What are some struggles that students at Kean University may go through? Some of them could be sexism, racism and even homophobia. The Office of Residential Student Services and PRIDE want to allow students the opportunity to learn about these struggles within the LGBT community.
On Thursday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. the Office of Residential Student Services and PRIDE opened a platform for students outside of the LGBT community to learn and understand ways to be more accepting. This allowed a comfortable environment for everyone to open up and to discuss topics that were important.
PRIDE is an LGBTQ club on campus that takes place in the residence halls. PRIDE meets every Monday from 9 to 10:30 p.m. in the New Upper Multipurpose Room (NUMR). PRIDE also seeks to provide a safe space for conversations about many topics that affect the LGBTQ community and those around them. Many conversations range from coming out, stigma around bisexuality and many more.
Regina L. Wickline, a full-time staff at the Residential Student Services oversees the club and explained that this event housed a safe space and understanding environment.
With this event, they really wanted to put emphasis on the issues that stem from homophobia or prejudice toward the LGBTQ community, and these discussions were meant to stimulate the brain and put awareness toward the daily struggles.
As one walked into the event, music could be heard playing to build comfort between each student to talk about important yet sensitive topics. Students could be seen talking and enjoying the music as they waited for the host and others to come in.
Food such as pizza and wings was served alongside water and sodas, which served as a gate way for more students to talk to each other.
Resident Assistant Jeanice Rivera started the event by explaining the purpose and providing insight to new and returning students about confidentiality, respect and understanding.
The panel consisted of Victor Suarez, a senior studying biotechnology; Biasia Young, a junior studying administration with a minor in marketing; Alysha Wilson, a junior studying marketing with a minor in social media; and Victoria Resto, a junior studying psychology with a minor in health.
They then introduced themselves and provided an opening for the students to come up with topics and to express themselves. Students and members were also able to ask questions and to give advice.
Some of the topic questions included:
- What does sexuality mean to you?
- What does coming out mean to you?
- Do you have any anxieties or fears?
For students interested in learning more about PRIDE or attending a weekly meaning, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.