UNCG’s WGSS Commits to Building Students’ Sense of Belonging, Space, and Presentation 

Posted on September 20, 2023

UNCG student looks over clothing in the Women's, gender, and sexuality studies open closet

The UNC Greensboro Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) department is in its 51st year. It’s going strong, presenting new perspectives, and bringing the excitement of interdisciplinary study. 

As part of promoting interaction and belonging, the WGSS department has opened a student lounge. The lounge acts as a connection between the faculty and students, thanks to its open lounge area, conference room, and WGSS open closet. 

The open closet allows students, faculty, and staff of every gender to donate and/or pick a few articles of clothing they may need. It comes with a small changing area so that students can try on the clothes before they take them home.  

It’s just one way that UNCG supports students during their time of need. 

“The closet and lounge are not just for WGSS students,” says Claudia Stakoe, the undergraduate office assistant for WGSS. “We’ve had people ask if they can just sit in the lounge. It’s for anyone to use. We have fidget toys and snacks and other items for anyone to come and decompress.” 

In addition to the closet, the WGSS lounge also features artwork and books that have been painted or donated by fellow UNCG students. There’s also a conference room that any student may schedule to practice presentations or do schoolwork.  

This initiative is run entirely by WGSS students with the goal of empowering others and giving back. “Our goal is to bring back community, and that’s what we did,” emphasizes Stakoe. “We want to have the resources to give back to our community and to make this a safe space.”  

Thanks to the WGSS department’s interdisciplinary nature, students have the space to view their studies in another light. 

WGSS’ majors, minors, and certificates are filled with intellectual and practical activities that students can link to disciplinary studies in any department or concentration. With WGSS, students are able to grasp diverse perspectives and apply that knowledge to a variety of career paths and educational fields. 

Examples of classes being offered this semester include Introduction to WGSS, Introduction to LGBTQI studies, and Introduction to Feminist Theory. Students of the WGSS go on to pursue diverse and versatile careers such as social workers, professors, human resources diversity specialists, policy analysts, and more.  

Make yourself at home.

Story by Dana Broadus, University Communications
Photography by David Lee Row, University Communications


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