The Fordham Que(e)ry was started in 2012 by LGBTQ and ally researchers at Fordham University who wanted to understand how sexual and gender minority (SGM) students perceive incidents of bias and discrimination at their school, how that information spreads, and what effects it has. We developed an anonymous, online survey to gather both qualitative and quantitative data. The pilot study was completed in 2013, with funding from an FCRH Undergraduate Research Grant and oversight from Fordham's IRB. The pilot was very successful, with high response rates from LGBTQ students in several colleges.
Given the pilot's success, we began expanding the study to other colleges and universities in what is now a large-scale, international collaboration. It was clear that the resources required to run a centralized study of this scale were beyond the means of our PI, Jeff Lockhart, a graduate student finishing one degree and preparing to start another at a different institution. But more importantly, the recruiting success of the pilot study was largely due to the research team's personal connections with the pilot university. And part of what sets the Que(e)ry apart is the way it tailors some questions to the specific campus setting. The results of the pilot were used to provide information to campus organizations and administrators about the specific environments of their institution. A generic, national survey could not provide the kinds of data or response rates that make the Que(e)ry so valuable.
Thus, the Que(e)ry grows as a decentralized collaboration. Faculty (and often student) researchers at other colleges and universities adapt the survey to research sites they have connections to. They then run the study independently. At the conclusion of data collection, collaborators all share their (anonymous) data in a central database. This growing database is already one of the largest data sets in the field, and unlike others, it contains extensive qualitative data. Find out more about collaborating on the Que(e)ry on our page for researchers.
We are actively seeking researchers from more universities to join us in this collaborative, international project. Interested parties are encouraged to contact the PI, Jeff Lockhart.