This week is National Coming Out (NCOW) week and here at Salem State the Alliance and the Center for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs Office are hosting many events to get students involved with their LGBTQIA+ community on campus! This is a great opportunity for you to become more aware of the diversity that Salem State has to offer and how you can get involved in activities that help make you a more well-rounded person.
The start of this week will begin with the Rainbow Flag Raising Ceremony. During community time students are welcome to gather outside of Ellison Campus Center for some quick regards from members of the Salem State community, a representative from the city of Salem, and President Meservey herself. The flag was raised outside of the Ellison Campus Center for all to see. This is a very important moment for the University, as it shows that this campus is one that prides itself in diversity and acceptance for all students. Also, at this event students were invited to place their hand in paint and create their stamp on a NCOW banner that will be displayed on campus. On Tuesday there will be 2 events held:
- An Anti-Bullying campaign that will be held at North Dining Hall from 11-1 where students can gather information and support against bullying in the LGBTQIA+ community.
- Safe Zone Training 101 which will be held by the Center for Diversity and Multicultural Enrichment in their office in the Ellison Campus Center, room 202 at 5 pm. This is an opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to become trained on LGBTQIA+ issues and how to create a safe place for those who identify on the spectrum to be themselves. This is a great opportunity and is something that can be added to resumes and makes someone much more knowledgeable!
On Wednesday there will be a Rainbow Resource Fair in McKeown Amphitheatre from 11-1 pm. This will offer students the opportunity to get information from resources on the North Shore and at SSU. NAGLY, Counseling and Health Services, Career Services, and The Alliance will each have their own booths where students can gather information about the LGBTQIA+ community. (check out The Alliance booth to see me and ask any questions you may have about the Alliance, the LGBTQIA+ community, or even the FYE office!!) On Thursday there will be 2 events that people can attend to gain more knowledge:
- Coming Out Stories from 11-1 in the Petrowski Room (2nd floor of Marsh Dining). This event will feature students, faculty, and staff of Salem State discussing the story of when they came out. This is a very personal event, so if you chose to attend, remembering to be respectful and kind is something that is necessary.
- Safe Zone Training: Queer People of Color (QPOC) starting at 5 in the MLK room of Ellison. This will be similar, yet different to the safe zone training that is done on Tuesday, because it will be focused on people of color in the queer community, which is a group of people who sometimes, unfortunately, get even more unequal treatment in society. This is a great learning experience and will make the Salem State Community more inclusive community.
Finally, on Friday there will be a Speak Out from 11-1 in Alumni Plaza. This event gives people the opportunity to share their thoughts, stories, art, poetry, pretty much anything they want to the community of people that has to do with the LGBTQIA+ community.
After this week of events I encourage people to continue to seek more knowledge and resources about this community of people. The more knowledgeable we are as a community, the more love and acceptance we can spread! With all of the great things happening around us like the legalization of gay marriage in the United States and even more locally, like the Preferred Name Policy being implemented at Salem State starting in Fall 2016, we are becoming a school that others want to be similar to and a school that more people want to apply to by taking these great strides in equality.
Enjoy Coming Out Week at Salem State!!
First Year Mentor, Stella