Located on the third floor of the Taggart Student Center, the Utah State University Inclusion Center offers support services, programs and opportunities to its LGBTQIA+ and ally students, faculty and staff. These services are held within the center’s Gender and Sexuality program, located in room 313B of the Taggart Student Center.
The Gender and Sexuality program is headed by program director Macy Keith. The program provides education and awareness, community engagement and fosters empowerment and support to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual and allied (LGBTQIA+) students, faculty and staff.
“If you are LGBTQIA+, you will find a supportive and celebratory group of people that can help you find your voice and explore your identity,” Keith said. “If you are an ally, you can learn more about the community and how to be more supportive and inclusive.”
There are many opportunities to get involved at the Inclusion Center. Students are invited to join the Queer Student Alliance Club (QSA), a student-run organization which strives to educate affiliates of USU on issues surrounding gender and sexuality. QSA's purpose is to create a safe atmosphere where students and members of the community can feel safe, welcome and loved for who they are. This network of support promotes equality for all and aims to make USU a more welcoming and inclusive campus for students and faculty and staff members.
Students can also participate in weekly support group meetings, all currently held virtually. These support group meetings offer students the opportunity to meet together with other LGBTQIA+ students and discuss any topic. Different groups are available for undergraduate students, graduate students as well as transgender students.
“In our support groups we often talk about: coming out, dating, struggling with un-accepting family and friends, exploration of identity, mental health and wellness and lots of nerdy things like D&D, anime and other fandoms,” Keith said.
Students looking to become an LGBTQIA+ ally or who want to learn more about what an ally is can also participate in allyship trainings. The center offers both LGBTQIA+ ally and trans ally training. More information can be found at www.usu.edu/inclusion/gender-sexuality/allies. There are many opportunities to get involved. Keith is always available to help any student.
“As the program coordinator, I’m here for any student for whatever reason,” she said. “Whether that be in advising, advocating as they go through any process on campus such as seeking services through CAPS, SAAVI, Title IX or just overall support.
The Gender and Sexuality program is just one of many programs offered by the Inclusion Center, which creates an environment of acceptance, respect and empowerment.
“We are the office devoted to supporting student success through inclusive, student-centered programming that enhances the academic, cultural and social experiences of students from diverse backgrounds,” Keith said about the Inclusion Center. “We do this through our various programs: gender and sexuality, women and gender, indigenous, multicultural and non-traditional students.”
For more information on the Gender and Sexuality program and to view additional resources, visit www.usu.edu/inclusion/gender-sexuality.