Our Mission

Through programs and services, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ+) students are provided with the support, resources and education needed to be their authentic selves in the communities in which they exist.

Our programs are committed to:

  • Advocating for the resources, support and success of Wichita State University's LGBTQ+ students
  • Creating an environment in which better understanding of LGBTQ+ topics can take place
  • Facilitating the students' holistic development through various experiences while affirming students' identities and providing leadership opportunities
  • Educating the campus and community on LGBTQ+ social justice issues
  • Building collaboration where none has existed and continuing to create new collaboration opportunities
  • Providing training and workshops for students, faculty, staff and community members to create a Safe Zone network and identifying allies and supporters
  • Assisting the University in achieving its retention goals by offering programming and services that promote student success
  • Developing and sponsoring programs that enhance the skills of students and assist in their development as scholars and professionals
  • Serving as a resource for Wichita State, the greater Wichita community and colleges and universities throughout the State of Kansas

Our History

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion has engaged in LGBTQ+ work for many years. The office's work began with Safe Zone LGBTQ+ and Gender Diversity Training under our former name, the Office of Multicultural Affairs. Through the partnerships with That Gay Group and Student Activities Council, we have worked to support programming initiatives for LGBTQ+ students, faculty, staff and community members, such as the annual Drag Show.

Since 2015, we have been a pinnacle for the support of our LGBTQ+ population at Wichita State University. The need for expansion of LGBTQ+ programming has allowed our office to develop educational workshops, cultural and social programs, support services and advocacy services for these students. Our office staff worked in conjunction with Dr. Jennifer Pearson, associate professor and graduate coordinator of Sociology, and Dr. Meladee Garst, former Counseling and Testing Center employee, to conduct an LGBTQ+ Climate Study to see where the gaps were in services, among other findings. The study has been conducted twice and the findings continue to support the need for an LGBTQ+ Coordinator. This is also a position that was a direct ask from the student body of WSU. The LGBTQ+ Coordinator position has helped to increase the visibility of LGBTQ+ resources.

In addition, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion has seen a large increase in training requests. The staff is contacted to talk about survey creation, policy issues and most importantly, student programming and support. Our office works to create and maintain an open, safe and inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ students, faculty, staff, their families and friends and the community at-large.