Who are the mentees?

Our mentees are current undergraduate and graduate students who need the support of an LGBTQ adult mentor at The University of Chicago.

Who are the Mentors?

Our mentors are openly LGBTQ faculty, staff, or enrolled graduate students of The University of Chicago.

 What would mentors and mentees typically do together?

Mentors and mentees discuss issues of interest to the mentee. Often discussions center on self-acceptance, coming out to friends or family, same-gender dating questions, safer sex practices, religious conflicts, multiple identities (e.g. being LGBTQ and a person of color). They can also focus on academic or professional issues related to an LGBTQ identity. Mentors and mentees explore positive resources together (e.g., LGBT Community Centers, Office of LGTBQ Student Life).

Mentors and mentees may attend LGBTQ activities or community events together such as discussion groups, pride parades or festivals, LGBTQ-comedy acts or related theater performances.

Where do mentors and mentees meet?

Often mentors and mentees meet for coffee or lunch either on or off campus, in public locations. The most important factor is that the mentee and mentor feel safe and at ease in the chosen location.

Are meetings between mentors and mentees confidential?

Mentors take very seriously the privacy of their mentees. However, due to the fact that the meetings take place in public, it is possible that friends or others the mentee knows may see the mentor and mentee together. Trust that the mentor will never disclose the nature of the mentor/mentee relationship without the mentee’s permission. The only time a mentor is to break confidentially is if they believe that a mentee is at risk of harming themselves or others. The mentee and mentor also can voice any concerns to the Office staff.

How often do mentors and mentees meet?

Mentors and mentees are asked to meet a minimum of once a month. Over time, they may meet less frequently, depending upon the mentee’s need. Meetings are flexible in order to accommodate both mentors’ and mentees’ schedules.

How are mentors and mentees paired?

After a mentee turns in their application, the Office of LGBTQ Student Life will pair mentors and mentees based on:

  • Shared characteristics such as their sexual orientation and gender identity
  • Academic and personal interests
  • When possible, we try to accommodate any specific requests a mentee might have if available

What if I don’t like my mentor?

Though it is extremely rare, sometimes mentees are assigned to new mentors if the match is not working out. LGBTQ Student Life facilitates this process and change. We want to ensure the mentee gets the support they need in a comfortable and safe environment.

Created by University of California - Irvine's LGBT Mentoring Program and adapted for use by the University of Chicago's LGBTQ Student Life's LGBTQ Mentoring Program, 2014.