Riley Peru, Staff Writer
Here at SUNY Oneonta, the staff have created a safe space for people who are learning about who they are and who they are becoming. Oneonta has a valuable resource that not many students know about or utilize. On the topmost floor in Hunt Union, room number 219, is the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center. A safe space for students who are struggling, need a person to talk to, or simply to spend time studying. The space is typically monitored by students who have been hired to work there, but it is primarily ran by associate director Emily Olson. This resource is available to all students who attend SUNY Oneonta, as well as faculty and staff who may also need the resources.
The space contains couches, desks, white boards, and tons of reading material about the LBGTQ+ communty and other topics regarding sexuality, gender, identity, and anything else that a person could need. It is designed to be comfortable and welcoming. Here is the mission statement that was written for the SUNY Oneonta webpage.
“The mission of the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center (GSRC) is to provide resources, education, support and advocacy for gender and sexuality equity and inclusion for SUNY Oneonta students and employees and therefore the greater Oneonta community in support of the campus’ diversity goals, through an intersectional social justice approach to issues of privilege and oppression. The GSRC mission intersects with SUNY Oneonta’s value to promote intellectual and social growth as it relates to gender and sexuality on campus while encouraging purposeful guidance and support of student engagement through professional development and community relations. We are a campus resource that supports exploration, discussion and critical thinking around gender and sexuality issues, broadly defined. We offer a resource library and a safe space for people of all gender identities and sexual expressions to gather and learn.”
The purpose for creating this center is to allow students to have a safe space where they can be themselves and learn about gender and sexuality. The staff is kind and always willing to help with anything a student could need. They are completely judgment free and will welcome guests with open arms. In my past experiences visiting the room, I have met wonderful people and learned a couple things about gender identity that I did not know previously before coming to visit. Students can stay in space for however long they wish within the hours of operation. The GSRC is also active on Campus Connection. They host all kinds of events that are created by faculty and students. From hosting food discussions, to inviting Drag Queens to speak to students, the GSRC is a great outlet for anyone who may need it. If you wish to get involved, look out for them through Campus Connection for any events or discussions the GSRC may be hosting. The center is open for students whenever classes are in session, their hours are Monday through Friday from 3p.m to 9p.m.