For LGBTQ+ Awareness day the GSC hosts an open house

Kaley Barnhill, Staff Reporter

The Gender and Sexuality Center (GSC) at Oakland University hosted the annual LGBT+ Awareness Day Open House on Friday, Oct. 19, 2018.

I learned about the GSC my freshman year during orientation and decided to go as much as possible,” Micah Rowland, who has worked at the GSC since Jan. 16 said via email. “Years later, I applied to be a student assistant there and have loved every second of it. If any student needs help with on campus issues or problems, we’re the ones to go to. Do not hesitate to ever come to us for help, that’s what we’re here for.”

As a member of the LGBTQ+ community here at OU, students have full access to the GSC and all of its services.

The GSC works to support and retain LGBTQIA students at Oakland University through programs and services such as SAFE On Campus training, Serving Up Knowledge Sessions, and the Peer Mentor Program among others,” Grace Wojcik, Coordinator of the GSC said via email.

During LGBTQ+ Awareness Day, the GSC had light refreshments for students, including brownies and cookies. There were also informative pamphlets for students to take on various services. The GSC also offers free books, available in boxes in the front of the office.

Wojcik, who said she has worked with LGBTQIA issues for over 15 years and had previously worked at Affirmations LGBT Community Center in Ferndale prior to this position, explained that, “Though we are focused predominantly on LGBTQIA issues, any student is welcome to utilize our programs and services.”

The Gender and Sexuality Center was founded in 2005, according to their website. Oakland University has been named a top LGBT-friendly campus in 2017 and 2018.  The GSC holds a Campus Pride Index of four and a half stars.

It has taken a great deal of hard-work, determination, and collaboration to achieve a high ranking,” Wojcik said of the achievement.  “I am hopeful that we will continue the work to move campus forward.”

Of the events that are offered, one is Lavender Graduation. According to the GSC’s website, it is an event held every April to honor graduating LGBTQ+ seniors.

“I love Lavender Graduation,” Rowland said.  “It’s a comfortable get together of people I’ve come to know and love. It’s hard to say goodbye to them, but I always love to see their accomplishments celebrated.”

The GSC also offers other events throughout the year, such as Transgender Day of Awareness and World AIDS Day, both in November this year. They also hold Pride Month every April, which features events like the Gay Straight Alliance’s Annual Drag Show, Pride Prom, guest lectures and film screenings.

“The existence of the GSC itself is what helped and changed me from a lonely freshman into who I am today,” Rowland said of the GSC.

The GSC is also a part of the Out On Campus initiative.  The Out on Campus Initiative demonstrates OU’s commitment to providing an inclusive and accepting atmosphere for the LGBTQ+ community. No matter what sexual orientation or gender you identify with, OU wants students to know that this campus is a safe place that they can call home.

For more information on the GSC, or for resources, the GSC is located in the Oakland Center, Room 47 or their website is