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Ice Cream Social serves up sugary introductions: Pride Alliance and LGBTQIA Programs & Services hold 9th annual event to raise awareness for LGBT programs

Pride Alliance and LGBTQIA Programs & Services co-sponsored the 9th annual Welcome Week Ice Cream Social on Aug. 28 in the University Walkway. Kona Ice served tropical flavored shaved ice to interested students from a company truck parked in the walkway.

Pride Alliance, the University’s LGBT student organization, hosts the Ice Cream Social with LGBTQIA Programs & Services to increase student awareness and involvement. Dylan Burd, president of UMKC’s LGBTQIA Student Affairs Council, said Thursday’s event was successful in spreading awareness of Pride Alliance’s presence and mission.

“We were here [the University Walkway] when a lot of people were coming to lunch… leaving from lunch,” said Burd. “We’ve got two sign-up sheets [with] a lot of signatures there.”

The LGBTQIA Student Affairs Council is working to establish a local chapter of Delta Lambda Phi, a social fraternity founded by gay men, but open to membership for all men.

“We’ve had a few people sign up for our fraternity interest group,” Burd said. “We’re looking to start that up soon, and got names and emails of people who do want to be interested and involved.”

Other Kansas City LGBT organizations, such as the LGBT Affirmative Therapists’ Guild, also attended to increase student awareness of citywide LGBT programs.

“We’re a collection of LGBT-affirming therapists based here in Kansas City,” said Kyle Danner, Organizer of the LGBT Affirmative Therapists’ Guild. “We meet four times a year to provide educational opportunities for our members. We also do outreach programs like this Ice Cream Social.”

Representatives of health organizations like the KC Care Clinic were present to promote safety and wellness. Prevention Specialist Lawrence W. Crawford, with the KC Care Clinic informed students of a CDC study currently taking place in Chicago, Kansas City and Ft. Lauderdale.

“We’re trying to test out some HIV precaution messages on those [city] populations, so we’re trying to get interested individuals to come to the clinic and take a survey,” Crawford said. The Care Clinic is located at 3015 Broadway, and the study ends September 28.

State-wide programs like PROMO, an organization advocating LGBT health, marriage equality and nondiscrimination, attended the Ice Cream Social. Kyle Piccola, Senior Field Organizer of PROMO, said he felt that the Ice Cream Social effectively brought attention to PROMO’s causes.

“We were able to spread the work we’re doing in the state and it’s been a great experience,” Piccola said.Pride Alliance will next host UMKC Trans+Allies, a group facilitated discussion about gender and identity pertaining to the trans* and LGBT community, on Sept. 4 at 6 pm in Student Union room 302. The event is open to all students.

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