Photo by CHRISTINA MORGERA
LIU Post has been certified as silver by Out of Work for its resources to help lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual students (LGBT). Out of Work is an organization that strives to help the LGBT community gain equality in the work force.
Out of Work surveys participating colleges and universities by looking at areas such as connecting LGBT current students with alumni, keeping current with issues in the workforce concerning the LGBT community and having the career center staff training other staff at the university on LGBT issues.
There are 17 sections and depending on how many of the components are successfully completed, the university becomes certified as gold, silver or bronze. One reason that Post is not gold is that the university did not actually help any LGBT students yet, despite the fact that they had a workshop in the past which no students attended, according to Jason Cascone, director of Career Development.
“Our biggest problem is that we are not a required place to go,” said Cascone.
Some students claim that they have not taken advantage of Career Services, which also offers other resources such as building resumes, helping students figure out what major best suits them, finding internships and jobs and prepping for job interviews, because they do not know much about it.
“I don’t know how to make an appointment,” said Megan Kolakowski, sophomore Dance major. She saw an advertisement for Career Services on a bulletin board once but said she never had time to go down and look for an internship.
Her friend, Paige Ketsoglou, also a sophomore Dance major, added that she has never even heard of Career Services.
The two-year-old initiative, called Safe at Post, was enacted to better assist LGBT students find careers. Career councilors and academic advisors who work in Career Services, located on the second floor of Kumble Hall, have gone through training for the Safe at Post program. The training was designed to make the advisors and councilors aware of LGBT issues to enable them to better serve the population with counseling, according to Cascone.
Safe at Post has not been publicized yet. The program was inspired by SafeZone, a national organization that helps make it possible for gays to enjoy their full civil rights.
Along with the new program, Career Services is also creating a decal to brand its program, which has not been released yet. The decal is going to be a rainbow triangle with the words, “Safe at Post.” Cascone hopes that this will help make Post more LGBT friendly.
The Career Center offers pamphlets that provide tips for resume writing and interviews. There is also information on the Career Services portion of LIU Post’s website about jobs and employers that are LGBT friendly. These were some of the aspects of the Career Center that influenced Out of Work to certify Post as silver.
According to Cascone, the current issue with the LGBT program at Post is the disconnect between the program and the students. He believes that once Post can prove that students are actually participating and being helped the university can become certified as gold.
Cascone said that many plans are set for this initiative. The only thing that is currently standing in the way is getting students to participate in the program. He plans to get the attention of students by working with Rainbow Alliance, another organization dedicated to the equality for people including the LGBT community, and by using social media outlets.
“Anybody who is looking for a place to go and talk and feel that they can feel good about will know that they can walk into that office and a person is ready to speak to you.”
For more information on how Post is serving the LGBT community, visit www.liu.edu/CWPost/StudentLife/CareerSrv, call (516) 299-2251 or visit Career Services on the second floor of Kumble Hall. The office is open Monday through Thursday between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. and Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.