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LGBT* Center

Mentoring Program

What is the Mentoring Program? 

The LGBT* Center Mentoring Program pairs incoming first-year students who identify as LGBTQ+ with returning students (sophomores or above) who are knowledgeable about the LGBTQ+ community at UNI either through personal experience or demonstrated experience as an ally connected with the LGBTQ+ community. The program is designed to take place during the first half of a new semester to aid in the transition to college, but supportive mentoring relationships may last longer. Individuals seeking support outside of the program may also connect with the LGBT* Center for support in finding a mentor.


Why is Mentoring Needed?

Adjusting to college can be a difficult experience for everyone, but for the LGBTQ+ community it can be especially difficult to navigate a new social or cultural dynamic. Mentoring helps people develop a positive LGBTQ+ identity by providing a supportive relationship, accurate information, and a safe person to talk with about concerns related to adjusting to college and campus life at UNI, coming out, or connecting with the LGBTQ+ community.

Who Are the Mentors?

A Mentor is a LGBTQ+ undergraduate or graduate student who has experienced the challenges of being LGBTQ+ on a college campus, either first hand or in direct ally support. They are mature, show good judgment, are knowledgeable about resources and the community at UNI, and seek to make a contribution to the LGBTQ+ community by helping others. 


What Actually Happens in a Mentoring Relationship? 

Mentors provide their Mentees with a supportive peer-to-peer relationship focused on helping the Mentee transition to life at UNI. Each relationship is unique to the needs of the Mentee and the interests and personalities of each participant. In general, Mentors will set up regular, informal meetings such as getting coffee, taking walks, or attending events on campus with their Mentees to provide social support. Mentees also help connect their Mentee with resources and opportunities on campus such as the LGBT* Center, the Academic Learning Center, UNI Proud, or other LGBTQ+ related events.

What is the Time Commitment for Mentors?

Mentors receive about 4 hours of training from the LGBT* Center on a variety of relevant topics before being matched with a Mentee.  Training times will be determined based on the availability of our Mentors, but will be offered both the last week of the Summer semester and the first week of the Fall semester. Mentors will likely spend about 1-2 hours per week with their Mentee and will also attend bi-weekly supervision and meetings with LGBT* Center staff and other Mentors for the first half of the semester.


What is the Time Commitment for Mentees?

Mentees should plan to spend a little over an hour each week with their Mentor, but are encouraged to participate in additional events with other incoming students throughout the six week program. There are also opportunities for Mentees to continue receiving support from a Mentor or from the LGBT* Center in general after the six weeks are over.


How Do I Get Involved as a Mentor?

Students who are interested in being a mentor should fill out an application by May 25. Prospective mentors will need to participate in an in-person or over the phone interview.


How Do I Request a Mentor?

Students who are interested in receiving a mentor should fill out a request form by the first week of classes. After submitting your request, LGBT* Center staff will match you with a mentor and give you further direction for the first half of the semester!



For more information, contact