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, September 27, 2012

Guest Post - AVMA Convention Recap!

We are very excited to share a guest post written by Joseph Hicks, a student who attended the AVMA Convention and LGVMA National Meeting this summer. If you have any experiences or events at your school you'd like us to share email us at broadspectrumoutreach@gmail.com.
Thanks Joe for sharing this wonderful experience!

Let’s start with some introductions, shall we?  I’m Joseph Hicks, a third year vet student at Texas A&M University and president of my school’s chapter of the Lesbian and Gay Veterinary Medical Association.  This summer our dean Dr. Eleanor Green was generous enough to fund my trip (along with two other A&M representatives) to San Diego to attend the AVMA Convention and the LGVMA Annual Meeting.  Let me back up though and explain a bit.
            First of all, Texas A&M has had a LGVMA chapter for a few years now.  The only problem: the organization had no members or officers.  Last spring when some of the data from the AAVMC’s Climate Survey was released, our college’s Council on Diversity and Professionalism met and discussed areas that needed improvement in our own school.  The Council’s first action after reviewing the data was to invite Dr. Mike Chaddock from the AAVMC to speak on sexual diversity in our profession.  Inspired by his talk and emboldened by our administration’s obvious support of these issues, the Texas A&M LGVMA chapter was reborn.
            When John Scroggs, Chief of Staff of our college and advisor to the organization, proposed that a couple of the officers attend the LGVMA Annual Meeting at the AVMA Convention, I immediately recognized this great opportunity.  This would be a chance to meet the leaders on a national level with whom I had been in contact when trying to get our chapter back on track.  It would be a source of inspiration for the officers and our members and a method to get ideas for what our chapter could do here at A&M. 
            So with the financial support of Dean Eleanor Green and the school administration, John Scroggs, Elise Jemmott (secretary of our new chapter) and I headed to San Diego.  After settling into our hotel rooms, we headed to our first event, the LGVMA Annual Meeting.   Here we not only covered the usual business of budgets and board members, but we also discussed current LGBT issues in our profession, new ideas to get members more involved and how to keep a group like this connected.  Dean Green, John, Elise and I all helped to describe to the veterinarians, students and technicians in the room what we were doing at Texas A&M to promote LGBT issues and diversity.  (Yes, you read that correctly.  The dean of Texas A&M’s vet school attended the LGVMA Annual Meeting.)  I left the meeting feeling energized and excited for the rest of the convention.

            Saturday and Sunday were spent in CE seminars, browsing the exhibit hall and working the LGVMA booth.  During this time we met and got to know veterinarians and vet students from across the nation.  As Sunday night was to be my last in San Diego, the LGVMA General Meeting that evening wrapped up my experience at the AVMA Convention.  Brad Sears of the Williams Institute spoke on current studies in LGBT demographics, legal issues and the community’s economic value.  I think many in attendance were surprised with some of the numbers and figures he produced.  The highlight of the night for me, though, was when Dean Eleanor Green received the LGVMA’s Achievement Award for her support of the LGBT community at Texas A&M.
As the weekend progressed, I soon became accustomed to a certain look of astonishment fellow convention-goers gave whenever any of us from Texas A&M explained our situation.  Not only had our administration offered financial support to get our LGVMA chapter started and for officers to attend the LGVMA Annual Meeting, but the Dean herself attended both LGVMA events while at the AVMA convention.  And the words these incredulous listeners always sputtered?  “And you’re from Texas?!  Those words always filled me with pride and joy.  Yes, we’re from Texas.