Queer and Straight Alliance, also known as QSA, is a student-led LGBTTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, takatāpui, intersex, queer, asexual and other gender diverse identities) group facilitated by members of our staff. The group meets every week to discuss gender, sexuality, inclusive school events, rainbow-focused bullying and LGBTTQIA+ representation across the campus. QSA meetings are for both rainbow youth and straight allies that want to support their queer peers and advocate for the LGBTTQIA+ community, and it is also a safe space for rainbow students that just want to hang out and chill. The location of QSA is confidential to protect the health and safety of our students. For any inquiries about the location, date and time of the meetings, as well as any other QSA information, please contact one of our staff members listed below.
In 2020 Mount Aspiring College took the Pride Pledge to commit to the health, safety and visibility of our rainbow students and staff. We are aware that rainbow students are 4.5 times more likely to be bullied compared to their non-rainbow peers and that 59% of young people surveyed in the ‘Counting Ourselves’ health survey believe that it is unsafe for transgender and non-binary students to use school bathroom facilities. At MAC, we provide gender-neutral bathroom facilities that cater for our rainbow students as well as an inclusive gender-neutral school uniform. We have a strong commitment to bullying prevention through our focus on promoting positive relationships and we prioritise student wellbeing by building a safe, caring and inclusive environment. This focus is why our staff are aware of rainbow-directed bullying and the potential consequences that can arise from disclosing a student’s sexuality or gender identity. Our curriculum is rainbow-inclusive and we cover a range of topics including same-gender relationships, sexuality and gender.