Resource Center kicks off year

Mia Wilson

UW Oshkosh Student signs up to learn more more about a club offered at the LGBTQ+ Resource Center
[/media-credit] UW Oshkosh Student signs up to learn more more about a club offered at the LGBTQ+ Resource Center

The Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Queer/Questioning Resource Center held their open house on Sept. 16th at the Center for Equity and Diversity for students to come and check out amenities provided for students within the community.
The center started in the fall of 2008 in an effort to make of making UW Oshkosh a safer, more inclusive campus and to welcome members of the LGBTQ community.
When asked what students could expect from the event, LGBTQ Resource Center’s Program Director, Dr. Liz Cannon said that it was a kickoff for the year.
“It’s a social for people to get together, have fun, do some crafts, but it’s also a chance to learn what kind of services that the LGBTQ center provides and to connect with our two student organizations, Rainbow Alliance for Hope and Q+ Unity.” Cannon said.
Student Burgundy said the two clubs differentiate themselves as Rainbow Alliance for Hope fulfills the role of education and activism, where Q+ Unity is more social.
“The club is good for making friends, doing crafts and watching movies.” Burgundy said. Rainbow Alliance for Hope meets on Monday nights in Reeve 306 at 8:30 and Q+ Unity meets on Wednesday evenings in the Polk Library basement at 5:30 p.m.
At the open house, students were able to walk around and learn about the different resources the LGBTQ Resource Center has to offer including Gender Outfitters.
Founder Ian Unger said the organization serves as a free clothing provider for trans and nonbinary individuals who don’t have the money or secure means to obtain gender affirming apparel.
“It started here on campus, I’m trying to get it so more people can access it but it is still a campus thing as well,” Unger said. “The center helps with the trying on [of] binders and bras, helping people fit them, and just kind of getting that comfort level with individuals.”
Those who wish to donate gently used or new articles of clothing can drop them off to the center or can look on the Gender Outfitters website for other options.
Student Garrett Denning talked to students about the Queer Peer Mentor Program which helps both students who are sure of their identity and those who may be questioning theirs as well as freshmen and transfer students just getting acclimated to Oshkosh.
Denning also said the other amenities the club provides include a support group through the counseling center.
“[It is] somewhere to go to talk and get issues out that may not be covered by the center or may be a little bit beyond what we’re able to do for people,” Denning said. “With so much going on within the community, students can also rest assured that there are many upcoming events that will occur throughout the rest of the year as well.”
Cannon also introduced a new activity, Self-Care Wednesdays, where students can take part in that emphasizes on the well-being of students in the community.
“We’re going to be looking at a variety of ways to take care of yourself, to relax. Cannon said.
“We’re going to introduce people to yoga, meditation [and] nutrition.”
“We’re going to be meeting here in the resource center and talking about techniques and ways we can take care of ourselves so we can continue to not only help others but so we can protect ourselves” Matthew Reinhardt, LGBTQ Resource Center Program Assistant adds.
The group will meet in the resource center every Wednesday from 4-5 PM.
Cannon said that the center will also be holding S.A.F.E. Training sessions this fall.
“S.A.F.E. training is to teach people about the LGBTQIA+ community, [we] talk to them about what it’s like to be in the community [and] ways that one can be an ally to the community, we have some empathy exercises, we do a lot of
terms and definitions and it’s a three-hour training at this point…I’m really excited that already this fall we have 25 scheduled,” Cannon said.
The Ally March happening next spring is one of the biggest events of the year and is a way to acknowledge and honor the LGBTQ community as members and as allies.