By Enza Macherone
On Saturday, April 13, Union hosted the Schenectady County Human Rights Commission’s Community Pride Walk. The goal of the event, which kicked off at 11 a.m. at Memorial Chapel, was to “stimulate dialogue and inspire action within our community to enhance advocacy for LGBT concerns in Schenectady County and beyond,” according to a campus-wide e-mail sent by Director of Multicultural Affairs Jason Benitez.
The walk began at Memorial Chapel and continued around the majority of campus. Many co-sponsors had tables set up outside of Memorial Chapel.
“The theme of this year’s Pride Walk was ‘Schenecta-T,’ which was intended to raise awareness and increase advocacy of the LGBTQ community,” said Benitez. The New York State Legislature currently has a bill entitled “Genda,” which is intended to bring gender equality to the state. It will be a similar proposition to the racial equality bills.
Overall, Benitez was satisfied with the event. “I was proud of both the efforts and achievements of the students and other participants this year. We also had two guest-speakers come to talk about their personal experiences in the LBGTQ community,” he said.
Kylie Gorski ‘16 said, “I have seen animosity toward the transgender community even within the gay community and it is extremely important that we show our support and alliance to those who are trans.” Students of all races and genders turned up to the event, many of whom said they believed the event was a great success.
The walk was supported by numerous on-campus organizations including, but not limited to, UNITAS, Multicultural Affairs, Student Activities and Student Allies for Equality.
The focus for this year’s walk was the transgender community, which, according to a press release for the walk, is often left unrecognized in the LGBTQ community.
Many local media outlets including YNN, WNYT and the Times Union publicized the Pride walk. Flyers were posted extensively over the Union campus in order to raise awareness and support for the event. Benitez said, “The event had a better attendance than last year, which was great toward achieving our … goals.”