College and community provide resources to LGBTQ+ students

Created: June 12, 2018
Last Updated: July 16, 2020

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WASHINGTON, PA (June 12, 2018)—June is Pride month, and at Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) we’re proud to support our students from all backgrounds. Both the College and community provide resources and activities for our LGBTQ+ students, and we’re excited to highlight those this month.

At W&J, students can get involved with the College’s Gay Straight Alliance (GSA). Rising senior Dominic Scalies ’19 will serve as the club’s president for the 2018-19 academic year.

Dominic, a computing and information studies major with a conflict and resolution concentration, got involved with the GSA after meeting with club members during the involvement expo his freshman year.

“(It’s important to have a GSA) because it allows members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community a safe space, regardless of club membership,” Dominic said. “Beyond that, it creates a space for a feeling of community and family to grow, and have a forum for discussion of relevant LGBTQ+ issues facing our community, our country, and the world.”

The club hosts several events throughout the year to give students an opportunity to learn what they’re all about. In addition to weekly meetings, the club holds the Gay Jeopardy competition for National Coming Out Day, hosts a haunted house around Halloween, participates in the Washington County GSA’s Transgender Day of Remembrance walk, and holds Pride Prom. In the spring, they host a “Love Is Love” Monti’s Takeover at W&J’s Montecello’s Café during the week of Valentine’s Day, a Day of Silence Photo Booth, and their biggest event of the year: Drag Bingo.

Dominic assures students who may be curious about the GSA or other campus resources like counseling services to take advantage of what’s available.

“This campus is small. That means people here care about the individual, too,” he said. “So talk to someone. Reach out. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Everyone on campus has experienced a setback, so they will lend a helping hand if they can.”

And if you’re looking for a wider community off-campus, you don’t have to go far. The Washington County GSA, housed at The Center on Strawberry, 59 E. Strawberry Ave., is just a few steps off-campus. The organization sponsors several initiatives, including a Trans Peer Group that meets monthly and the Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA), a group for LGBTQ+ youth ages 13-20. There are also LGBTQ-specific counseling services available in the building through the Persad Center.

In addition to the support the Washington County GSA offers, it’s presented opportunities for W&J students to get learning experiences outside the classroom. Cole Grecco ’18 served as a board member for the Washington County GSA, and Jordan Hosfelt ’18 worked as an intern with the GSA through the Matthew Brown Fellowship.

Learn more about the Washington County GSA here.

About Washington & Jefferson College

Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.

Are you ready to Be A President? Apply to W&J now.

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