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OUTline Mission Statement
To provide peer support and information services on issues relating to sexual orienation and gender diversity to all individuals and families in the University of Guelph and surrounding community, especially those in the early stages of the coming-out experience and those most at risk.
OUTline Service Mandate
OUTline is a confidential support & resource service for individuals with questions relating to sexual orienation and gender diversity.
- To provide a Guelph-based telephone and web peer support and information system for issues relating to sexual orienation and gender diversity.
- To provide callers with referrals to local, provincial or national services and organizations which further OUTline's mission statement.
- To ensure services are relevant to individuals at all stages of the coming-out experience.
- To educate the community on the challenges facing their sexual and gender diverse friends, family, co-workers and peers
- To establish and maintain relationships with other community services and organizations in related fields and disciplines.
- To ensure continuing effectiveness and growth of OUTline through regular assessment and evaluation of its activities, services and structures.
- To provide caller-centered, non-judgmental, respectful and inclusive services.
- To hold the core values of harm-reduction, sex-positivity, anti-oppression, confidentiality, humanistic values and peer-based support in the highest regards throughout the implementation of all its training, programming and services.
- To offer excellence in training to its volunteers and to other organizations seeking it.
- To advocate for those who identify as sexual and gender diverse, especially in regard to basic human rights and equitable access to on and off campus services.
History of OUTline
An information line, known as "Gayline", existed for many years, run by Guelph Queer Equality (GQE), formerly GLOBE. Start-up funding was received in 1997 to hire a part-time coordinator to build an inclusive service from scratch. This new service would pay special attention to the needs of potential callers who had been marginalized by Gayline, such as lesbian and bisexual women, people of colour and transgendered people.
The funding was to ensure that the new phone line was staffed by volunteers who had been trained in supportive listening, diversity, and other issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people. Since then, funding has also been received from other campus groups and networks with many community groups were built in the hopes of sharing resources.
In 2000, the dedicated students who ran OUTline successfully passed a referendum question in the Central Students' Association referendum that secured annual funding at the rate of ¢ 0.40 per undergraduate student per semester.
In September 2007, OUTline went through a period of redevelopment in order to assess gaps in service across the University of Guelph campus. A new Advisory Committee was struck, consisting of on and off campus stakeholders and a majority student voice.
In the winter of 2009, OUTline became a program of Student Life at the University of Guelph. This move from being an independant and autonomous organization was discussed and approved by the OUTline Advisory Committee. The move was made in order to secure sustainability of the organization and provide a greater degree of accountability to the students that fund the service.