Student pushes for fully-staffed Gender and Sexuality Center

By Postie Editors

It’s time to see some action around here and the students are ready to bring the heat.

On Aug. 2, I spoke at the Board of Trustees meeting about the need for a fully staffed Gender and Sexuality Center.

The Gender and Sexuality Center (GSC) is our campus’ resource center for women’s and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer/Questioning (LGBTIQ) issues.

It provides programming, advocacy and referrals for these core areas. In addition, the GSC provides literature and programming on healthy sexual well-being.

Most other public Michigan universities have a separate women’s center and LGBTIQ center, with at least one full-time employee for each.

Why do they get these resources and the OU students don’t? We deserve these. So much for being a competitive university, right?

We currently have one person, who works 20 hours a week, who is supposed to do all of that by herself.

She also has to work on developing relationships with all the other campus offices, restarting the LGBT Peer Mentor program, training 10 to 15 volunteers who can help run the GSC each semester, facilitating S.A.F.E. trainings both on and off campus, heading the schedule for all of Women’s History Month, creating trusting relationships with all types of students and also restarting the GSC Advisory Board.

All types of students, but especially survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault and LGBTIQ students, need this affirming, safe space so as to be the most successful as they can.

In order for the GSC to create the most accepting and safe of an atmosphere as possible, we need a full-time coordinator who can fulfill all the demands of both the administration and students.

Student leaders are launching a public campaign to demonstrate to the administration how much the entire community supports having a fully staffed GSC.

It’s a multi-faceted approach that includes collecting signatures, writing articles in the newspaper, gathering stories from OU students about safety on campus and more.

We’re going to present the postcards at the next Board of Trustees meeting on Oct. 31, where the Board will decide the future of GSC.

We’ve been told “no” enough times from the administration to make a Justin Bieber-like “Baby” song. It just fuels us even more. We need your help.

Here’s your opportunity to, legitimately, make OU a better place. Activism has never been so easy to find.

If not to advocate for the safety, education and acceptance of all students, at least help us so as to be part of something bigger that will improve the place you spend so much money on.

It’s our duty to be involved since we pay $20,000 a year to go here. Might as well get your money’s worth! And having a full-time coordinator wouldn’t even make your tuition go up by a dollar.

Send me an email at [email protected], stop by the GSC  at room 49 D in the basement of the Oakland Center by the Center for Student Activities service window or find us tabling by the Food Court to sign a postcard. Have your friends sign them too.

You can also write a “letter to the editor” to this newspaper to show your support.

Finally, you can follow our campaign on Facebook (Fully Staffed GSC at OU Campaign), our Twitter and Blogger.