The Rowan University LGBTQIA+ center set up on the student center back patio. Staff Writer / Lindsey D'Ambrosio

Students from the LGBTQIA+ community gathered on the back patio of the Chamberlain Student Center to celebrate pride week with the Rowan community last Wednesday. The event was hosted by the LGBTQIA+ Center and SJICR.  

The LGBTQIA+ Center is a Rowan resource for students who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex or Agender/Asexual. The center intends to create safer spaces for students by supporting students’ explorations of their identities and advocate for campus inclusion of the LGBTQIA+ community at Rowan.  

The staff at the center works to fulfill its goals through advocacy for campus inclusion of the LGBTQIA+ community at Rowan by providing relevant training opportunities to students, faculty and staff.

Students set up tables on the back patio to represent their organizations and the LGBTQIA+ community. The event lasted featured food, music and a photo booth where students got to take pictures together with their friends.

“For everyone who is part of the community, they can celebrate their identity with pride,” said Sa-Rawla Stoute, coordinator for the LGBTQIA+ Center.

According to Stoute, the center holds events for pride week annually, and as a member of the community herself, she got involved to help represent the community on Rowan’s campus.

“I know the university had been doing this for some time, and so this is something I don’t see not happening on any campus,” Stoute said. “I think this is the norm, so in one way or another I think everyone has a pride, and if not they definitely should.”

Rowan University’s Student University Programmers (SUP) also took part in the pride celebration. They are an event committee run by students, for students. They host movie nights every Tuesday, off campus trips, charity events and attend many student-run events on campus, including those during pride week.

Anne Busarello, a senior double major in advertising and public relations, has been a member of SUP for two years now. She is also the director of charitable events for SUP.

“We always help out with everything that we can. We love helping out with pride week, making sure that everyone at the university feels welcomed and heard,” Busarello said.

She believes that any student, faculty member or member of the outside community who isn’t familiar with or understanding of the LGBTQIA+ community should have an open conversation and better educate themselves.

“Without diversity, the world wouldn’t be as great as it is,” Busarello said.

More information and upcoming events being hosted by the LGBTQIA+ Center can be found on its website.

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