Story by Veronica Burns, Staff Writer
Photo courtesy of Facebook
AQ Pride is making a difference on campus with their mission of inclusiveness. The RSO changed their name within the last few years, once being known as GSA.
Senior student Casey Dickerson is the president of AQ Pride this year. When talking about their mission, she said, “we are trying to find a better balance of community building as well as educational events. We truly want to make a space where everyone feels welcome and comfortable, so we are trying to emphasize getting to know one another a bit more.” She added, “We strive to provide an inclusive, safe, and open space for students to ask questions without judgement, explore their identities, make new friends, and learn about the community. Through our events, we look to supply information on respectful terms and different identities as well as raise awareness on the issues individuals of this community face.”
Second-year student Marissa Ebels, Vice President, said, “We are a confidential safe space for students on campus. It doesn’t matter if you are questioning, out, or an ally. This space is an educational one, and one that focus’ specifically on the importance of building relationships with each other and within the Grand Rapids community.”
Ebels also noted what the group is focusing on this year, saying, “Changes this year revolve around making our club more inclusive to more than just Sexual Identity. We are working with gender identity, understanding the ’spectrums’ and pronouns.”
Their events this year involve hosting a pajama party/movie night, a showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, a Pronoun Awareness event, Day of Silence, and more. The Day of Silence is an annual event that honors those who have faced discrimination, violence, or lost their lives based on the ways they identify with the LGBTQIA+ Community. AQ Pride hands out shirts for the event, which many students wear on a regular basis around campus. AQ Pride is very open to event suggestions and would love collaborating with groups both on and off campus.
They hold meetings at 9 p.m. once a month in the RSO office, which is located in the Upper Cook Carriage House. If you’re interested in getting more information or becoming involved, feel free to reach out to members on the Eboard or check out their Facebook page. AQ Pride hopes students and faculty connect those unaware of the RSO with the group in order to continue providing help for AQ students.
About the Writer…
Veronica Burns is a senior studying a dual business communication major and journalism. Her loves include cats and actor Tom Hiddleston.