Discover PSU’s Resource Centers

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PSU Queer Resource Center

By: Andreea N.

Are you familiar with Portland State University’s resource centers? They provide students with the tools, resources and support networks to better integrate into the community. They also help students excel in their studies and increase social, cultural and global awareness.

Diversity and Multicultural Student Services (DMSS)
DMSS works with students from ethnically-diverse backgrounds to guide their academic success through a student-centered inclusive environment. It offers many programs and resources, including Latino Student Services, Native American Student Services, the Diversity Scholarship Program and much more.

Disability Resource Center
PSU recognizes and respects students’ abilities, skills and talents. If you have a disability or you’re teaching a course in which a student has a disability, the resource center is here to help. Adopting a confidential and sensitive approach, the center empowers all university students through accessibility and assistance. If you’re interested in helping out, sign up to be a note taker!

Women’s Resource Center
The WRC has an interesting “her-story.” The center started out as a Women’s Faculty Club open to female faculty members and wives of professors. Now, WRC sponsors quite a few programs focused on students’ wellbeing and community development. The four programs offered include the Interpersonal Violence Program, Leadership in Action, Empowerment Project and Community Events. Click here for details on becoming a volunteer.

Queer Resource Center
QRC provides students along the sexuality and gender spectrum with a community that supports and empowers intersecting identities of LGBTQQIAAP to succeed and integrate within PSU. Through the collaboration of students, faculty and staff, the center offers Trans Resources, Gender Neutral Bathrooms, Queer Students of Color Resources and many more services. Check out the QRC community calendar for awesome PSU and local events.

You Are Not Alone

For the longest time, I felt that no one could ever really understand my troubles. We all have issues, concerns, and problems, but I felt I was on my own. I am the first one in my family to attend a university, and this tends to be a bit overwhelming and exciting for most students. Yet, over time I kept feeling frustrated, lost, and even sad. I simply didn’t know what was going on with me. This kept happening for a while and it got worse.

It wasn’t until I had several panic attacks that my family and I knew something was wrong. Our family doctor knew what was going on. He diagnosed me with Anxiety Disorder. I was a bit relieved to know what I had yet; my symptoms persisted even after getting on medication. Time passed by and I started to feel better.

However, I just had a recent panic attack. It has been over a year since I had one. I realized that I needed to take care of myself better by getting professional help and by reaching out to everyone I know. I was relying on my medication too much, and hadn’t developed a support system. This is critical for a well-rounded and healthy recovery and growth. I advise everyone to reach out for support from everyone they know and to go to SHAC or any medical center to get professional help. You are not alone, there is help out there.

Weighing in on PSU

Kari Anne McDonald works the runway at PSU's first Love Your Body Fashion Extravaganza. In background, emcee Poison Waters engages the audience.

This past Thursday in the Smith Ballroom, PSU’s Love Your Body Fashion Extravaganza featured a fashion show with models who definitely were outside of the size zero seen on most runways. The focus of the fashion show was to highlight loving your body no matter what size or shape it happens to be. By deciding to be a part of this show, I had to face my own inner insecurities between weight and health.

It seems to be a focus of media attention that the United States is becoming bigger around the waistline. In Portland, a city that tends to be very health conscious and that also is known for having a strong foodie culture, this can be a source of conflict. College is certainly a time when students are faced with the fears about the “freshman fifteen” weight gain, and how to transition from a system of mandatory physical activity in schools to self-motivated physical activity.

One consequence of this transition may be adding extra pounds. Fat acceptance can certainly be a loaded subject for many individuals. One question that frequently arises is, “How can we promote health while still accepting those who are overweight?” Somewhere in all of the haze of health information and media messages there must be a balance between health and weight.

If anything, this recent Love Your Body Fashion Extravaganza shows the PSU campus that you do not have to be traditionally skinny in order to be sexy or feel good about your body. For myself, I have had to let go of my fears about being “too fat” and instead focus on getting back to my love of running. I may still have those few extra pounds, but in this way, I feel healthy.

Weigh in with your own thoughts: What do you do to accept your body and stay healthy, while possibly still keeping on those extra pounds? Do you think that people can still be healthy while being overweight?

Finding Help When I Needed It

WRC Library

The Women’s ResourceCenter(http://www.pdx.edu/wrc/) at Portland State University has a welcoming atmosphere. Immediately when I walked into the main entrance of the Center I felt drawn to the cozy couches and chairs organized for group gatherings or just chatting.  There are tall tables for eating lunch with a friend or two and tea/coffee for anyone who drops in.  They even have a small specialized library.

When I began college 12 years after my high school graduation, I struggled with the overwhelming feeling of balancing my family and full-time job with a part-time school schedule.  I felt overloaded and alone, and I missed the life I had grown used to over the years.  In my first few years at college, I found the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) to be an invaluable tool for helping me to adapt to college life.  Any time I had a question about school process, what programs were available to help me adjust, or if I just wanted to vent, I went to the WRC.  I sought connections with other returning female students at WRC events and found it helped immensely to talk with women who could relate to what I was experiencing, such as the constant multi-tasking and dealing with various attitudes at home. 

Today my greatest draw to the WRC is the programs provided for female students.  The WRC Empowerment Project is specifically designed to help women who are returning to school after years of absence from the classroom environment.  The WRC also offers programs on safety and leadership, which are open to all genders. The website is easy to navigate and you can find all the information you need on their programs and when they meet.

I’d love to hear about your experiences with the WRC and how the Center may have empowered you in your college experience.