Gender Identity/Expression and Sexual Orientation Resource Center

  • How do I change my name with the University?

    There are essentially two types of name issues; the use of a “Preferred Name” and an “Official Name Change.” Everything seems to work pretty well for a student who requests an Official Name Change.  Their new name appears to flow through the University systems well, although they may have to ask some departments to manually change their names in some systems, but there should be no resistance to this request because they have officially changed their name.  They do, however, have to request that their Network ID (NID) be changed for changes to their e-mail address to reflect their new name.

    To their Change Network ID and WSU E-mail Address students must contact Information Technology Services and request a change of their Network ID (NID) and e-mail address.  This will most probably only be done for students who have changed their Official WSU Name.  The request can be submitted to the ITS Help Desk by phone at 335-HELP (4257) or via a web form at, although the web form doesn’t look too promising for this use.  The request can also be submitted to Services and Accounts staff at Information Technology Services at 335-3377.

    For the WSU student e-mail system, students should be able to log into their accounts and update their first name and their display name in the preferences/Account Settings menu item.  There were some mixed results among the testers. This step would be unnecessary, if the student was able to change their NID.

    In the Blackboard Learning Management System, we had testers change their first names and saw that their new first name appeared in the class lists. A student would need to work with the Registrar’s office or with me in GIESORC to do this unofficial name change.

    In Active Directory, it should be possible for a student to change their First Name in the Display Name at  This is only helpful for those student employees who have a Central Exchange e-mail account.  The central Connect! Exchange service will list your name in the address lists with the new First Name you submit through this web page.  You cannot change your last name (without submitting an official name change request with the appropriate administrative offices) but you can specify how you want the first part of your name to appear.  Student employees or GAs may want to test this service.

    For the CougarCard System, we will need to develop a request mechanism and standard for how Preferred Names will appear on CougarCards, but this is definitely achievable.  We are working on developing a proposal for a high level policy change.

    For the Odyssey Housing Management System, we’ve spoken with the Directors of both Housing and Residence Life and they are supportive of implementing Preferred (Nicknames) in the Housing Management System for hall rosters. The request process would be the same as for the CougarCard System.  However it will not be a trivial system change.  Student requests to Residence Life would help drive this change.

  • When does the student group meet?

    The student group meets every Tuesday at 7pm in CUE 518. 

    For more information e-mail

  • Do you have to identify as queer to use the GIESORC?

    No. The Gender Identity/Expression and Sexual Orientation Resource Center is a space that is available to all university students no matter what your identity.


  • How do I get involved?

    GIESORC has many programs throughout the year. Join us for our weekly nut butter lunches and discussions, sign up for our open mic nights, think about your costume for the annual Zombie party at GIESORC, start practicing for the Family Thanksgiving talent show, join us for the monthly evening socials, or submit digital copies of your original artwork for our rotating digital art exhibit.

  • Does the GIESORC offer any scholarships?

    Yes, GIESORC offers the annual Dlugosh-McKee Scholarship. This scholarship recognizes one student each year for their contributions to GIESORC and the LGBTQ community. Applications are available each December. Please contact Dr. Heidi Stanton for more information at or 509-335-8841.

    We also have a small emergency scholarship to help students with small, immediate needs. For example, fees for graduate school applications, cap and gown rental and emergency school supplies.

  • How can I find out when the next Ally Training will be?

    These will be posted through WSU Announcements and on our events page. If you would like to request a training specifically for your group or class, please contact GIESORC Director Matthew Jeffries at or 509-335-6428.

  • What is a safe zone?

    A Safe Zone or a Safe Place is a place where people feel welcome and safe. GIESORC is a Safe Zone on campus but the Ally training through GIESORC focuses on creating safe people, or allies, as a way to create a safe and inclusive campus. Building our allies across campus helps us to increase awareness and inclusion efforts no matter what space you are in on campus. Safe Zone does not mean censorship, it simply means creating a place of tolerance and respect for all life experiences.


  • Are there any resources for staff?

    GIESORC community programs are open to all members of the WSU community. Staff are welcome to visit the Center and use the resources we have available. GIESORC also organizes a Fall social each year for all faculty, staff, graduate, and professional students who wish to get connected to the community. For those who are new to the area and looking for LGBT friendly community resources please see our community resources.

  • Are there non-discrimination policies at WSU?

    Washington State University (WSU) is an equal opportunity employer committed to providing equal opportunity in education, employment, membership and contracts without regard to race, ethnicity, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, age, marital status, the presence of any sensory, mental or physical disability, use of a trained guide dog or service animal by a person with a disability, and/or status as a veteran. WSU is committed to creating and maintaining environments in which students, faculty, staff and visitors can work, study and recreate free from all forms of prohibited discrimination and discriminatory harassment. If you have experienced an act of discrimination or harassment, including sexual harassment, please contact WSU Center for Human Rights via phone at 509-335-8288, via e-mail at or file a complaint online at

  • Does WSU offer insurance coverage to same sex partners?

    Effective January 2001, the PEBB extended medical, dental, and life insurance coverage to same-sex domestic partners. Effective January 2010, the PEBB further extended coverage to include opposite sex partners if at least one partner is age 62 or older. Both same-sex and opposite-sex partnerships must be registered with the Secretary of State. The PEBB took into consideration the fact that same-sex partners have no current legal options to marry, whereas opposite-sex domestic partners have this option. The PEBB indicated its interest in continuing to pursue this benefit for all partners, but only with additional funding from the legislature. WSU will continue to work to extend benefits to employees in opposite-sex domestic partner relationships as well.

    After the certification of Washington State Referendum 71, new laws about domestic partnerships took effect on December 2, 2009 and January 1, 2010. These laws are contained in Chapter 521, Laws of 2009 (E2SSB 5688), available for downloading at the Legislature’s Web site,


  • What is ally training?

    Ally training is a training to educate people on how to be better allies for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. In the training we talk about the legal landscape, basic terminology, and issues that the community faces. The session is interactive and current and leave participants with increased understanding and helpful tips on what to do as an Ally.

  • What is Trans* ally training?

    Trans* Ally training focuses on educating participants on the nuances of gender identity beyond the binary. In this training we will cover basic terminology, the difference between sex and gender, basic overview of transition, legal issues, standards of care, cisgender privilege, and how to be a Trans* ally.

  • What is the * after Trans?

    The * after the word trans has become an umbrella term that refers to all of the identities within the gender spectrum. The asterisk makes a special note to include all non-cisgender gender identities.