The quarterly Pride Alliance and Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals United (GLBU) Winter Open House took place Wednesday night at the Pride Center, as both organizations looked to increase their presence on campus and attract more Cal Poly students to the center.
“We want to raise awareness that there are a lot of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students on campus. It is a good time to meet at the beginning of the quarter and bring the two organizations together,” said Jessica Cresci, an animal science freshman and pride alliance coordinator. “I came to the event last quarter and that is how I got involved.”
Roughly 20 to 30 members of both organizations, along with students interested in the Pride Alliance and GLBU, attended the event, which featured no formal discussion or speakers – just a chance for students to interact.
The Pride Alliance is part of the Student Life and Leadership, one of three cultural centers at Cal Poly. The center’s goals are to promote awareness of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and sponsor events and activities concerning the organization.
GLBU is a student-run organization, similar to the Pride Alliance. As a campus club, its goal is to bring together the student LGBT community.
Cal Poly’s GLBU is the largest of its kind in the CSU system and is the organization behind the annual CommUNITY Pride held for one to two weeks each spring.
The GLBU also organized the same-sex hand-holding day, which occurs every year on campus. This year, the event will take place on Feb. 13.
The essential difference between the two organizations is that GLBU directs the majority of its attention to Cal Poly students and community members who are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender. Its meetings and events serve the purpose of creating an environment for the community to congregate, discuss and support one another.
The Pride Alliance centers its attention on education and promotion of the LGBT community at Cal Poly. The organization offers services at its headquarters at building 52T, rooms 104-105 for faculty, staff, students and the public who want to know more about the LGBT community.
“The people here have a dedication for the cause. These people here are so amazing because of their acceptance,” said animal science sophomore Daniel Pfau.
The center includes a library with movies and books, both educational and for entertainment, as well as a number of resources for interested visitors.
A new resource offered by the center is the Speaker’s Bureau. Developed a few months ago, the Speaker’s Bureau is a group of students involved in the Pride Alliance who are trained as speakers on the subjects of LGBT education and understanding. These speakers are available to professors and community leaders to come speak to classes, clubs and local organizations.
Pride Alliance also offers Ally Training. Ally Training is a two-hour workshop for 10 to 15 participants who are interested in becoming allies to the LGBT community.
Although both organizations have some differences, they essentially create secure, welcoming environments for those in support of the LGBT community.