Quick Navigation

Q-Connect Peer Support Program

Regarding questions and concerns about sexuality and gender, click on the button to the right during designated hours. 

When you login, a Peer Mentor will greet you and engage in conversation with you.  You must be an NIU student to login.  Q-Connect offers 1-on-1 chats between students and mentors rather than a group chat.

How does Q-Connect work?

Q-Connect is an online, anonymous student-to-student chat service for your questions about sexuality and gender identity.

What can I talk to a mentor about?

  • Figuring out who you are in regards to sexuality and gender
  • Finding your place in the NIU community
  • Dating and relationships
  • Coping with difficulties
  • Feeling isolated and/or finding supportive people
  • Choosing to identify as LGBTQ, non-heterosexual, or non-traditionally gendered
  • Anything else that is on your mind related to sexuality and gender identity

Who is Q-Connect for?

Q-Connect is for any NIU student who might:

  • have questions about sexual orientation or gender identity
  • be questioning or reconsidering how their sexuality orientation and gender affect their identity
  • identify as LGBT, queer, same-gender loving, or any identity that is typically associated with this community (including, but not limited to, pansexual, genderqueer, intersex, etc.)
  • be searching for an identity or a community where they feel included and supported
  • not identify as heterosexual or traditionally-gendered, but also does not identify with the LGBT community
  • prefer to talk to someone online about identity questions
  • want to learn how to support and help a friend as an ally
  • need someone they can talk to without fearing rejection
  • want to remain anonymous
  • need support, connections, and resources

Is it really anonymous?

When you log in to the chat room, you will choose your own screen name that will shield your identity.  You will be asked for your ZID when you log in, to verify that you are an NIU student.  Peer Mentors will not have access to your name or identity.  The Q-Connect Program coordinator will have access to that information for use only in the case of an emergency (which we define as imminent danger of harm to you or someone else).

Why an online chat service?

Q-Connect Peer Support Program offers another way for NIU students to get information and support.  Some students may find it more comfortable to ask questions or talk about some topics with the greater privacy offered by online chats.  Others may simply find it more convenient because they can talk to someone from their own apartment or residence hall room.

Who are the Peer Mentors?

Q-Connect Mentors are students who have applied to be mentors and been selected based on their experience, leadership, and potential to be good sources of support to other students.  Q-Connect Mentors have completed nearly 20 hours of training to help them develop their helping skills.