GIESORC Access Center and Vital Resources for On-Campus Students – The Daily Evergreen

For those who need accommodation or community, Access Center, GIESORC are valuable

The Access Center and Gender Identity/Expression and Sexual Orientation Resource Center help students connect to campus resources.

Although currently closed for in-person appointments, the Access Center is an important part of the WSU community. One of their main interactions with students is to help set up housing.

To make their time at WSU more successful, the Access Center works with students to resolve issues of potential housing or study barriers.

“The counselor walked me through the process, from working the accommodations to using the website and the documentation I need from my primary care,” said Katherine Busiek, a junior occupational chemistry major.

Busiek said the counselor she spoke to was very kind and helpful, making sure to put her well-being and success at WSU first.

One accommodation that the Access Center provides is alternative testing services. By communicating between professor and student, the Access Center helps provide a supervised environment that can help students succeed where they would otherwise face obstacles.

“The test accommodations and flexible deadlines make running classes less stressful when I’m struggling,” Busiek said.

Other common accommodations include alternative printing for printed materials, note taking, services for the deaf or hard of hearing, and removing barriers to classroom access around campus.

“We specialize in supporting our students with disabilities,” said Mathew Jeffries, director of campus climate and community development. “A big part of what we do is to make sure that the school experience for students is as fair as possible. We direct them to the right resource.

Jeffries, who oversees the access center and GIESORC, said students may not have had this support structure in their K-12 education and now have the option of seeking this accommodation.

“Although it can be scary at this time, people don’t ask to come to our offices to look for housing,” Jeffries said. “It’s all scary at first, but it’s worth it in the long run.”

The Access Center has several useful links on its website to explore the establishment of housing. The website is easy to navigate and Access Center staff are ready to answer questions.

If you think accommodations can help you do better at WSU, contacting the Access Center is an important first step!

Another great resource available to students is the Gender Identity/Expression and Sexual Orientation Resource Center. GIESORC provides resources and initiatives to help support the LGBTQ+ community at WSU.

The center focuses on the LGBTQ+ community; however, it serves WSU to push for education and advocacy for all identities.

The center, located in the Compton Union Building in room 401, is open 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday.

GIESORC offers several different services, such as connecting students to events around the Palouse, advocacy training and education, and connecting students to resources they are in contact with.

Jeffries said one of the center’s most important resources is creating an inclusive and welcoming community.

“The center is a great place for students to just hang out,” Jeffries said. “For students who are just getting out there and trying out other members of the LGBTQ+ community that they can connect with, they can find it there. If students want to talk to someone who has had similar experiences or needs advice, our team is here to help.

The center offers training on privilege, microaggressions, inclusivity, alliance, race and more. In addition, many brochures are in the center.

Like the Access Center, Jeffries wants students to feel comfortable accessing the services GIESORC needs to provide. He said that the GIESORC approach itself is the easiest way to use it. Students are welcome to email him or meet outside the center.

“COVID-19 has thrown up some hurdles, but we’re trying to build community any way we can,” Jeffries said. “The pandemic has taught us the importance of community, especially in the LGBTQ+ community. We want it to feel more like a home here.

If one or both of these resources interest you, then contact us!

Jeffries said the first step is always the hardest, but you won’t regret doing it.

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