Gunther Schryer

May 1998

"On Campus Living Experiences"

Thrilled is one word that I would have to use when describing this past month. In general, my life is going very well and things are back on track. First off, I have been accepted to Western Michigan University at Kalamazoo where I will be pursuing my Ph.D. in Student Affairs in Higher Education. In addition to my schooling, I have also shifted gears and am looking for a Graduate Assistantship so that I may be able to afford that expensive piece of paper I will receive in four years. All in all, things are going great and I could not be happier.

During the month of April, I took three days off school and took a trip to Kalamazoo to do the "check it out sort of thing." In that time, I signed a housing lease, scheduled classes, got a student id...all the nitty gritty things that go along with university life.

In addition to looking at the education I will receive at Western, I was also able to check out the social life. While at WMU, I was able to meet some very nice gay folk who gave me a plethora of information. However, from what I have heard, people tend to view Western as conservative. Big old liberal me is not liking that idea. I'll have to wait and see. My whole view on this situation is how bad could a campus with 27,000 students be? There has to, just has to, be a few people that will share my views.

On campus, they have a Lesbian Gay Bisexual Issues Office and a student organization called Outspoken. Unfortunately for me, I did not read the student newspaper I picked up until after I got back to my Aunt's house in Ann Arbor. There was a meeting of Outspoken while I was in town, however, I missed it because I did not read that darn paper. Whoops!

When I look at Western, I see a huge school with a wealth of possibilities. When I look at the gay scene, I am not quite sure what I have found. Lots of queer folk. Campus Office. Student Organization. Two really bad gay clubs. A conservative campus. It's really a mixed bag. I hope that when I graduate from WMU, I can say that I was wrong and that the gay community was awesome. Currently, I am cautiously optimistic. I can't wait to begin this new stage in my life. Change is a good thing.

I am looking forward to making new friends and starting up a new life in Kalamazoo. I will find my niche. Until next month, I wish you all the best and hope that the transitions in your life are successful.

Peace and Pride,

Gunther Schryer

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