Spectrum looks to increase its presence on UDM campus

For six years, Spectrum has existed on the University of Detroit Mercy’s NcNichols campus.

Once known as Gay-Straight Alliance, the name change to Spectrum allows inclusivity to all people.

According to a mission statement, “Spectrum is a student ran organization that works all year round to open lines of communication between staff, students and the community regarding issues affecting Gay, Transgender, Lesbian, Bisexual, Questioning, Intersexed, Asexual, and Allied people.”

The student group, known most prominently for their “Gay? Fine by me” t-shirts, has decent representation on campus despite students having a hard time accessing the organization.

Senior Jacob Sumara joined Spectrum last year. He’s currently president of the organization.

“I wanted to join two years before but I could not find them,” he said.

If you go onto Detroit Mercy’sCurrently, information online is site today and search Spectrum and or GSA, the information results are outdated; the most recent results date back to 2007.

Which makes it difficult for incoming freshman or current students to find support groups such as Spectrum.

As Spectrum’s new Prpresident,  Sumara plans to eliminate the difficulty of access to the student-run organization.

He wants to create visibility on Detroit Mercy’s campus for everyone.

He plans to do this by staying active on Spectrum’s social media sites: Facebook (SpectrumUDM) and Twitter (@Spectrumudm).

The organization also plans to start an Instagram account soon.

Spectrum holds meetings every Tuesday in Commerce and Finance Room 228 from 1:10 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Spectrum is open for all students and staff, free of charge.

“Fees can exclude,” Sumara said. “We don't want to exclude…we want to be there for everyone” said Sumara.”

Everyone who attends the meeting must read and sign a confidentiality statement that.

This  ensures that the information discussed throughout the meetings, stays within the group. 

Every Tuesday, Sumara provides snacks and a safe haven for everyone around himat the meetings.

During Spectrum introductions, members are asked to describe themselves by their name, preferred pronouns, interesting facts(s) and major.

This allows respect to be given to everyone apart of Spectrum in a judgement-free zone.

“It’s a factor of safety,” Sumara said. “we don’t ask how they identify.”

Spectrum also leadersleaders also serve as advocates for individuals who face discrimination within the classroom and outside of campus.

Depending on how far a student is willing to go with a discrimination complaint, Spectrum provides resources in order to ensure safety and justice for the issue present.

“We act as a representative… we keep going higher up to get the problem solved," said Sumara.

There are several resources on campus who help support Spectrum, from, such as the Women’s and Genders sSttudies department and tto the College of Liberal Arts, professors and staff.

Spectrum plans to be more active on campus and bringing awareness to the organization for the benefit of members regarding their concerns and rights as students.

Currently, in the basement of the Library, there is one neutral gendered bathroom on campus available for everyone to use.

Sumara plans to work collectively with the uUniversity to make more single-stalled bathrooms here on campus gendered-neutral.

Spectrum was present at the Organization Fair, directly after Celebrate spirit.

There they passed out candy, interacted with students and spoke openly about their organization.

Each year Spectrum holds events such as “Gay, Fine by Me” and Mumbo Tech.

“Gay, Fine by Me” will be returning this year to Detroit Mercy.

The event consists of free t-shirts, cookies, ribbons, music, dance, support and a friendly environment for all.

Mumbo Tech is a Midwest college conference for LGBTQ organizations.

This conference is beneficial for students and serves as a huge support system outside of campus.

Sumara plans to conduct fundraisers such as bake sales in order to support both events this year. He wants to get everyone involved.