Rainbow fair to promote inclusivity
Published: Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, September 4, 2013 01:09
The MSC will play host Wednesday to the first ever Rainbow Resource Fair.
The Rainbow Resource Fair is an event open to all students that aims to raise awareness of the resources available to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) students. Located in the MSC Gates Ballroom from 4 to 6 p.m., various organizations will be present to showcase their activities to those interested.
Sidney Gardner, program coordinator for the GLBT Resource Center at A&M, said the fair is meant to showcase ways organizations are inclusive toward LGBTQ students.
“The Rainbow Resource Fair is meant to be a place where students can come to see a variety of services that we offer on campus,” Gardner said. “It’s important for our students to feel welcome and know our resources.”
Gardner described the event as a smaller version of the MSC open house but primarily for the GLBT community and allies at A&M.
“It’s the culmination of a lot of things.” Gardner said. “Really, we wanted to find a way to get information to new students.”
The fair, put on by the GLBT Resource Center and Aggie Allies, will consist of booths set up by student and community organizations active in Bryan-College Station. Faith communities that are affirming of LGBTQ people will also be present.
One of the student organizations that will be present is LGBTQ Aggies, or LGBTQ-A. LGBTQ-A shows educational programming on the history of the LGBTQ movement and organizes GLBT Awareness Week in the spring.
Katie Higgins, sophomore English major and vice president of LGBTQ-A, said the purpose of the fair is to spread awareness.
“Having the Rainbow Resource Fair … combats some of the negative perceptions that some people come to campus with,” Higgins said. “We’ll be there because it’s important to let the students who are attending know that we are one of many organizations on campus committed to making a safe space on campus.”
Other organizations that will be in attendance include Shades of Queer, Aggie Allies and the GLBT Professional Network. Cushing Memorial Library will also have a table showcasing a GLBT archive that documents the history of the GLBT community on campus and in B-CS.
Glenn Oliver, junior engineering technology major, said raising awareness of LGBTQ resources through events such as the fair are important because it is easy for students to miss out on the services without them.
“Unless you actually sit and take a look through your student fees, you won’t know… that A&M offers the LGBTQ resources that it does,” Oliver said. “[The Rainbow Resource Fair] shows that there are places on campus open to the LGBT community.”
The fair is not just for students who identify as LGBTQ, but is also meant to allow all students a better understanding of the LGBTQ-identifying community on campus.
“This is an event that is open to everyone,” Gardner said.