their acceptance, wellbeing, and academic development.

By providing a holistic picture of the experiences of LGBTQ2S+ university students in the province student groups, service providers, policymakers, and researchers will

  • better understand how campus climate can positively and negatively impact LGBTQ2S+ students
  • gain insights about the factors that can foster resilience among LGBTQ2S+ students.

Ultimately, the research findings will aid service providers and policymakers to more effectively support diverse LGBTQ2S+ students through evidence-based policies and services.

Thriving on Campus? is the first large-scale study of its kind in Canada.

The study received Research Ethics Board approval from Laurier (#5774) and McGill (#115-0818).

You can read more about the research steps and processes here!