October 27, 2021
Simpson College PRIDE spent October celebrating LGBTQIA+ History Month on campus. So far, they’ve hosted Trivia Night, an educational event on how to talk to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people as they plan their future pumpkin painting event.
In addition to their many events, PRIDE is working behind the scenes on more serious initiatives.
Led by PRIDE Vice President Dylan Seibel and in collaboration with Keyah Levy, Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), the organization has pursued two major initiatives: ensuring gender-neutral bathrooms in all academic buildings and accelerating the name change process.
The two also monitored and responded to incidents of homophobia on campus and against students.
“Like most DEI work, it’s slow,” Seibel said, regarding trying to have gender-neutral bathrooms in all academic buildings.
The problem is not only that the work is related to DEI. While PRIDE has pushed to move bathrooms from just male or female to neutral, the college favors adding a gender-neutral bathroom to buildings and keeping bathrooms that are currently gender-separated in their current form.
“It has become much more challenging than anticipated by donors supplying buildings,” said Tatum Claiborne, President of PRIDE.
With the college commissioning new infrastructure, rather than relocating existing infrastructure, it has become very difficult to successfully see these initiatives through to completion.
The name change initiative has become much smoother. In the past, students were Struggle to remove their dead titles From school websites like SCconnect, email, and Moodle. This can be a significant source of dysphonia, removed from Simpson tools such as SC Connect, Simpson emails, and Moodle. Now, they can write to the Registrar’s office to change their documents.
PRIDE plans to engage more on campus in the future. Simpson is sponsoring some of the students in the group for Gayla which is being hosted on November 5th. They also plan to offer safe sex gifts and re-show the raffle that was traditionally hosted in the spring but has been put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Levy emphasized the importance of making students feel safe on campus.
“It shouldn’t just be education. The whole idea of diversity, equality, and inclusion is to create a lifestyle and some cultural change about how we work with people from different backgrounds,” Levy said.
For students interested in joining Simpson College PRIDE, the club meets with Zoom on Mondays at 7:00 PM Allies are welcome. Access to the zoom link will be provided by requests sent to the vice president of the club [email protected] or the president [email protected].
* Mo Marks is the Director of Social Media at Simpson College PRIDE