Brock Pride has begun to offer different social events in order to reach out to a larger variety of students and provide an alternative to their regular weekly meetings.
The next social event that the club has planned is “gayzer tag,” where club and community members will have a chance to participate in an evening of laser tag in Niagara Falls. The event is contingent upon participation, however, so anybody interested in attending is encouraged to sign up as soon as possible so that the club can confirm enough numbers to ensure that the event can run.
These social events are part of the club’s larger strategy to improve outreach and diversity within the club. Brock Pride has traditionally focused on weekly meetings, where the group meets to discuss relevant social issues such as coming out, homophobia and transphobia, as well as family.
These meetings are designed to help achieve the club’s purpose of offering support for members and allies of the Pride community, helping members deal with relevant issues and advocating for the advancement of equality, acceptance and fair treatment. While these meetings are effective and help to foster a welcoming and supportive community, the executives decided that they wanted to provide a greater variety of types of activities offered.
“We like to do social events that get people out of the normal setting of the Collaboratorium [where the group meets weekly],” said Kailey Kelly, Vice President of Marketing for Brock Pride. “The meetings get a little intense sometimes with debates and emotional stories, so we like to mix it up and give a more lighthearted setting.”
In addition to providing a more fun alternative to the sometimes intense meetings, the executive also sees the socials as a chance to expand the club’s resources to the surrounding community outside of the university. Because weekly meetings are on campus, it can sometimes be hard or intimidating for new members who don’t go to Brock to come. The socials, which are off campus, offer an opportunity for the club to reach out more into the surrounding community, who can then also benefit from the support that the club has to offer.
“It can be awkward coming to a school you don’t go to,” said Ashley Filadelfi, Vice President of Finance and Administration. “This is a good chance to get people outside of Brock to come out to events and connect Brock Pride to the wider community.”
Wider community outreach is one of the many goals of Brock Pride this year, which aims to work towards creating a more diverse and inclusive club. President Taylor May said that the club’s smaller size in the past has meant that it included a lot of very similar people, and that this year’s executive wants to increase the size and scope of the club so that more diverse groups of people feel like they are welcome, included and represented in the club’s membership.
“We want to create a bigger club… we worked really hard on marketing and social media so that more people know about Brock Pride,” said May. “A larger club will likely lead to a more diverse group of people, so more people will feel comfortable coming out. We want more people to see someone there they can relate to.”
For anyone interested in Gayzer Tag, the event is on Feb. 11 at 7:00 pm. Interested participants should register as soon as possible, and must register by Feb. 8. The event is five dollars to attend.
Brock Pride’s weekly meetings are Thursdays from 7:30-10:00 p.m. in the Collaboratorium (TH 252A). The club will also be in MCA this upcoming week with the Student Justice Centre for the Love is Love campaign. The date for the club’s year-end social has been announced as Saturday March 12, with more details to be released soon.