Safe spaces for LGBTQ+ students and healthcare for students

UW Tacoma has a diverse community of students and staff with a wide variety of needs. Around campus, there are resources for LGBTQ+ students, ranging from health care to counseling and psychological services, as well as safe spaces. 

Safe spaces for students are present both on and around the UWT campus. Off campus, there are the Rainbow Center and Oasis. The Rainbow Center is a space for the LGBTQ+ community of Tacoma, located just off of Pacific Ave. The Rainbow Center is a safe, open community space where people of the LGBTQ+ community can come and study and meet others from the community.  

“Students at UWT can benefit from the center’s resources such as our specialized lending library, open space for study, and even a pool table to relax during finals,” Executive Director of Rainbow Center J. Manny Santiago stated. “Rainbow Center hosts several community and social groups for LGBTQ people, and coordinates several programs and events throughout the year.”

The center also hosts and partakes in events throughout the year, including Tacoma Pride. Additionally, they have many discussion nights where they talk about topics such as how to cope with trauma though writing and a queer career social. The community room is open from 1–5 p.m., Monday–Friday. On Oct. 11, they will be hosting Coming Out Day Open House. 


As stated on their website, “The Rainbow Center is a proudly queer, anti-racist community center. We are committed to providing an inclusive environment that reflects the community we serve.”

Around campus there are health care services available to students. UWT is partnered with CHI Fransiscan Health to provide care to students. CHI Fransiscan’s closest location to campus is Saint Joseph’s Medical Center, located less than a mile from campus. Students have 24/7 access to Fransiscan Virtual Urgent Care as well as access to six prompt walk in care clinics. Office visits are free of charge, as they are covered by UWT student fees. 

On campus, there is also Counseling and Psychological Services — or CAPS — available to students. Located in MAT 354, the counselors are available from Monday–Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

According to their website, their mission is “To improve the mental health and well-being of our campus community.” 

The Counseling and Psychological services also offer individual, group and couples counseling. There is no fee for UWT students to use the CAPS services. 

The Center for Equity and Inclusion is a place for all students on campus, and is identified as a safe space. They have three main programs: enhancing campus education, developing community partnerships and building a diverse campus. They also operate the Pantry, which supplies students who might need extra help in securing food and hygiene items. The Center for Equity and Inclusion also holds a Queer Discussion group biweekly in WCG 104.

“Queer discussion group is mostly an on going program that we’ll do in this space, but we have some day events, anual events that we’ll hold,” Program Support Supervisor for Equity and Inclusion, Nedralani Mailo said. “TDOR — Transgender Day of Rememberance — is one of those.”