Photo courtesy of OU

OU to Take Part in Upcoming LGBTQIA-friendly Events

BY SEAN DELANEY

As part of its Out on Campus Initiative, representatives from Oakland University will be participating in two of Michigan's largest LGBTQIA festivals - Ferndale Pride and Motor City Pride - during the month of June.

"By participating in Ferndale and Motor City Pride events, Oakland University is further reinforcing its commitment to diversity and inclusion," said Grace Wojcik, coordinator of the university's Gender and Sexuality Center (GSC).

Representatives from the GSC, Undergraduate Admissions, and University Communications and Marketing will have an informational booth set up at Ferndale Pride on June 3, and at Motor City Pride on June 10 and 11. It will mark the first time that OU has participated in either event.

"We will be tabling on behalf of the university and sharing information with festival attendees on what a great place OU is to study and work," Wojcik said. "Our goal is to reach prospective students, staff and faculty, as well as reconnect with alumni."

According to Wojcik, the university's participation in this year's events is a continuation of the Out on Campus Initiative, which was developed during the 2015-2016 academic year with the intent of communicating a sense of affirmation to OU's current, future and potential LGBTQIA population, as well as creating awareness for the GSC.

"The Out on Campus Initiative demonstrates Oakland University's commitment to providing an inclusive and accepting atmosphere to the LGBTQIA community," she said. "No matter your sexual orientation or gender identity, or if you are simply an ally to the community," Oakland University can be considered a safe place for you to call home."

In 2016, Oakland University was ranked as one of the top LGBTQ-friendly campuses in the state of Michigan by the Campus Pride Index, which rates both colleges and universities using a five-star rating system.

Based on a variety of factors, including LGBTQ policy inclusion, academic life, student life, campus safety, housing and residence life, and other relevant practices, OU received a ranking of four out of five stars, which was the second-highest rating in Michigan.

"To me, our participation in Ferndale Pride and Motor City Pride solidifies our position as one of the top LGBTQ-inclusive campuses in the state of Michigan, and I am excited for us to take this step forward in the community," Wojcik said.

For more information on LGBTQIA issues and the Out on Campus Initiative, visit the Gender and Sexuality Center, or contact GSC@oakland.edu.
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