Tag: Student clubs

8 ways the Lawrence community shows its Pride all year long

Story by Awa Badiane ’21

To honor the 1969 Stonewall uprising, the month of June is now designated as Pride Month, a chance to acknowledge and celebrate the impact lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals have had on history.

As we celebrate the efforts made by queer individuals on a global scale, we want to recognize the steps toward inclusion and awareness made by Lawrence students, faculty and staff right here on campus. Here are eight ways we show our Pride all year long.

1. Colores 

Colores is a student organization that was originally created to be a space for empowerment for LGBTQIA+ students of color. It has since expanded to incorporate any LGBTQIA+ students on campus and to help educate the wider community on LGBTQIA+ intersectionality. Colores hosts weekly meetings and special events throughout the academic year. Find out how to get involved with Colores here.

2. Pride Prom 

As a way to celebrate our differences and to educate the wider campus on queer history, the student group Colores hosts an annual Pride Prom. Along with the music and food you might find at a traditional high school prom, Pride Prom includes information about queer history and rainbow decor. Organizers feature images, films, articles, and more on queer history throughout the venue. Most importantly, Pride Prom is a chance for members of the LGBTQIA+ community to gather, have fun, celebrate their identities, and feel connected on campus. Pride Prom is open to the entire campus, as well as the Appleton community, and serves as a great opportunity to learn about queer history and to boogie down.

3. LGBTQIA+ Alliance House 

Starting this fall, Lawrence University will have a LGBTQIA+ Alliance house. This house will act as a safe space for queer individuals and allies. As a house, they plan to do lots of community outreach, including a clothing exchange, throughout the Lawrence and Appleton communities to spread awareness and acceptance for queer identities.

Three students posing for a photo wearing graduation caps and gowns. One student is wearing a lavender stole.
Participating queer-identifying students are presented with Pride stoles at the Lavender Ceremony before Commencement.

4. Lavender Ceremony 

To say goodbye and congratulate graduating seniors, Student Life and the Diversity and Intercultural Center co-host an annual Lavender Ceremony. This is a celebration for queer-identifying students as they prepare to graduate from Lawrence. There are speeches on behalf of the seniors and a dinner for the seniors and their guests. The students being honored also are presented with a lavender stole to wear at Commencement.

5. Pride Alumni Network 

There is a newly formed alumni group coming to Lawrence, the Lawrence University Pride Alumni Network. A reception was held during Reunion Weekend to get the conversation started. Look for more details to be released in late summer or early fall.

6. Pride Resource Group

The Faculty/Staff Pride Resource Group is a network for Lawrence faculty and staff who identify as LGBTQIA+ or have family who identify as such. This group offers a sense of community for the faculty and provides an avenue for updates on available resources. Learn how to get involved with the Pride Resource Group here.

7. Queer Thanksgiving

Before we all head home for winter break, the Diversity and Intercultural Center hosts an annual potluck, called Queer Thanksgiving. The annual event is held in the Diversity and Intercultural Center and is open to the Appleton community. It is a way for queer individuals to come together and celebrate over some delicious food.

8. Gender-inclusive bathrooms

Lawrence is expanding the number of gender-neutral restrooms available on campus over the next academic year, after more than 80% of Lawrence students expressed interest in gender-neutral restrooms on a recent LUCC survey. The expansion will increase the number of gender-neutral facilities available to community members, including those who identify as transgender, transgender non-binary, and non-binary.

Awa Badiane ’21 is a student writer in the Communications office.

Longboarding, anyone? Student clubs offer chances to get outside, be active

Story by Awa Badiane ’21

It’s spring. The sun is shining. It’s time to get outdoors and get active.

For Lawrence University students, the opportunities to do so as part of organized clubs are plentiful.

Longboarding or other skateboarding? Rock climbing? Biking? Rowing? Take your pick of those and many more.

Lawrence makes it incredibly easy for students to come together and pursue their passions. To start a club on campus, all you need is an idea and two friends, and your idea can become a Lawrence official club.

As an official club on campus, you can easily pursue your interests with help from campus coordinators, and potentially funding assistance from the university.  A lot of students take advantage of how efficient it is to start something on campus, making it pretty easy for students to find something fun to do. Everything from the Baking and Cooking Club to Sailing Lawrence will give students the opportunity to try something new.

For a directory of student organizations at Lawrence, click here.

As the weather warms up, students can take advantage of the long list of activities to partake in while enjoying the great outdoors.  

The Women’s Longboarding Club is an example of just one such opportunity.  

“I love riding with other people,” said Angela Caraballo ’21. “It’s fun to see others enjoying something that I also enjoy.”  

With meetings every Sunday afternoon, the Women’s Longboarding Club gives newcomers the chance to learn longboarding and gives experienced riders a chance to connect with other Lawrentians who share their interests.

“The thrill of riding around so freely, feeling the wind rush around me, is exhilarating,” said Jailene Rodriguez ’21. 

There are plenty of other opportunities to enjoy being outside both on and off campus. With clubs such as the Rock Climbers Club and Rowing Club, students are able to explore parts of Wisconsin they may have never seen.  And there’s a Badminton Club, a Slacklining Club, a Flag Football Club, a Bike Club, among others.

Rowing Club gives students the opportunity to row in various parts of Wisconsin and compete against other schools.  

In a similar fashion, the Rock Climbers Club gives students the opportunity to go to different hiking sites or rock climbing walls throughout the Midwest.  

“My favorite thing about Rock Climbers Club is that everyone starts out on the same level and folks are welcoming to newcomers,” said Spencer Washington ’21. “You don’t need much experience but rather openness and a willingness to trust your own movement.”

That goes for almost all of the student clubs. You don’t have to have any experience to join. You can be anywhere from novice to intermediate and still be able to participate in any of the clubs offered on Lawrence’s campus.  

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get active.

(Photos above are Rebecca Minkus ’20 and Earl Simons ’22)

Awa Badiane ’21 is a student writer in the Communications office.