Students and faculty how LGBTQA pride and support


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Dozens of students and faculty gathered in front of the USU building to participate in the annual Pride Walk.

 

The Pride Walk took place on April 9 during U-hour and was coordinated by Robert Aiello-Hauser, director of student engagement & inclusion at the LGBTQA Pride Center.

 

He said the purpose of this event was to showcase LGBTQA pride, support and awareness.

 

“We’ve done it for eight years… It’s an opportunity for faculty, staff[and] students to show their support for our LGBTQA faculty staff and students on campus. It’s also an opportunity for our LGBTQA students to represent themselves …This is an opportunity for us to come together as a community,” Aiello-Hauser said.  

 

Students took part in setting up booths. At these stations participants of the walk were given free rainbow necklaces and flags to show their support for the LGBTQA community.

 

Student volunteer and Peer Educator, Omar Galindo, said that a person does not have to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or asexual to be supportive of the community itself.

 

“We try to bring allies, we try to bring people who identify as part of the LGBTQA community,”

 

One of these allies was student and volunteer, Jessica Willis. She said “It’s important to have awareness on campus…  I don’t identify as LGBTQ, but I am an ally by supporting friends…”

 

The Pride Walk began at 12:05 p.m. with a roar of cheers. Mars Waddy, peer educator at the Pride Center, led the walk with a megaphone in hand. The march began from the USU building and continued in a counter-clockwise circuit past the library entrance, Markstein Hall and down the stairs of the Arts Building.

 

Waddy said “If you are here joining us,thank you. Y’all know what it took to be here and what’s going to continue to take too. A lot of work. A lot of blood. A lot of tears. But we’ll always be prideful. I want you take all this pain, journey and euphoria into one very loud noise!”

 

The crowd of faculty and students behind Waddy shouted their support and waved their flags. While completing the march, Pride Walk participants passed by fellow students, several of whom cheered back and waved.

 

The march came to a full circle back at the front of the USU, where students and faculty were given snow-cones for participating.

 

Students who may be in need of support can get help. Senior Peer Educator, Fernanda Hernandez Garcia, said, “For the queer population and even students in general can come visit the Pride Center and see Robert… Visit the faculty that are safe-zone certified. You’ll see a yellow triangle with a rainbow design on it, that means that faculty has gone through training with Robert and [have] information to really help…”

 

The Pride Walk is not the only event on campus dedicated to show support or celebrate the LGBTQA community. For more information on upcoming events and support visit the Pride Center in USU 3100 or check out https://www.csusm.edu/pride/index.html.

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