GSC pushes for full-time coordinator

The position of Gender and Sexuality Center coordinator is now one step closer to an eventual goal of creating a fully staffed center held by student volunteers.

Oakland University President Gary Russi recently approved a measure that will now compensate the GSC coordinator for 30 hours of work.

Currently, GSC coordinator Grace Wojcik can only work half time for 20 hours. Wojcik began her job on Aug. 31.

“It’s really not enough time because the GSC office is supposed to serve both the LGBT community and women’s community,” Wojcik said. “Most other schools have separate centers and trying to balance the two with only 20 hours is difficult.”

The effort was mobilized after Gay/Straight Alliance President Alexa Van Vliet spoke to members of the OU board of trustees on Aug. 2 about the possibility of attaining a fully staffed Gender and Sexuality Center on campus.

Center for Student Activities Director Jean Ann Miller said the issue has been ongoing.

“This was brought up in August and this new arrangement was finalized in the last few weeks,” Miller said. “The turnaround has been fairly fast and it’s effective Nov. 1.”

Miller said she has met in the past with Mary Beth Snyder, vice president for student affairs and Glenn McIntosh, dean of students and assistant vice president for student affairs about extending the coordinator’s house because of its nature as a student affairs issue.

Junior English major Estee Shaw said the purpose of the GSC is to maintain a safe campus for all gender identities and sexual orientations and she wants to continue pushing for a fully staffed center.

According to Wojcik, a Michigan State alum, the center at her alma mater has three or four full time staffers. At Oakland, the position has evolved over the past six to seven years.

Originally, an undergraduate student director oversaw the GSC. Now, the coordinator is an administrative professional who receives benefits from the school.

“I would love to see our coordinator being able to work more because then we could have more programming and more going on,” said freshman Katy Hart.

Because the GSC coordinator has never been a full-time employee, Wojcik and past coordinators like Melissa Pope and Joanne Bautti-Roche had difficulty working under the time constraints.

In her last position at Affirmations Lesbian/Gay Community Center, Wojcik was working with civic engagement networks. She said she embraced the time restrictions at a challenge, but saw it as an opportunity to give students more autonomy to run their own programming.

“The Gender and Sexuality Center coordinator is not meant to be a counselor,” Wojcik said. “I’m an adviser to the student groups and here to oversee larger events that the center organizes.”

The additional hours will now allow Wojcik to be someone for students to talk to. She hopes to provide students an outlet, so that “they have someone to make them feel comfortable.”

For information about the GSC, visit