Access Center and GIESORC vital resources to students on campus

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



Students study and hang out at the GIESORC center location in the CUB 401.

CARSON HOLLAND, Evergreen columnist

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

Though 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 helping to set up accommodations. 

To make their time at WSU more successful, the Access Center works with students to address accommodations for potential barriers in housing or academics. 

“The advisor walked me through the entire process from how accommodations work, to how to use the website and what documentation I need from my primary care,” Katherine Busiek, junior professional chemistry major, said.

Busiek said that the advisor she spoke to was very kind and helpful, making sure to prioritize her well-being and success at WSU.

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

“Testing accommodations and flexible deadlines make managing classes less stressful when I am struggling,” said Busiek. 

Other common accommodations include alternative print for print materials, notetaking, deaf or hard of hearing services and removing obstacles of access to the classrooms around campus.  

“We specialize in supporting our students with disabilities,” said Mathew Jeffries, campus climate and community building director. “A lot of what we do is making sure student’s academic experience is equitable as possible. We point them into getting the right resource.”

Jeffries, who oversees the Access Center and GIESORC, said that students may not have had that support structure in their k-12 education and now have the opportunity to seek that accommodation. 

“While it might be scary at that moment, people don’t request coming to our offices seeking an accommodation,” said Jeffries. “It is all scary at first, but it is all worth it in the long run.” 

The Access Center has several helpful links on its website to explore setting up an accommodation. The website is easy to navigate, and the staff at the Access Center is willing to answer questions.

If you believe that accommodations may help you better succeed at WSU, reaching out to 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. on Fridays. 

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

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

“The center is a great place for students to just hang out,” Jeffries said. “For students who are just coming out and trying to others in the LGBTQ+ community they can connect with, they can find it there. If students want to talk to someone who has been through similar experiences or need guidance, then our team is there to help.”

The center offers training on privilege, microaggressions, inclusivity, allyship, race and more. Additionally, numerous pamphlets are at the center. 

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

“COVID-19 has raised some obstacles, but we are trying to create community however 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 appeal to you, then reach out! 

Jeffries said the first step is always the hardest, but you will not regret doing it.