LGBTQIA social brings students together

UMKC students gathered last Tuesday evening in the basement of Oak St. Hall for the first monthly UMKC LGBTQIA Social. UMKC Pride Alliance and UMKC LGBTQIA Student Affairs Council hosted this event.

The evening kicked off with an introduction by the leaders of both the LGBTQIA Student Affairs Council and various student-led organizations on campus, including Pride Alliance. After taking some time to mingle and get to know each other, the students gathered in a circle to introduce themselves by their names, pronouns and majors.

Jonathan Pryor is the Assistant Director for LGBTQIA Programs and Services and the Office of Student Involvement.

Within the LGBTQIA Programs and Services, there are six student-led organizations. Pryor advises three of those organizations and works together with the students to host events, offer support and help them achieve their goals.

“We know that some of the challenges our students experience sometimes center around their identities, and we know that’s true for our LGBTQIA students,” said Pryor. “So the purpose of this is to provide space for them to connect with other students who have shared interests or shared identities and also to continue awareness around LGBTQIA student concerns on campus.”

The party really got started when Pryor came through the door holding boxes of pizza and students lined up to grab a slice. Ally Evans, a freshman at UMKC, said she came to the event to see a few friends and check out the organizations.

Evans considers it important to have organizations like Pride Alliance on campus to offer support and acceptance to students. Sammie Hays, President of Pride Alliance, agreed.

“There were more cows than people in my home town,” said Hays. “So there was no representation and it was kind of lonely. It shouldn’t be like that here on a college campus, you’re coming to find yourself so you should be able to have access to that.”

Pride Alliance has plenty of events coming up. On Oct. 5 there will be a drag show following the Women’s Center’s Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event.

Pride Alliance will be supporting the Ally Photo which will take place on Oct. 5 at 12:50 p.m. on the Student Union Stairs.

There are also informal weekly meetings every Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. in the Rainbow Lounge, located in the Student Union.

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