While working on my Bachelor’s, I was able to take many Women’s Studies courses. In those courses we explored identities both like and unlike our own. It ended up shaping what I studied in grad school and my work as a Virtual Mentor today. While VMing today, I find students searching for community and a brave-safe space to learn about identities. Thankfully, WSU has a resource center that provides just that!
The Gender Identity/Expression and Sexual Orientation Resource Center (GIESORC) works to support students within the LGBTQ+ community and allies. There are great programs such as Lavender Graduation (which recognizes the achievements of LGBTQ+ students) and conferences such as InQueery Symposium and UndocuQueer Conference, along with programs to educate allies (they have a page where you can look up different terms if you aren’t sure what they mean or how to use a new pronoun for someone). They provide resources for LGBTQ+ students such as scholarships, career support, and community spaces. The GIESORC affirms students with a focus on education, engagement, and equity.
Virtual Mentors know the importance of making sure everyone is recognized in their courses and feels welcomed (we always try to say “hello”). We know that students who feel connected and part of a community are better able to focus on school work and find balance in life. If you ever feel lonely in your courses or like you are studying alone in a vacuum (I felt like that at times too!) please reach out. You do belong in our community, and we are happy you are here.