Just recently, I was watching a TV documentary about prosthetics. It showed a personwho was born with no fingers on their right hand. When they tried on prosthetic fingers for the very first time in their life, they exclaimed with nervous laughter, “Oh, that’s what it’s like to have fingers – gross!”
Having five fingers on one hand might seem “normal” to most of us, but not to them.
What is “normal” is merely a matter of perspective. Unfortunately, in this heteronormative, gender-binary world, it is all too easy to make false assumptions about gender and sexuality; in fact, reality is much more complicated and fluid. The GS Center is a part of Waseda’s on-going commitment to honoring such complexity and fluidity in our community.
Your college years are an important period of self-discovery and self-expression; we are here to support you through that process. In addition to fully trained, professional staffers, we have on duty many student staff, who are your fellow students especially interested in gender and sexuality issues to help you through whatever questions you might be facing. The GS Center never judges anyone and always respects your privacy. Do stop by Building 10 and make use of all of our resources.
The proposal “Make the first LGBT Student Center in Japan” won the President’s Award in the Waseda Vision 150 Student Competition that took place in March 2015. Since then, LGBT clubs/circles and other centers/communities in the university started to cooperate in organizing lectures and symposiums, and LGBT-awareness has been gaining momentum in the campus.
With such background, the Intercultural Communication Center and the Office for Students with Disabilities was opened in the Equality and Diversity Center. On top of that, the Gender and Sexuality Center was established in April 2017 as a resource center related to gender and sexuality.
At Waseda University, people of diverse individualities, whether because of their nationality, gender (limited not only to men and women, but ranging across a wide spectrum of gender identities), disabilities, or any other aspect of their being, coexist. The university aims to create an academic community that will respect the point of view of each individual. In this academic community, everyone will be able to engage in their studies and in education, research, and work in a way that will open the door to new possibilities; and this will result in the further development of the university. With this in mind, the Equality and Diversity Center proposes and promotes specific activities based on the following two principles:
- To ensure that the diverse groups of minority students, who could be subject to disadvantages in various aspects of campus life, are able to focus on their studies without fear of such disadvantages.
- To create a campus where all members of the university respect diverse values and ways of life.
The GS Center is one of the branches of the Student Diversity Center and serves the following three functions.
- It offers consultation on and support for gender/sexuality related issues in a safe, discreet environment.
- It offers information and resources on gender/sexuality related issues.
- It provides a semi-open community space where events on gender/sexuality related issues take place.
To build a campus where everyone can study and relax in comfort and safety, we created this map with information about barrier free access, childcare facilities, and gender-neutral restrooms, based on the concept of universal design. The gender-neutral restrooms have signs that read “ALL Genders”.
We have 4 faculties, 2 specialist staffs and 8 student staffs that work for the Gender and Sexuality Center. The individual counseling will be done by our specials staffs.
If you want to speak a language other than Japanese, or if you need sign language, please come with someone who can interpret.
Our student staffs will guide the center for you. The student staffs change everyday, and they will be in the Center from 12:30PM to 5PM.