About Our Organization

Mission Statement
Broad Spectrum Veterinary Student Association’s mission is to connect, support and empower community for LGBT+* students and allies across veterinary education.
*LGBT + will be used as an inclusive acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer,Questioning, Asexual and others who self-identify on the sexual orientation and/or gender expression continuums.

Vision Statement
Broad Spectrum desires greater support and a sense of community for all LGBT+ students and allies throughout veterinary medical education. We actively strive to counter episodes of bigotry and marginalization with positive messages of diversity and inclusion. We have healthy, supportive and encouraging relationships with pre-veterinary, veterinary and graduate students, faculty, staff and administrators. We are known for advocating for the respect and equality of seen and unseen LGBT+ members in the academic veterinary community and beyond. We contribute to the development of safe and welcoming veterinary school environments for pre- and current veterinary students. Broad Spectrum makes veterinary schools more inclusive for all students, especially LGBT+ students. We accomplish this by starting important and courageous conversations about LGBT+ inclusion, in addition to maintaining much needed support for LGBT+ students in veterinary medicine.

Our History

We were founded in 2011 at the SAVMA Symposium hosted by UC Davis. The name 'Broad Spectrum' came out of a calculated attempt to be as inclusive as possible to any student who falls anywhere on the spectra of sexuality, sex, or gender. We welcome all students no matter their sexuality, gender identity, or gender expression. And yes, allies, this means we welcome you, too!

Our Links

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Welcome to the Broad Spectrum Blog!

The 2011 SAVMA symposium provided a great number of opportunities for LGBTQ&A students to connect with each other, through panels, the LGVMA sponsored leadership breakfast, and social events. Students from many different schools - those with and without LGBT groups of their own - connected and shared stories. Two of the common themes among conversations were the isolation that some students felt when their schools did not have an LGBT presence and the fear many of us felt when applying to veterinary school - would we have to stay in the closet for the rest of our careers? While the LGVMA has done wonders to address fears of professional life as a member of the LGBT community, it became clear that something different was needed as well. A group that would be able to unify LGBT students across North America, provide community and connection to those unable to find it at their schools, and to help aid future applicants to veterinary school in accessing concrete information about life in veterinary school as a member of the LGBT community.

Out of these conversations came an organization with three main goals:
 1. To provide a source of community, information, and dialogue exchange between LGBTQ&A veterinary and pre-veterinary students, interns, and residents
 2. To aid student leaders at veterinary schools who wish to start LGBT groups at campuses that do not have them, as well as provide a resource and idea exchange for existing student organizations
 3. To facilitate the transition between life during veterinary school and professional life for LGBTQ&A students by working closely with the LGVMA

All of this can be distilled into one thought: an inclusive community where gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex, asexual, questioning, and allied students can find idea exchanges and support throughout their entire educational career. Because inclusivity is a main goal of this organization, we eventually settled on the name Broad Spectrum to reflect the fact that anyone who falls anywhere on the spectra of sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity has a place in the organization.

The energy at symposium was contagious and it has not dissipated. We will be having our first official face-to-face meeting at the AVMA convention this summer, but behind the scenes the board has been working hard. Our current short-term projects are getting a website and Internet presence established to facilitate communication and promote visibility, and to establish a contact at each of the veterinary schools in the US, Canada, and the Caribbean. Longer term goals include an online resource library, developing educational material, and a community forum to help aid in getting students the support and answers they need.

We look forward to being a part of the veterinary community, and hope to see you at the AVMA convention!

Sonia Fang (Western University of Health Sciences, CVM 2013)  and William Gilles (University of Wisconsin, SVM 2013)
Broad Spectrum Outreach Coordinators

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