The new Downtown Queers and Allies club had its first meeting this month, welcoming all students to join and provide support to the Downtown campus.
The club’s founder, nonprofit leadership management senior Roberto Lopez, wanted to create a long-lasting club where students could build a community. The club will be an outlet for LGBTQ students to discuss issues and get support, he said.
The club invites all LGBTQ students and allies because he didn’t want anyone to feel left out, Lopez said.
“(My) main goal is for students to connect to each other and have a safe space for them to meet up with other students free of discrimination or prejudice or anything else that might prevent people from connecting,” Lopez said.
Through the club, Lopez hopes to take national events and bring them to the Downtown campus. He plans to participate in different social justice and community events, hoping to bring awareness to the campus.
Journalism freshman Adriana Torres encourages the new club.
“Since they have so many clubs, just accepting them into the community and having support, I think it is a good thing for us to have a club for,” Torres said.
Also, Lopez wants to create a relationship among other LGBTQ clubs and the community downtown.
“There should be a network through all campuses so I hope this organization will partner and connect with other LGBTQ student organizations,” he said.
Robert Soares, vice president of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, is excited by the addition of a new LGBTQ organization on campus.
“The most important thing right now is making sure that young people are educated about LGBTQIA and raise awareness because it is a part of what the future will be,” Soares said.
Soares is also hopeful that the two clubs will be able to work together in the future.
“I’m sure that there is some way we can partner up with any club that is willing to partner up with us, especially since we are a very small group,” Soares said. “Any kind of exposure or collaboration to work with the community we are totally down for.”
Anthony DeWitt, founder of NLGJA, believes the new club will do well.
“When we first started NLGJA, more than half of our members were straight and there was only a few gay members who were willing to be in it and now it is a lot different,” DeWitt said.
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