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

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

LSU SAVMA Symposium Recap

      Another Broad Spectrum Veterinary Student Association birthday has come and gone! Our wonderful group turned two years old at this year’s symposium. And what a great symposium it was! Over 1,300 students from all over the world made their way down to Baton Rouge, Louisiana for a weekend filled with daytrips, wetlabs, lectures, and nighttime events all geared towards veterinary students! How awesome is that! But of course, our favorite event was by far The Diversity Forum. The Diversity Forum is where Broad Spectrum was born, and has been celebrating each year by holding a national meeting for all our LGBT+ and allied veterinary student members.

     The Diversity Forum spanned a few days and it all started with several booths in the exhibit hall advocating for diversity in the veterinary profession. On Thursday, Amanda manned the Broad Spectrum booth most of the day, and met many wonderful people!

     We also handed out awesome BSVSA pins! Everyone loved these and snatched them up quickly. We even had people come to us after we ran out of pins asking if we had any more. Don’t worry, we are working on updating our design and getting more pins and magnets to make available to all!

     The booth continued to have lots of visitors on Friday, and we want to thank everyone who came and spoke with us! We would also like to thank Dr. Mike Chaddock from the LGVMA for helping us work the booth for a few hours during the day. We also want to thank the members of Lambda&Friends, the LGBT+ group at Western University of Health Sciences, for the wonderful gifts that they presented to us! These gifts were amazing and we appreciate your support for our organization!

     But the real fun came on Friday night. The LGVMA along with BSVSA hosted a networking event at Bar 102 in the lobby of the Belle of Baton Rouge Hotel. We had a fantastic turnout and we want to thank everyone that came out to socialize with the LGVMA and Broad Spectrum.

     We enjoyed drinks


And food


  And had lots of fun!


  We even had students from different countries come to our event!

    We want to thank Dr. Mike Chaddock and Dr. Linda Detwiler for representing the LGVMA at this event. We of course also want to thank the LGVMA for sponsoring the food and drinks as well! Do you know of a better way to spend your Friday night than to hang out with a crew of LGBT+ veterinary students and their allies?? We didn’t think so.

    Saturday began with your very own BSVSA officers, Arturo and Amanda, leading the Broad Spectrum VSA National meeting. We got some great pictures from LGBT+ groups all over the country and we appreciate all the awesome input!

    During our meeting, we talked about past, present, and future events and aspirations for Broad Spectrum VSA and how we hope to reach out to many more students to provide support, resources, and empowerment.

     We are currently looking for new leadership for Broad Spectrum VSA and would love to have new, fresh minds to give us ideas of how we can better serve our community. If taking a leadership role sounds too intense for you at the moment, we would love to still keep in touch with you! If you would like to be a BSVSA contact for your school, please send your name, email, and the name of your school to BroadSpectrumOutreach@gmail.com.

     After the BSVSA national meeting, we had a very interesting and thought provoking lecture from Dr. Patrick Mahaney. His lecture was entitled “5 Steps to Build your Brand As a Reflection of Your Principles”. Dr. Mahaney is one of our out veterinarians in the profession and we appreciate him coming to our Diversity Forum and sharing his story with us. If you would like to know more about the lecture, please let us know! We would be happy to share these wonderful tips with you!

     Following Dr. Mahaney, we had another fabulous lecture from out veterinarian and LGVMA board member, Dr. Mike Chaddock from Texas A&M Univeristy. His lecture was entitled “Practicing Veterinary Medicine in a Multi Cultural Society- Sexual Diversity” Dr. Chaddock shared some very interesting statistics about what it is like to be an LGBT+ veterinarian in the profession and how the community viewpoint on LGBT+ rights has changed over the years. We were very lucky to have such a powerful speaker like Dr. Chaddock! If your school would be interested in having Dr. Chaddock or another LGVMA member speak, please let us know and we would be happy to get you in touch with the right people.

     Following Dr. Chaddock’s lecture, we had a delicious lunch that was sponsored by LSU SAVMA Symposium. We are very thankful for SAVMA Symposium’s support in making the Diversity Forum a great success!

     We then followed this lunch up with a riveting diversity panel. During the time the panel had together, we had some very interesting dialogue on what it meant to be diverse in the veterinary profession. We had veterinarians from all over the world and we learned a whole lot about what it is like to be “different” in our profession.

     The Diversity Forum ended with the national meeting for VOICE (Veterinary Students as One in Culture and Ethnicity). Many of you already know about VOICE and if you don’t, you should check to see if your school has a chapter. VOICE and Broad Spectrum VSA have very similar goals, to support the diversity initiative in our profession. We applaud them for the hard work that they have been doing in the past year and we hope that we can work with them more often at the national level to advocate for diversity.

     Symposium finally ended with the very elegant Gala (pronounce “Gay-la” in Louisiana =P) We enjoyed a very nice dinner with friends and colleagues of the LGBT+ community.

    And of course, the night would not be over without some dancing! Many of our BSVSA members enjoyed the night out in the town and took advantage of the abundance of bars and clubs to have a little bit of fun!

     We thoroughly enjoyed our time down in Baton Rouge and we want to thank everyone who helped make this event a wonderful success. We could not have asked for a better group of people to come out and support us. You will always remain dear to us. We hope that from this experience, we have sparked some interest in your hearts to become more active in advocating for LGBT+ rights in the veterinary community. If you have any thoughts, questions, comments, or just want to chat, send us an email, facebook message, or tweet and let us know what you’re thinking!

Your BSVSA Officers

Arturo Otamendi
Amanda Fischer


  1. or tweet and let us know what you’re thinking!

  2. Wow, it looks like truly nice event. Thanks for sharing photos. I have also been planning to host such an event but I am not able to decide on any good NYC venues that can provide custom decorations too. It will be helpful if you can help!