More than a hangout space
The Pride Center has a new look with new support resources for students
When you step foot into the Pride Center this fall, you may notice that it looks a little different than before. Over the summer the Pride Center director’s office and a reception desk were added in the space.
“Having an office in the space designed for the community I serve is so important,” Pride Center Director, Dr. Jeff Maliskey said. “Students can now come to the Pride Center and know they are going to find staff there to support them.”
Students still have access to all the amenities that they had before such as a lounging area with a T.V. connection, tables and a whiteboard for studying or small group meetings, along with the Gender Expression Closet. Maliskey said having a collaborative space for learning, socializing, and getting support is important for student success.
“The new addition to staff work spaces allows us to better provide services where we have not been able to do so before. Peer educators hold desk shifts throughout the work day and into the evenings to answer questions and be a support resource where we have not had that opportunity before. We also hired a student support lead to provide additional services such as support to our Identity Spaces, navigation of on and off-campus support resources, and a focus on queer and trans student health and well-being.”
A sense of belonging
One of the newer services provided at the Pride Center is Identity Space. These are drop-in spaces for different communities within queer and trans life at UND. They provide an opportunity for students that share similar identities to find support from one another and build a community. Each of the identity spaces has a graduate student, faculty, or staff host to guide conversations and share resources. The identity space hosts work with the Pride Center student support lead, Kamryn Holtz to identify ways to best support queer and trans students on campus.
“My hope is that the identity spaces help create a sense of community and belongingness on campus through sharing and exploring our lived experience,” said Hotlz.
Identity spaces vary by meeting times as some meet weekly and others just a few times a semester. The following are identity spaces currently being offered:
- Transgender, Non-binary, Gender Diverse
- Queer & Trans Black, Indigenous, People of Color
- Neurodiverse and Student with Disabilities
- Bisexual, Pansexual, Fluid
- Ace & Aro
Visit the Pride Center webpage to learn more about the identity spaces and contact information of the hosts to learn more about meeting dates and times.
A shift in focus
Another service you can find within the Pride Center is our study tables and other related academic success initiatives. Each week, the Pride Center is offering study tables lead by one of the Peer Educators. The study tables are Mondays and Tuesdays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Pride Center and can be used for group work, study time, completing class assignments, or general academic support.
“Our Peer Educator worked with UND Learning Services over the summer to gain the skills and knowledge to best support their peers at the study tables. This type of partnership helps with building trust and good academic habits with students but also provides a peer resources to connect them to campus services like Tutoring”, said Maliskey.
This week, the Pride Center also hosted ‘Good Habits Week’ to get students connected with on campus programs and services such as the University Counseling Center, Student Health Services, the Food Pantry, and Tutoring Services.
Maliskey said, “My hope is that students engage in these programs to be proactive when it comes to their success at UND. Their physical health and well-being is equally as important as their academic success; the two go hand-and-hand.”
Maliskey shared that this is the year for expanding services and opportunities for queer and trans students. This also means there will be continual efforts to build connections across campus to better support queer and trans students, faculty, and staff.