GSC opens arms to all students



By Ali Armstrong

Tucked away in a small office in the basement of the Oakland Center, the Gender and Sexuality Center is open to all students to provide information on gender and sexuality issues.

The GSC is the women’s resource center of Oakland University as well as the lesbian, gay and transgender questioning ally, and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Ally (LGBTQA)  resource center.

The GSC has been described as a relaxing and safe space where students can come to talk about gender and sexuality issues.

“You meet such a crazy variety of people here,” said James Bialk, GSC student assistant and vice president of the Gay Straight Alliance. “You can come and be yourself and not have to worry about being judged by other people here.”

The center employs 12 trained volunteers and one student assistant.

The center hosts a variety of awareness events on and off-campus. The center just wrapped up their National Coming Out Week, which featured events such as a hate-free campaign and safe sex seminars. They also hosted Women’s Wednesday events every Wednesday in October.

Upcoming events include a fundraiser to benefit Corey Jackson’s family. The fundraiser will be held at JD’s Key Club in Pontiac, Thursday, Nov. 4 at 8 p.m.

Proceeds from admissions and a portion of the evening’s drink sales will benefit the Corey Jackson Memorial Fund.

During November, the center will also host Transgender Week in remembrance of those who have been killed as a result of gender issues. Events include transgender panel discussions and a vigil of remembrance.

A “White Out” campaign, a clothesline project and a blanket drive are some other events that students can participate in this month.

Among the many activities that the center hosts, the GSC also features the Students, Administrators & Faculty for Equality (S.A.F.E) program on campus. The program consists of a team of students, faculty and administration who provide support for the campus community when dealing with gender and sexuality issues. The next S.A.F.E. training will to be held Monday, Nov. 15.

“Gay, straight, male or female, whatever race or religion you are, this place is very accepting and when you come and hang out in the center, you have such an overwhelming support group,” said Kelly Shaw, GSC volunteer. “It’s really changed my life.”

The GSC office is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday.GSC meetings are held every Thursday from noon to 1 p.m. in their office, located at 49D in the lower level of the OC.