The Pride Alliance club had 11 members and their advisor, Kim Dexter, attend the Northeast Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Conference at the University at Albany April 10-12. They attended over 18 workshops, including ones on transgender students, helpful tips on coming out and more.
There was a banquet and dance after the workshops for the 500-plus attendees that also promoted body positivity – a major point of the conference – according to Kate Turner, a member of Pride Alliance.
“This year focused a lot on body positivity,” said Turner. “Love yourself first. We want to bring that back to the community.”
The club’s vice president, who asked not to be named, said the conference “Trans and Passing,” was especially helpful. “Passing has the connotation that you’re trying to fool somebody, but for the trans-community, it is all about fitting into society and to live as normal as possible.”
He added the workshop discussed blending privilege, which he defined as “somebody like me being able to ‘pass off’ as a cis-gender male, and using that to … help those who don’t blend as well get accepted on college campuses.”
“Blending” was addressed at an LGBTQ meeting in the multicultural center by another student who attended, according to the vice president.
Turner said she wants to bring what they learned back to campus. “It just helped us learn that no matter what anybody says, whatever we think on the inside is the most valid. No one can tell us who we are.”
Turner described the workshops as being similar to regular classes, and said she hopes the club can bring what they learned back to campus with “education being number one.
“Us as a whole – we try to educate as much as possible – but having this conference gives better grounds to spread our knowledge.”
Turner said the club is trying to get two of the speakers at the conference, Jon Gilroy and Mark Riviera, to come to campus next year. She also added another main topic of the conference was expanding gender-inclusive housing, which FSU will have next year.
The Pride Alliance Club wants to include more diversity dialogues and Q&A panels on campus, and possibly for RA training, according to Turner, which includes more education and knowledge on issues such as awareness of gender norms and how to break them.
“We had a lot of fun,” said Turner. “We certainly want to bring our knowledge to campus and expand as much as possible.”
News and end of the year activites
SGA President Kendall Valente said the Colleen Kelly 5-K run last Saturday, April 18, went well and hopes to continue FSU participation in the future. Valente also said Meg Daly-Carlisle will not be returning next year as SGA’s administrative assistant since she will be transitioning as a contractor in SILD.
She added President F. Javier Cevallos’ inauguration is Friday, May 1 at 9:00 a.m. in Dwight Performing Arts Center and students can reserve their free ticket in the Game Room.
Student Trustee Brandon Martinez said he, along with vice president Daniel Costello, sent a letter to state Sen. Karen Spilka – who represents Ashland, Framingham, Holliston, Hopkinton, Medway and parts of Natick and Franklin – about the unsafe quality of the footbridge to cross Route 9 and hopes for a response soon.
In other news:
•SGA and SILD’s All University Banquet will be Friday, May 1 from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Sheraton hotel in Framingham.
•Hospitality tables sponsored by SGA will be set up in the McCarthy Center next Tuesday through Thursday. Students can take brownies, punch, stress balls and more.
•The job for Sam the Ram is available on collegiatelink.com.
•Timothy Liuzzo was awarded the U-Rock award.