By Gina Esposto
A date has been set for the first ever Pride Fest at KU, which will take place Sept. 12, 2019, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. and will begin in the MSU lawn, where the entire area will be decorated with streamers, balloons, banners and other decorations.
The event and will include several speakers, including the president of the university, Dr. Kenneth S. Hawkinson. Attendees will then walk together to the DMZ area for several games and a drag show.
SGB president, Braden Hudak, and Allies felt that it was long overdue for KU to hold this event. Hudak felt it was time KU started making efforts to bridge the gap between LGBTQ+ members and the rest of the community to ensure a sense of acceptance for those members.
One of the first things Hudak did to pursue the project was to create an ad-hoc committee, which is a loose volunteer committee formed by volunteers from SGB and other students. He then pitched the idea to Christine Price, GLBTQ Resource Center director, who was thrilled with the idea.
Together, they began planning the details for the pride fest. One of the more challenging aspects about planning the event was picking the official date, they said. They decided to go with a date only a few weeks into the semester so that it would be a great way to kick-off the school year.
“I think what I’m most looking forward to about the Pride Fest is the reaction from Allies after seeing the final product,” said Hudak. “I want us to start chipping away at the typical demographic here in Kutztown and I’m hoping to turn this into a snowball effect. I want this event to keep going long after I graduate. Hopefully, this will start changing our school for the better and the LGBTQ community will finally start feeling welcome here.”
Many KU students and faculty were thrilled to hear this event was taking place at their school and were excited to see how it turns out.
Dr. Emily Cripe, communications professor at KU, explained she was thrilled the school was putting this event together. She’s looking forward to seeing how it plays out and how much the students enjoy it.
“I think it’s so great that they’re doing this event. Truthfully, I can understand why people of the LGBTQ community often don’t feel appreciated, so hopefully, this event will change that,” said junior Vanessa Lawrence. “The only thing is our town is pretty conservative for the most part. I mean, we have those protestors come a few times a year. I really hope nothing like that happens during the pride fest and ruins it for everyone.”