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 throughout Ontario.

The study involves four phases.

Phase 1:  A scan of the LGBTQ2S+ policies, resources, and services available at Ontario universities

Phase 2:  A province-wide online survey conducted with LGBTQ2S+ students

Phase 3:  Follow-up interviews with LGBTQ2S+ students

Phase 4:  Regional and provincial webinars to share the findings with community and university stakeholders

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 student research assistants from social work, psychology, and other areas.

Why do we need this project?

Research conducted in the United States suggests 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 various 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 belonging, 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; and
  • 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.