EIU Pride allows students to feel safe amongst one another

Cam'ron Hardy, News Editor

Pride Club is a Registered Student Organization, RSO, that students can join regardless of gender or sexual orientation. The club’s purpose is to allow people to feel comfortable amongst each other and to be seen as a safe community/place.

The website describes the club’s purpose “To work for the rights of the community to express their sexual and/or romantic orientation, as well as their gender identity freely and openly and to draw the community closer through education to denounce heterosexism, homophobia, transphobia, and other oppressions.”

Tanya M Willard is the advisor for the club. Pilar Barrio is the president. Lucy Ade is the vice president, and Austin Vaughn is the secretary and treasurer.

Barrio said the main purpose was for students to feel comfortable in the club and that those on the executive board plan events throughout the school year.

Barrio said they are planning to have a prom this year and that last year the club threw a prom-themed event as well.

“The first idea is for the people that couldn’t enjoy their prom, to have an inclusive prom on campus, but this is going to be the second year that is going to happen and we’re really excited,” Barrio said.

She said that the meetings are not very formal unless there are upcoming events that need to be worked on or serious topics are brought up, such as the legalization of same sex marriage, which Barrio said has been discussed.

Another thing that the club has upcoming is a pottery activity and a bingo event to take place in March. Barrio said that the club enjoys having these events so that students can have a chance to destress in new and different environments.

The population ranges depending on the weather, Barrio said.

There are six people on the executive board that help plan and organize the events and then on separate meetings, Barrio said the amount of people that show up can range from six to 10. When there are big events going on, Barrio said around 20 people show up.

In the past, the club decided to have an outdoor event and the weather ruined the event for them.

As President, Barrio said she coordinates what goes on during the meetings and makes sure that the agendas are understood by everyone else on the executive board.

She does not pay attention to labels, though.
Even though she is President, she likes to think of everyone as a group and that everyone is just helping each other and that titles should not be a major factor.

“Obviously you still have your main role, but if you need help someone will help you,” Barrio said. “…We don’t want it to feel like ‘Oh, this is the executive board,’ we want everyone to feel included in there.”

The main purpose of the group is for everyone to feel comfortable amongst one another in a safe space.

They meet Mondays at 7 p.m. in the Clinical Center at the Gender and Sexual Diversity, GSD, Center.


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