Affirming campus culture

These signs can be seen throughout the Rose State campus. Photo provided.

Staff Reports

It is that time of year again when we dust off the backpacks, count our pens and pencils and check the level of printer toner. With the beginning of another academic year, Rose State College in Midwest City, OK has taken many steps to increase visibility and inclusion of its LGBTQ+ students.

Professor Sarah Hoss, Faculty Advisor for Spectrum Alliance. Photo provided.

Professor Sarah Hoss, Faculty Advisor for Spectrum Alliance, presented two sessions of LGBTQ+ Faculty Ally Training during Convocation. Over fifty-five people were in attendance including faculty from every division, staff and campus recruiters.

Hoss said there was a great deal of discussion as participants learned new ways to incorporate allyship into their campus activities.

“I was so impressed by the Faculty Ally Training. I felt the information was well-received and will be valuable in working with the students in the classroom,” said Professor Becky Knox, Respiratory Therapy Program Director.

The overall feedback was overwhelmingly positive, and Professor Hoss has already been asked to give additional presentations on campus.

Rose State College has recently added a policy that protects all employees, students, and visitors from harassment for using a facility, such as bathrooms and locker rooms, which corresponds with their gender identity. The policy was first suggested by students at Rose State to faculty members.

Faculty Senate took up the issue and created the policy that was approved by the Board of Regents in May. Along with the policy, gender-neutral bathroom signs are being distributed across campus, and more information as to their location will be available on the website in the future.

Rose State College has also created the new Center for Success, Inclusion, and Diversity under the leadership of Dr. Monique Bruner. The mission of the Center is to provide support and resources for students of color and other underrepresented populations on campus to ensure academic and social success.

The Center is located in the University Center and has rooms for mentoring and advisement, as well as spaces available for student organization and program meetings. Dr. Bruner has extended a special invitation to Spectrum Alliance members to utilize the space the Center provides.

“With all these campus goings-on, Rose State College is set to have a terrific academic year,” Hoss said in closing. “The campus-wide affirmation of our LGBTQ+ students will only become more visible. It is Greater to be a Raider!”

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Copyright The Gayly – September 17, 2018 @ 10:40 a.m. CDT.