LBGT Student Services

Identify as LBGT and considering Western Michigan University?

Western Michigan University is proud to be a diverse and welcoming community. We are committed to creating a supportive and inclusive learning environment that is learner centered, discovery driven, and globally engaged. WMU continues to make progress as a leader in LBGT-inclusion. 

Supportive campus programs and organizations 

At Western Michigan University, you will discover many opportunities to get involved. The Office of Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay and Transgender Student Services is a university staffed resource center that provides support, advocacy and education to the campus community. The Office of LBGT Student Services features an LGBT resource room where students can hang out between classes, do homework, access their lending library and get connected to the latest LGBT news.

The Office of LBGT Student Services also offers a number of programs and events throughout the school year including First Year Pride Alliance for first-year students, Lavender Graduation to celebrate the achievements of our graduating students, Safe On Campus ally training, SpeakOUT! Speakers Bureau Panels and the LGBT Student Advisory Council, and the LGBTA Career Mentorship Program.

The LGBTA Career Mentorship Program was the recipient of the 2014 Equity in Education Award from the Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers. This statewide award recognizes one outstanding program each year that encourages and promotes equal educational opportunities in higher education for all.

Preferred Name Policy

Western Michigan University recognizes that some students use first names other than their legal names to identify themselves. As an inclusive and diverse community, WMU allows students to use a preferred first name different than their legal name for certain purposes and records in the course of university business, communication, and education. 

Kalamazoo Gay Lesbian Resource Center

Not only is Western Michigan University an inclusive and welcoming space, the surrounding Kalamazoo community is also a great place to live, play and work. The city of Kalamazoo passed a human rights ordinance that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

OutFront Kalamazoo is an LGBT community center serving the greater Kalamazoo area and frequently collaborates with the Office of LBGT Student Services to offer engaging community events and programs. OutFront Kalamazoo organizes the second largest Pride celebration weekend in Michigan and provides a variety of resources and programs.

What WMU students are saying

“First Year Pride Alliance helped define the course of my freshman year. I was surrounded by loving people, all with the goal of educating ourselves and others. Through FYPA, I feel more connected to WMU and the Office of LBGT Student Services. This program was one of the best things I could have experienced.” Joey, First Year Pride Alliance participant.

“Working as a summer intern in the Office of LBGT Student Services was the best thing that has ever happened to me. Not only did I help plan events, learn more about the LGBT community, and discover all of the resources in Kalamazoo; but, most importantly, I made amazing friends who I was able to share many laughs with this summer.” Katie, summer intern.

Student activities and events 

Students are the life of our campus and LGBT students have developed a strong visibility and presence at Western Michigan University. Each year, students organize events during National Coming Out Week and the Day of Silence Week of Action. Our students are not just active in the classrooms, but also throughout our campus community. OUTspoken is one of the most active Registered Student Organizations at WMU ensuring that LGBT issues, education and social events are available to our student body. OUTspoken hosts events such as Pride Prom in the fall and drag show in the spring. These and other events provide LGBT students and their allies an opportunity to celebrate diversity and build community.

Gender-inclusive facilities

Western Michigan University strives to ensure that students feel safe and welcome on campus. For many of our students, finding gender-inclusive housing, restrooms and locker rooms is an important consideration when choosing a university. Our Residence Life staff is committed to offering housing options that provide safe and comfortable living environments for all students. This includes being attentive to the needs of students who are LGBT and identifying the best possible housing options within our system.

Spectrum House is one of WMU's gender inclusive housing options.  Students of diverse gender identities/expressions and sexual orientation, including allies, will live and learn together in an inclusive and supportive community.  Located in Britton Hall, the community works with the Office of Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay and Transgender Student Services. Visit the Spectrum House website for additional details, including how to sign up. 

For additional information regarding Residence Life options contact:

Steven C. Palmer
Director of Residence Life
Western Michigan University 
(269) 387-4465

You can also find a map of all gender-inclusive bathrooms available throughout campus. Follow the link to view a map of gender-inclusive bathroom locations.

For more information please contact:

Shaun Ballard
Assistant Director of Admissions

Natalie Nguyen
Director of LBGT Student Services