|Left to right is Heather Whitfield, Emily Marriott, Marysia Wojcik, Parker Leflar.|
Personally, I’ve had the luxury of sharing an office space with people I feel safe to discuss such things as the difference between bisexuality and pansexuality and how fantastic Guys in Disguise shows are. In the not-so-distant-past, not every student had that safe place on campus where they felt that they could discuss topics surrounding gender and sexual diversity without the worry of intruding (and potentially judgmental) outsider ears. However, thanks to The Landing now all students have a dedicated safe space with the bonus of having fantastic volunteers to talk to as well!
So what exactly is The Landing? It is the brainchild of two very dedicated people, Nicholas Diaz and Linh Lu, who realized the need for a safe place free of judgment to discuss, question, and explore topics related to gender and sexuality. The place that was envisioned (that is now known as The Landing) would be an inclusive space where if you have a question – ask, if you need someone to talk to – speak, if you need help – let someone know and they can point you in the right direction. If you need help with your physics homework… well maybe you’ll luck out and will find a physics major there to help (but I can’t guarantee that).
|Left to right is Marysia Wojcik and Emily Marriott.|
The Landing also holds special group events like Rainbow Peers which is open solely to students with questions and issues about gender and sexual identity so that they can speak safely and confidentially. There is also a monthly Trans Meetup Night where trans people studying or working on campus can come get to know each other and have some fun. Members of the wider Edmonton community are always welcome to join in too.
So why might you want to check out The Landing? Here are our top 10 reasons:
1. Friendship. This is a place full of supportive people who are great listeners and are easy to get along with. Enough said.
2. “Get immersed with diversity.” The Landing is an inclusive space where you can meet so many people!
3. The walls are bright, colourful, and full of art and projects. There are comfy couches, a microwave, kettle, table, and chairs. This is a great space to relax during your lunch hour or in-between classes.
4. Knowledge is cool. Be it reading material or awesome volunteers, The Landing is full of information on matters of gender and sexual diversity.
5. Support. If you need some extra support on matters of sexual and gender identity or an ear to talk to this is a safe space and, if needed, the volunteers can give you a referral or lend you their supportive ears.
6. Tea Time. They are now working on their own blend of Inclusivi-tea. It’s getting cold outside so why not come in for a warm drink and warm atmosphere!
7. Learn how to get involved. A major goal of The Landing is to increase awareness of and to advocate for LGBTTQQPIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Two-Spirit, Queer, Questioning, Pansexual, Intersex, Asexual, and more) communities.
8. Fun events! You can find out about activities like the Trans Meetup Night, Queer Yoga, Rainbow Welcome events, among others on their website. The Landing connects the U of A with other LGBTTQQPIA+ groups outside of our campus too so they can link you to events happening in our city.
9. Volunteering. If you visit The Landing and realize that you want to become more involved this is a great place to volunteer. I got to meet two super friendly volunteers, Emily and Marysia, and they both loved being there because they get to meet so many new people, have a lot of fun, and are learning something new every time they enter the space. The Landing is also connected with the U of A’s Co-Curricular Record which officially verifies and acknowledges your co-curricular commitments and leadership experiences… it also looks great on your resume.
10. It’s open all year! If you’re taking spring and summer classes The Landing will be a great place to chill!
So, come and check them out! Everyone is welcome!
----About the Author
Hi, my name is Shannon and I’m here to provide you with a YouAlberta graduate student perspective. I am currently in the last year of my degree and have (quite) a few years of experience on the U of A campus as both an undergrad and graduate student.
I am excited to show off our student experience both here at the U of A and in the broader Edmonton community. We have a dynamic campus culture full of events, groups, and just day to day awesomeness. My passions include science and getting others involved in science related activities, volleyball, hiking, and camping. I’m also full of tips on how to have fun on a student budget. Over the next year I hope I can show you how to make the most of your U of A experience because there’s so much more to school than classes and expensive textbooks!