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The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

The Wardrobe offers safe space for gender expression

Students looking for a way to explore their gender expression should look no further.

The Wardrobe is a closet for gender diverse students to explore different gender expressions through clothing, makeup, accessories and shoes. The closet is open from 12-3 p.m. on Mondays, and students do not pay for the items they select.

Kat Fishwick, a fourth-year community psychology doctorate student, works with The Wardrobe during the full 12-3 p.m. window. Three other prevention ambassadors from Health Outreach Prevention Education (HOPE) services use their internship hours in the program to help set up The Wardrobe and create inclusive systems for clothing organization.

Mckenna Stump, a sophomore criminal justice major and prevention ambassador, said that as an LGBTQ+ student, she enjoys being part of a “judgment-free” place on campus for those wanting to explore different gender expressions.

To use The Wardrobe, students can ask about it at the front desk of the Student Wellness Center (SWC). They will be asked to sign in, like any other student visiting the wellness center, and then directed to HOPE services.

When students come into The Wardrobe, they will not be asked about their gender identity or gender questioning. Prevention ambassadors and HOPE staff will guide visitors through different clothing racks and answer any questions.

“We want to be available but also not intrusive,” Cora Olson, wellness program and outreach manager at HOPE, said.

If the items a student selects doesn’t fit right or doesn’t match the look or feel that they were looking for, Olson said that they are welcome to “wash it, return it and try something different.”

According to Rachael Gladden, a project specialist with HOPE, most of The Wardrobe’s visitors since their opening have come with friends to explore their selection. Fishwick said visitors were enthusiastic about the space.

“It brought up some interesting questions (for us), but they were really excited to be able to pick through different things, take some things off the shelves and try them on,” Fishwick said.

The Wardrobe is always looking for donations. Gently used clothing and jewelry, as well as unopened makeup and other hygiene products, can be brought to the front desk of the YMCA or SWC. 

To work with The Wardrobe, you can apply to be a prevention ambassador with HOPE.

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About the Contributors
Trinity Ramm, Managing Editor
Trinity Ramm is the managing editor and former sports editor for The Sunflower. This is her second year on staff. Ramm is a senior English Lit major and a sociology minor with a certificate in film studies. In her limited spare time, she can be found at the movie theater, browsing some obscure film database or crocheting. Ramm uses she/her pronouns.
Allison Campbell, News Editor
Allison Campbell is the news editor for The Sunflower. A South African native, Campbell is a junior pursuing a journalism and media production degree with a minor in English. Campbell hopes to pursue a career in editing after graduation. They use any pronouns.

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