Shippensburg University’s Pride Center opened its doors to students Oct. 23, with an official ribbon -cutting ceremony led by SU graduate student Dani Zinn.
“I’m excited for the turnout,” Zinn said while students and staff gathered around the entrance of the center.
“I feel it was necessary,” senior marketing major Bria Stevenson said about the opening of the Pride Center. “I was the manager on duty that handled [the vandalism of the Students Advocating for Equality (SAFE) office].”
Stevenson went on to mention how important support for LGBT students is.
“We finally have a place to do that,” Stevenson said.
SU’s Activities Programming Board (APB) was present during the ribbon cutting, in hopes to make ties with the Pride Center to make programming on campus open to all students.
“We serve all students and want to be more inclusive,” APB president Evan Redding said.
The Pride Center is devoted to offering “a welcoming and safe environment, a wide variety of helpful resources and referrals and a place of contact for concerns related to LGBTQ+ communities,” according to ship.edu.
“I’m willing to meet them where they (LGBT students) are,” Zinn said. She also mentioned that some students may not feel comfortable coming into the center if they are still having doubts about their sexual preference or gender identity.
“Every student deserves to feel supported, and that’s really important,” SU President Laurie Carter said.
The ceremony came to a close as people stayed to mingle with friends and classmates, grab refreshments and some cake. Others stayed in the lounge area located outside of the Pride Center to enjoy company of those in favor of making SU a safe place for LGBT students.
“To see where we’ve come from, and where we are now, it’s super exciting to receive some kind of safe haven,” said Javita Thompson, director of first-year experience and community engagement.