LGTBQA Center | Photo by Brett Hull | The Wright State Guardian
Wright State University (WSU) strives to be a welcoming and inclusive community for its LGBTQA students by offering several resources and organizations.
One of the most well-known resources for students is the LGBTQA Community Engagement Room located in 147 Millett Hall. Students are free to visit any time Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The center offers free snacks, a small library of LGBTQA+ books and DVDs as well as a space to spend time building community.
“It’s open. We’re here. We’re here in person. That it’s not just for LGBTQA plus folks, but for our allies… I’m an educator. So I want to teach you. I want students to come in and learn more. So my office is like an extension of our community engagement room,” Emily Yantis, the center’s Intercultural Specialist, said
Organizations and other resources
The LGBTQA Engagement Center is not the only resource for students. WSU also has a variety of other resources and organizations to join.
A full list of these resources can be found on WSU’s website, including Counseling and Wellness Services for LGBTQA Students and Medical Resources for LGBTQA Needs from Boonshoft Pride.
There are also educational programs available upon request. The biggest one is Allyship in Action, a two-part program about allyship for the LGBT+ community.
The first part is focused on terminology and first impressions of the LGBTQA+ community. The program also discusses growth and learning as well as what allyship is and how to be an ally.
Special interest sessions, formerly called Spectrum Sessions are similar, allowing people to request education on LGBTQA topics.
WSU also offers Our Voice panels. Mostly used in the classroom and the community, it allows LGBTQA members to share their experiences with others.
Apart from educational programs, students can join the Peer Mentoring Program, formerly known as Unicornship. Designed for new WSU students, it pairs them with a student mentor who supports them.
Students, new and returning, can also join Rainbow Alliance. With a mission to empower, advocate and educate about the LGBTQA community, it has a strict no outing policy.
“We put a huge emphasis on social groups and being connected, like having a community on campus. A safe place where you can actually go and feel like you can express yourself,” Kirsten Spires, president of Rainbow Alliance said.
Similar to Rainbow Alliance, there are student-run and led Affinity Networks. Currently, these organizations are still looking for leaders and members. Those interested can contact the LGBTQA Center.
Along with providing organizations, the LGBTQA Center also advocates for LGBTQA students on campus. Students are able to change their names and apply for gender-inclusive housing.
Currently, the center is working to include at least one gender-neutral bathroom in each building.
Although still in the works, there’s plenty of organizations and resources for students.
“I love that Rainbow Alliance, the LGBTQ center and its services exist for other LGBTQ students. I think there’s more than enough great resources for people who are in need of them,” student Aaron Scarf said.
The LGBTQA Center has three upcoming events for November.
On Wednesday, Nov. 3 the LGBTQ Center partners with the Asian and Native American Center for Native American Heritage Month’s kickoff event. The event will have nationally known speaker Jac Stringer speaking on the commonalities between trans and Native American experiences.
The next two are Chosen Family Feast and Queer Prom, both of which are on Nov. 13.