The Rainbow Connection Committee is open to applicants


Image: Thais Ackerman

The Rainbow Connection Committee committee strives toward ensuring conscious and empathetic communication between professors, student leaders and Mercer students within the LGBTQ+ community.

Common Ground’s Rainbow Connection Committee is currently accepting applications to join their spring semester team.

The committee’s goal is to allow professors and student leaders to become certified in conscious and empathetic communication with Mercer students within the LGBTQ community, according to the online application.

“We want to be really inclusive of everyone’s voices. As many voices as we can,” said James Stair, one of the committee’s co-chair’s.

Applicants who are accepted to be a part of the committee will work alongside other students to train Mercer staff and student leaders by developing training sessions, manuals and presentations, he said.

Students train professors in two sessions lasting an hour and a half each. The first part is an informative period where the committee reviews updated terminology, Stair said. In the second session, the committee introduces different scenarios to Mercer staff and student leaders to teach them how to support Mercer students that are part of the LGBTQ community.

“We tried to create a very safe atmosphere so professors didn’t walk in feeling like they needed to study beforehand,” Stair said.

Last semester the committee successfully trained almost 40 professors after giving them only two weeks notice before the program was set to begin.

“It’s in way better shape now than it was in two years. It’s much more sustainable,” Stair said.

The training for student leaders has not started yet, but the committee has plans to produce shorter, more specific sessions for them in the near future.

The committee will release application decisions by Wednesday, Jan. 31, and the first meeting will be held on Monday, Feb. 5.

If anyone is interested in applying to the Rainbow Connection Committee, a Google Forms application link is posted on the Common Ground Facebook page. A URL link to the application is also available at the bottom of this article. Applications are open until 11:55 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 28.