Patrick Trautfield

The Pride Alliance, which is dedicated to raising awareness about the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) community, held its first advisory committee meeting Wednesday in the Pride Center.

The committee will meet every other week and looks to receive input from students, faculty and staff on GLBT issues and how they affect Cal Poly.

The Pride Alliance is a branch of the Student Life and Leadership department, similar to the Multicultural or Women’s Centers, which offers programs and resources to all students.

“Right now we are trying to build a bigger membership and make it safer for students to be out on campus,” said Jessica Cresci, animal science freshman and Pride Alliance leader. “We are really trying to focus in on getting more professors involved, it would help if there were more teachers to look up to.”

The alliance has created a large online following through groups on facebook and Yahoo, actively notifying staff and students about programs and events.

“I feel it’s important to have a professor with more life experience involved. It would really help to have a prominent teacher in the alliance, to give the ‘I have been there’ type of advice,” said Daniel Pfau, an animal science sophomore and one of four Pride Alliance leaders.

The alliance is often confused with the Gay Lesbian Bisexual United Club (GLBU) on campus.

“We are different from the club in that we are open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. everyday, we are something permanent here for the students at all times,” said Amy Narevsky, a liberal studies sophomore and Pride Alliance leader.

Narevsky began supporting the LBGT community through the GLBU Club and then decided to dedicate more time through the Pride Alliance. She said although there is some ignorance in the community about the different programs and issues, she has not experienced major problems of being stereotyped on campus.

Aside from the advisory committee the Alliance’s other big program is their ally training which they offer three separate times a quarter. Ally training is a two-hour workshop where participants become familiarized with correct terminology and engage in group discussions about homophobia and LGBT issues. The ally program is designed to encourage support and involvement from people of all sexual backgrounds and walks of life.

“I want to stress that the Pride Alliance is not just for LGBT people, this organization is open for anyone who cares about these issues and wants to help,” Narevsky said. “The center is always open and can even be a place for people to come hang out between classes.”

The Pride Center also has books and videos concerning GLBT issues available to be borrowed.

The next Pride Alliance advisory committee meeting is Feb. 14 at 2:30 p.m. in the Pride Center, which is attached to the Science building in room 104. The next ally training will be March 1 at 10 a.m. in the University Union, room 219.

“It is so important to support this community and allow Cal Poly to be an environment where GLBT people feel comfortable being themselves. More people should come get involved,” Cresci said.

Visit the Pride Center or call (805) 756-7733 for more information.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *