SAGE Center Sends out Lavender Certificates Honoring LGBTQ Graduates
Jackson Volenec – Reporter
The SAGE center is conducting the Lavender Graduation, a ceremony for LGBTQ students. Its main objective is to give proper acknowledgement to the LGBTQ population, as graduating itself is a major accomplishment.
“Lavender Graduation is a way to honor LGBT students and acknowledge their accomplishments as a student on campus,” said Marlena Oliveri, a graduate intern at SAGE and CCSU alum.
The pandemic has compromised this event, as it is usually held in person in one of the buildings on campus. Since this is not possible this year, the SAGE center is continuing the event by giving the awards online and selecting students to be featured on their website.
These features will highlight students’ major accomplishments and successes while on campus. Those who are recognized shall receive certificates and lavender cords, as well as a biography that highlights their achievements.
This would have been the fourth Lavender Graduation ceremony that SCSU has held, as we have consistently participated in the event for several years now. The SAGE center is continuing to honor the event by still distributing the certificates to students. (is this a quote?)
This would have been the fourth Lavender Graduation ceremony that Southern has held, as the SAGE Center has consistently participated in the event for several years now. It is continuing to honor the event by still distributing the certificates to students.
“We’re not going to be doing a full ceremony this year, we’re collecting student’s information and we’re offering to mail them the cords as well as a certificate that says they participated in the graduation,” said Oliveri. “We were planning on having the ceremony in Engleman Hall, but we’re digital now.”
One of the SAGE Center’s primary goals as an organization on campus is to empower students who are a part of the LGBTQ community, especially since they are more likely to encounter obstacles in college. They are statistically more likely to face challenges that would prevent them from graduating. They are more likely to experience sexual misconduct, homelessness, food insecurity, scarcity of resources, and several other factors that might limit their success.
SAGE is taking in positive messages from other students and professors to their LGBTQ friends as well, as they will include them in their packages sent out to students.
There are currently around 10 students who will be receiving certification, along with several professors submitting positive messages to the event.
“I think representation in higher education is extremely important for any group,” said Oliveri. “I personally believe that if you don’t see someone that is similar to you in an administrative position or one of power, it can be hard to find someone to trust or find a place that you feel safe to go to.
This entire graduation ceremony is meant to empower students in the LGBTQ community, and is part of Southern’s larger goal to give proper representation to all different groups of culture to the campus.
“I think it’s really critically important to recognize this specific population, since LGBTQ students are less likely to graduate,” said Jenna Retort, the SAGE Center coordinator. “It’s really
important how we celebrate their achievements and how they’ve enriched the Southern community.”