PORT HAWKESBURY: Students and visitors to the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) Strait Area Campus were welcomed with music and treats on Tuesday during a celebration of diversity.
The NSCC hosted its campus pride event on February 13 to recognize the school’s LGBTQ2 community.
“It’s really a day to celebrate that NSCC is a welcoming place for everybody, and that everybody is important and we celebrate that together,” said NSCC principal Tom Gunn.
The annual pride event is a joint effort shared by staff and students. It was organized by April Sampson, campus librarian and chair of the Campus Diversity Committee in partnership with the campus Student Association. To increase understanding and awareness of LGBTQ2 topics, Sampson prepared a wall of related terms and definitions that was displayed at the main entrance to the school.
Student Association president, Jeremy Murray and vice-president Danielle Martell were on hand to serve pride cake to passersby, and Student Council committee member Julia Rideout greeted visitors with a variety of rainbow-themed prizes. Students and staff were treated to live music in the cafeteria by Business Administration student Jordan Delaney and Social Services student Brett Pierce.
Through campus-wide events like Pride Day, Samson hopes to establish a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere on campus for all students. She has been encouraging faculty and staff to post rainbow stickers on their doors to signal that classrooms and offices are safe places for LGBTQ2 students. The student association is also developing a plan to set up a safe space on campus where students can go when they need a quiet place to relax.
Although pride celebrations are traditionally held in the summer months, NSCC has chosen to host a February event so students can participate together on campus.
“We really wanted to do it in February because all of our students are gone in the summertime,” said Gunn.
“That’s when our student life is on. We always kind of linked it with Valentine’s Day because this is a week where you celebrate love and it’s really a time to recognize that all types of relationships are important.”