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

Sunday, March 17, 2013

LGVMA Strategic Planning Re-cap

You’ve seen the schedule,so you know what we were up to...in theory.  But what you don’t see in the hour by hour breakdown is that there was so much more than mission statement wordsmithing and action planning taking place in Las Vegas.  Its hard to say where to begin, because every time I think about the trip I get wrapped up in all the moments that made me so happy to be there.
This is one of those moments.
As you may know, I’m one of the current leaders of Broad Spectrum Veterinary Student Association.  If you want to know more about me, there’s an entire interview of myself and Arturo from last year on this blog.  This has been an amazing year, and I’m so glad I finally got involved in the LGBT community.  Before veterinary school, I never felt that I was a part of a queer community.  I strongly believe that all veterinary students, no matter where your diversity stems from, deserve a community that understands you. Life is stressful enough for us already.
Group Photo: the LGVMA Strategic Planners

So what do you do to prepare for a Strategic Planning meeting? You do some research!  I honestly didn’t know much about the history of the LGVMA before the meeting.  Everything I knew was based on the brief history on the LGVMA website and what Ken (Dr. Gorczya) told us about the LGVMA at last year’s Broad Spectrum meeting.  Some of our resources included the LGVMA NAVMEC Report from 2011 regarding LGBT acceptance and safety in the veterinary profession.  We also read the Special Edition of Good News! (the LGVMA newsletter) that focused on the personal stories of veterinarians integral to the creation of the LGVMA.  If you’re interested in reading any of these resources we can send them your way!  Reading all of these resources made me so grateful to be a part of the community and even more grateful for all the hard work that has been done already.

Liam layin' it out.

All attendees and some student/LGVMA leaders filled out a survey asking about our views on the current LGVMA and where we would like to see the organization go.  After the survey closed everyone attending the meeting was able to read all responses (which were anonymous) to each question.  I reviewed these on my 3 plane trips from Ithaca to Las Vegas.

Dr. Apryl Steele and Table 2, hard at work.

I arrived at the Red Rock Casino and Resort (which was about 10 times larger than I had imagined) just in time for our first meeting to start.  As you can imagine, as with most things that involve discussion, we didn’t stick to the schedule exactly, but we started, ended, and took breaks as indicated.  From breakfast until around 5pm we were together, getting to know each other personally and professionally outside of meeting discussions.  

Nikki presenting the fruits of our labor
In summary, we talked a lot and made some awesome charts.  It was difficult at times.  Sitting in the same room for hours only reminds me of vet school, but we were always engaged and participating to make this process successful.
Discussing organizational structure
You also probably saw us all posting on Facebook from inside the meetings, and after the meetings.  Despite being jetlagged and tired from early starts each day, a group of us took a trip to see the Vegas strip.  I’m so glad we did this!  I got to see the famous Bellagio fountains and walk through the Venetian.  You didn’t expect us to spend all of our time working did you?

Cruisin' in a convertible with LGVMA President Dr. Sandy Hazanow

Sin City!
Las Vegas: Where you never know if it's day or night
Amanda with the wizard of all street performers!

After a majority of the hard work was done, some of us also took a trip into the desert on Sunday afternoon (Red Rock Canyon Park) to go on an “easy” hike.  The views were beautiful and totally worth it. It was nice to spend the afternoon outside in the sunshine.  We were lucky to have excellent weather while we were there.  It was chilly for certain people who go to vet school in the southern USA, but it was heavenly compared to Ithaca in February.

Student leaders at Red Rock Canyon Park.  Hiking in business casual and flip flops, NBD. 

Taking a lunch break at Red Rock Canyon Park
The work isn't done.  We are still putting time into developing the new and improved LGVMA website and discussing how to improve the organization's structure.  I am so glad that I went and met more like-minded colleagues and hopefully lifelong friends.  I’ll be seeing some familiar faces at SAVMA Symposium in less than a week, and hopefully I’ll be meeting some new people as well.

All in a weekend's work

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