University Committee on Sexual Orientation Changes Name
August 21, 2013
MACOMB, IL – While its mission remains the same, the University Committee on Sexual Orientation (UCOSO) at Western Illinois University has changed its name to the University Committee on Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identity and Expression (UCOSOGIE) to better reflect and include the identities for which the committee advocates.
UCOSO (originally called the President's Task Force to End Homophobia) was established in 1987 to raise awareness and provide support services for the lesbian and gay population on Western's campuses. Throughout the years, the committee and Western's support services have evolved to include lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, queer/questioning and asexual/ally (LGBTQA) and to ensure the University's policies and procedures are inclusive for all. The Task Force changed its name to the University Committee on Sexual Orientation in 1999.
During the 2013-14 academic year, numerous programs and events will be sponsored by UCOSOGIE, the LGBTQA Resource Center and Unity, the student organization for LGBTQA individuals on the Macomb campus, including an orientation for LGBTQA students in the University Union Capitol Room from 6:30-8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22, an open house in the LGBTQA Resource Center (Seal Hall 313) from 1-4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23, and a picnic on the east lawn of the Multicultural Center (rain location: Bayliss/Henninger Underground) from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 26.
Upcoming events include the Big Picture (a photograph of LGBTQA students, faculty, staff and administrators that will be published in local newspapers) in September, National Coming Out Day Oct. 11 and LGBTQA Awareness Week.
Policies and issues on UCOSOGIE's agenda during the 2013-14 year include the use of inclusive vendors; inclusion within Greek organizations; a new sexuality minor; the University's stance on same sex marriage; and how students, faculty and staff can self-identify when joining the WIU campus.
For more information on UCOSOGIE, visit wiu.edu/faculty_senate/committees/sexual_orientation.