Joining EIU Pride allows Pilar Barrio to feel comfortable


Pilar Barrio

Submitted Photo

Cam'ron Hardy, News Editor

EIU Pride’s purpose is to allow students to feel comfortable and to provide a safe space. Members of the Registered Student organization, RSO, host activities for students throughout the year. One of the events that the group is currently planning is a prom.

This is going to be the second prom-themed event that the RSO is hosting.

Barrio said EIU Pride wants to give people a chance to just go to prom in case they never got the chance to because of COVID-19, or to just go again.

As president, Barrio helps orchestrate events. She also has to coordinate the RSO’s meetings.

She does not pay attention to titles though. Since everyone helps each other out, she does not think that the titles are not as important as getting the work done.

Barrio said she originally joined EIU Pride so she could be included in other activities.

She was a player on the women’s soccer team, but currently helps manage the team.

Athletes tend to spend a lot of time together and Barrio said she wanted to go out and meet other people.

“Usually, I just hang out with athletes, and that’s something that I didn’t like in the sense of wanting to explore more things and kind of see what I’ve been missing on campus,” Barrio said.

Barrio also said the people made her feel comfortable when she first joined, and the comfortability increased the longer she was in EIU Pride.

“Slowly I could tell that [there were] people that I could relate [with] in so many different things,” Barrio said. “It helped me get out of that routine. They treat me great and I’m super thankful that I [joined] and got out of my comfort zone.”

Barrio said she was very busy when she first joined the RSO.

While having to manage soccer and her job as the clinical assistant at the Center for Gender and Sexual Diversity, which each require 20 hours a week of work, and school work, she said she was very stressful.

She said her teammates and new friends in EIU Pride allowed her to feel comfortable. Members in Pride allowed her to feel welcomed.

She said when she originally joined the RSO she was scared because she had never met any of the people that were already members and did not know what to expect.

When she first came to Eastern she did not have to try to make friends since her teammates were already her friends.

Barrio is from Cobena, Spain and when she first came to Eastern, she said the transition was hard for her.

“At first, I was really lost; I was in another country, I didn’t know how things worked and stuff like that , and  I was exposed to so many different people.”

Barrio also said that joining EIU Pride allowed her to find herself.

“It led me [to] kind of find myself and be myself [and] feel more comfortable with who I was,” Barrio said.

Barrio said that she did not know how people would feel when she told them that she planned on joining Pride.

Barrio said she understand when someone first comes to a school that they might try to fit in and figure everything out and make friends but knows that part is hard.

She thinks that it would be great for people to be more open minded and try out different RSOs.

“Getting involved and meeting new people is [going to] really enhance your experience at EIU, so I welcome everyone to come to pride meets or the GSD Center every day,” Barrio said.


Cam’ron Hardy can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]