By Tara Jackson

Just like family.

That’s how Dilsha Appu-Hennadi describes the community of peers involved in Carleton University’s Engiqueers (CUE) society for LGBTQ+ engineering students.

Dilsha Appu-Hennadi, Carleton University’s Engiqueers (CUE) incoming president

“It was the first group that helped me personally step my toes in at Carleton and in the engineering program,” says Appu-Hennadi, the incoming president for the society that promotes inclusivity within the Faculty of Engineering and Design. “CUE helped me find friends and expand my social circle.”

CUE first began in 2016 and became Carleton University Students’ Association (CUSA) certified shortly afterwards when the group’s founders started to plan social activities as a way to introduce queer and allied engineers to one another.

Since then, the group has grown and developed its purpose of bringing together queer and allied students in a safe space, and recently expanded to include non-engineering and non-STEM students as well.

But it was during the pandemic that CUE’s membership really bloomed, with numbers doubling to 100 in the past couple of years.

“That push to go online really forced us to build a new kind of community,” says Appu-Hennadi. “We became more accessible and found more folks could passively engage with us via tools like Discord [an instant messaging platform].”

Now, with more aspects of pre-pandemic life returning, CUE will be building on that digital engagement as it prepares to re-start some of its popular in-person events and initiatives, such as their first-year social night, frosh week film fest, Cupid’s Crush fundraiser and marching in the Capital Pride parade at the end of August.

Carleton University Engiqueers group at Capital Pride parade.

Appu-Hennadi is looking forward to what’s next for the group and its members. Among the items on the CUE’s planning list for the coming year are developing a mentorship program and EDI-related workshops and strategizing about how CUE can better advocate for the LGBTQ+ community.

“The club is just like a child to me, and I want to see it flourish,” says Appu-Hennadi. “Watching CUE grow over the pandemic has made me want to see it grow even further. The possibilities are exciting.”

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Thursday, June 9, 2022 in ,
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