Student organization advocates for awareness and understanding of the LGBTQI community
BY REBECCA BREAZEALE
Among the many student organizations at Schoolcraft College, there is one that seeks to advocate for the rights and freedoms of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer individuals. According to their mission statement, the “LGBTQI Alliance is a social connection for equality-minded individuals who want to create a safe environment to help change, support and educate our world one step at a time.”
The club is the only one of its kind on campus, and students of all sexual preferences and identities are encouraged to attended meetings every Wednesday from 1 to 2 p.m. in the Lower Waterman. “The LGBTQI Alliance is a club formed to give students at Schoolcraft a place to be accepted as they are. We welcome people from all backgrounds in discussion of current events regarding LGBTQI issues and equality in general,” said Club President Matthew Solomon. “Also, we sponsor fun events throughout the semester that are always entertaining and educational.”
While most discussions of the club are not the same week to week, they are meaningful and tackle current issues, such as rights in the workplace, relationships and consent. Along with powerful discussions, the LGBTQI Alliance helps sponsor events on campus, such as the Sassy Game Night and a Halloween Dance.
The club has allowed for many students to have a sense of security and feel that they are making a difference in society. One member, Lee Samuels, has had a very positive experience since joining the Schoolcraft student body.
“It [the club] has given me so many opportunities, friends, support and most importantly, a voice. In a world that’s filled with hatred and bigotry, the Schoolcraft LGBTQI Alliance made a team effort to lend a hand to those who ask for it and I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of such an amazing organization,” said Samuels.
The club has given many students a home to feel safe in and talk about their feelings regarding their sexuality or gender identity when they often have not been able to.
Although the club’s mission is to support gender non-binary and those who do not identify as straight, straight and gender conforming people are welcome. Many members, like the Vice President, Shawn O’Brien, are allies who want to support other members of the club. Even people who are not members of the club offer support.
“I’m so happy the LGBTQI Alliance is a club. It is a great environment for all. Within the few times I attended the meetings to check the club out, I have made some wonderful friends,” said student Nour Al-Janabi.
For more information about the club, contact President Matthew Solomon at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Student Activities Office in the Lower Waterman building.