Pride Center celebrates sixth anniversary

UT’s Pride Center celebrated its sixth anniversary on Feb. 25.

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The University of Tennessee’s Pride Center celebrated its sixth anniversary on Feb. 25 in Melrose Hall.

The center originally opened its doors on Feb. 25, 2010, with the help of librarian and current Pride Center Director, Donna Braquet and the Vice Chancellor of Diversity and Inclusion, Rickey Hall.

Braquet saw the need for the Pride Center when she first arrived at the University in 2004. She thought that there was not any real support for the LGBT faculty and students at that time, so she decided to help create a program that turned into what is now known as the Pride Center.

According to Braquet, UT’s Pride Center is the only LGBT center at a public institution in the entire state of Tennessee.

The center is believed to be a selling point for UT because students of different backgrounds are looking for a college environment that makes them feel welcome.

Kae White, a current student ambassador for the center, said that the Pride Center is one of the main reasons that she chose to attend the University of Tennessee. She did not want to go anywhere that was not LGBT friendly.

“The Pride Center is a home away from home,” White said.

The goal of the center is to create a welcoming environment for LGBT students and staff while also educating the public about the current issues in the LGBT community.

The Center offers many services, including weekly programs such as InQUEERies and student discussion groups where important topics like discrimination are discussed. Additionally, the Pride Center offers a service called Safe Zone, which provides education and awareness to students and faculty about LGBT issues.

In addition to offering services, the Pride Center allows students to simply have a safe environment to study and meet with friends.

The next annual event being held is Ally Week, which will include Safe Zone workshops and will take place from April 10 through April 15.

Featured Image by Molly Clark

Edited by Ben Webb