Name Change, Game Change

LGBTQIA+ Office celebrates 10 years, announces name change


Photographs courtesy of Savarnik Reddy Mareddy

Deana Night and Courtney R. Wick, local drag performers, act out a skit for attendees

On Aug. 28, the LGBTQIA+ Resource Office kicked off the fall semester with their 10-year anniversary celebration, and a name change. The LGBTQIA+ Resource Office, now called Gender and Sexuality Student Services, can still be found in the Student Life Building (SLB).

According to the UIS website, the name change was a way to “more accurately represent the educational and inclusionary efforts of the office”.

Brooke Schmidt, the graduate assistant of the Gender and Sexuality Student Services, voiced some of the reasons that led to the change.

“It will be more inclusive,” she said. “We are moving on from the acronym LGBTQIA+. We have learned that students are having that question of, well what if I don’t identify as the letter that’s in the acronym? What if I identify as something else? We want to be inclusive; we want to show students you can be whatever and whoever you want to be.”

The Head Director of the Gender and Sexuality Student Services office, Kerry Poynter, also believes the change gives a more inclusive feel to the resource office.

“It means that I am not leaving someone out and that I am honoring the breadth of sexualities and genders that students are identifying with,” he said.

The posted mission of Gender and Sexuality Student Services is to provide education, advocacy, support, mentoring, and a safe space for sexual and gender minority students at UIS.

Schmidt says her message to the students of UIS is to have self-respect.

“You are a person,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what you identify as in terms of your gender, or vin terms of your sexuality; first and foremost, you are a person and you deserve respect and support and resources just as much as anyone else.”

To learn more about the resource office more information can be found

Stay tuned for future Gender and Sexuality Student Services events, such as Queertober, National Coming Out Day, and Day of Silence/Break the Silence.