SAGE Center event educates
Caitlin O’Halloran – Reporter
The Sexual and Gender Equality (SAGE) Center held an event to support the Transgender and Nonbinary Community on April 21 in Engleman Hall.
“Especially in recent months and especially in 2021, there’s been a lot of legislation and violence against the trans and nonbinary community and so we kind of did this as a way to raise awareness and show other students that there are people on campus that support them,” SAGE Center’s Graduate Intern Aaron Morabito said.
The event was hosted to educate others on the issues faced by the transgender and nonbinary community, but also for students and those on campus to learn how they can be allies and also help support the community.
“So we want every student and every member of our campus community to feel like this is a place that they can be their full selves,” said vice president for student affairs Tracy Tyree, “that they belong here, that they are welcome and that this is their university.”
There are bills that will aim to advance the “comprehensive nondiscrimination laws that LGBTQ people so sorely need” and others that “will almost certainly attempt to single out and target LGBTQ people for unfair and equal treatment,” according to Freedom For All Americans.
The SAGE Center is an organization that is on campus to provide a positive space academically, culturally and socially for the LGBTQ+ community on campus where they are able to grow.
“I think it’s important that students are able to feel that they are safe and supported, especially on their campus because there’s no reason any single person should feel discriminated against or have any negative feelings because of what they identify as and it’s crazy and heartbreaking that in these times that is something that certain people still can’t accept or understand,” social work major Stacy Foster, a senior, said.
The Center also works in collaboration with other clubs on campus like the Multicultural Center, and the LGBT Prism Club that offers educational awareness and helps to promote the acceptance of student actions in campus policies and is overall a supportive organization.
“Both the SAGE Center and the Multicultural Center are super important in terms of creating spaces where students that identify with either based on their gender identity or sexual orientation or race and ethnicity identify with people like them to feel like there is a place of community and connection and also to educate and inform and bring awareness, so that around campus we are creating policies and practices that are inclusive of all of our students and their intersectional identities,” said Tyree.
A past event offered by the Center was the Lavender Graduation on April 15, livestreamed on Teams, where they held a ceremony to celebrate and recognize accomplishments of graduating undergraduate and graduate students that are in the LGBTQ+ community.
The Center will also be offering three upcoming events on April 29, including a Photo Contest that includes different topics where students can enter and win an Amazon gift card.
The other event is one where students can join a Zoom meeting and connect with members to discuss different topics in a safe environment. The topic will be about the Chauvin trial that recently occurred and the ongoing oppression of marginalized communities.
Morabito said, “So for the SAGE Center we of course do lots of awareness and education stuff and we also have just our virtual and physical spaces that any LGBTQ+ students can come to if they just want to chat or if they want to meet other people.”