The PRIDE club is putting Sacred Heart University’s commitment to inclusion and progress into action.
The organization holds events with the goal to embrace all members of the student body and better educate the university on LGBTQ+ issues. The club aspires to create a more inclusive and understanding campus.
“PRIDE is a club for LGBTQ+ students and allies who wish to celebrate being queer on Sacred Heart University’s campus. We act as an event planning taskforce to put together events on campus to celebrate queerness and the queer experience,” said PRIDE President Jonah Savage.
PRIDE has put on Friendsgiving celebrations, Halloween parties, and has participated in the university’s Coming Out Day celebrations.
The club plans to put on two major events this semester.
“Our first event is Queer Formal being held on March 24 at West Campus UC205; this will be a fun, formal-like event for LGBTQ+ students and allies to celebrate the queer experience together,” said Savage. “Our second event is a collaboration with Chaverim Yehudim (Jewish Club), a panel of faculty members discussing the Holocaust and the overlapping experience for Jewish and LGBTQ+ people during the Holocaust.”
PRIDE hopes these events will be effective in reaching out to students and making the club’s ambitions and mission better known.
PRIDE Vice President Brenna McDonald said, “It is so important for a university to have an organization like PRIDE. We strive for inclusivity and to encourage everyone to be authentically themselves.”
She recognized and emphasized the increased significance of the club’s presence at a Catholic university.
“It is even more important for a Catholic institution to have this kind of resource due to the history of homophobia within the Church,” said McDonald. “I have experienced it myself in my hometown when going to church, but SHU has done an amazing job of creating an inclusive environment.”
McDonald commends the university for being welcoming and expects PRIDE to continue and further that attitude.
“There will always be more to be done, but I knew this was going to be a safe place since I went to SHU’s Coming Out Day event my freshman year,” said McDonald.
“It can be very scary for incoming LGTBQ+ students, due to the history of the Catholic Church and queer people,” said Savage. “It is important to note that Sacred Heart really believes in its mission for social justice and creates a safe environment for all students.”
Freshman Nicole Cordero-Williams said, “It is so crucial for anyone starting somewhere new to feel comfortable, and it’s a good sign that this club exists to embrace and lift up people whose voices aren’t always heard.”
Savage strives for PRIDE to gain more notoriety on campus as an outlet for students.
“I am always encouraging my e-board to be present on campus to get the word out about our club and different events that we host on campus. We also try to have a strong social media connection through our Instagram, @pride_shu,” said Savage.
PRIDE intends to grow and continue to be a positive force within the student body in the future. They encourage all students to join through SHU Engage, attend their events, and go to their upcoming meetings in the Multicultural Center at 8 P.M on March 23, April 6, and April 20.
“All students are welcomed and encouraged to attend a meeting and share ideas for events or just come to have a safe space with students with similar experiences,” said Savage.
PRIDE meets every other Thursday in the Multicultural Center.