'This is what we stand for': Student Group at Manhattan College creating a safe space for LGBTQ+
In celebration of Pride Month, the LGBTQ+ Student Group at Manhattan College is trying to create awareness and a safe space on campus.
"We are here, this is what we stand for. LGBTQ people are welcome on this campus and are part of the Lasallian values that we try to uphold," proclaims Abby Drayer, president of LGBTQ+ student group.
Manhattan College's rising senior Abby Drayer says knowing the Catholic school has an LGBT group on campus was a deciding factor in choosing to attend.
"It not only provides visibility, but it really tells people from day one, you matter, we see you," says Rocco Marinaccio, faculty co-director of the group.
Despite the pandemic, the support group continued to hold weekly virtual meetings and a handful of in-person events, like a LGBTQ faculty Q&A and a Queer Lit Read Aloud, creating a safe space for the community.
"You can kind of let your guard down. It's a space to exist outside of the classroom, but also outside of wherever you may live," Drayer says.
Rocco Marinaccio and Robin Lovell started as faculty co-directors for the group in January assisting in networking and generating visibility.
Lovell added, "Getting faculty, getting staff, getting students that are identifying as queer under that umbrella to actually talk about their experience."
They say next year, they would love to have prominent members of the LGBT New York community come to campus and speak.