PRIDE organization increasingly visible

Brendan Wynne

Only in its second year as a reconstituted student organization, People Respecting Identity Diversity for Everyone, or PRIDE, continues to push forward the ideals of service and acceptance, with no sign of slowing down any time soon.

“We’ve definitely made ourselves visible on campus, and now it’s time to commit,” Christopher Cruz, president of PRIDE and theater sophomore, said, “It’s all about getting active. We’ve taken those first few steps, and now we just have to dive into it.”

After spending the first year rebuilding the foundation of their organization, PRIDE members are now branching outward in hopes of providing more programming with other, more widely known organizations.

“Community outreach is one of biggest topics this year,” Christopher D’Amico, mass communication lecturer and PRIDE co-faculty adviser, said. “We really hope to be more visible on campus. There are those who are unaware of what it is exactly that we offer. Just letting them know that we are here for them is a step in the right direction.”

Along with reinforcing PRIDE’s impact on campus, Cruz said he hopes to have PRIDE fully immersed in community service before the end of the year.

“We’ve actually created the position for a community service chairman,” Cruz said. “And once that person is elected we’re really going to be able to do a lot more here on campus, and perhaps even outside of Midwestern.”

Although community service has become one of the major goals for PRIDE, the ideals on which it was established remain at the forefront of consideration.

“As classes come and go, so do the needs for certain things,” D’Amico said. “We’re always promoting respect for all forms of diversity, and in the demographic in which we live right now, it’s definitely a necessity. Educate, advocate, and tolerate — this is our goal. ”

As well as providing a safe place for individuals of all identities and diversities, PRIDE’s hosted many events to promote both awareness and tolerance, including anonymous STD and STI screenings, and a ‘speed-friending’ event. These resources, according to many of PRIDE’s members, are largely credited with the organization’s receiving of last year’s Student Organization of the Year award.

“Everything we do is for the other students,” Deborah Carias, vice president of PRIDE and marketing sophomore, said, “Just about all of our meetings and events are open to anyone who’d like to join. Yes, we’re LGBT oriented, but it’s not solely exclusive to that group. One of core ideals is accepting everyone, and that’s the message we really want to get across. Tolerance is important. It always has been and always will be.”

NEXT MEETING: Thursday, Sept. 22 at 4 p.m. in CSC Cheyenne.