February 27, 2015

U of A Pride Week: A time to celebrate and learn

With U of A Pride Week taking place February 28 - March 7, Dean of Students, Dr. Robin Everall shares her thoughts on this exciting opportunity to celebrate our diverse and inclusive campus.

Pride Week 2015 Schedule
It is important to the Office of the Dean of Students that students of all sexualities and genders find support and care within our campus community. U of A Pride Week is one of many ways to showcase and share information about the resources and support we have on campus. It provides us with an opportunity to continue the dialogue around building and supporting a safe and respectful campus for sexual and gender minorities and allies. This exciting week is filled with a variety of events for everyone. From the festive atmosphere of the Pride Parade to the Intersections of Queer Symposium, students, staff, and faculty have a variety of opportunities to celebrate our identities and to learn how they intersect and impact one another.
The University is dedicated to creating strong systems of support, both formal and informal, for everyone as we continue to strive for a wholly inclusive campus. All U of A student services are inclusive of diverse identities and our staff make continued efforts to educate themselves on how to best serve all students, ensuring that they know they have safe and equal access to services. We demonstrate our commitment to creating safer and more inclusive campuses in many ways, including the Safe Spaces Initiative, the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (iSMSS), The Landing, as well as initiatives like the all-gender washrooms map. In the journey towards this goal, a collaboration between iSMSS, The Landing, and the Office of the Dean of Students has produced the Sexual and Gender Diversity webspace. This online space acts as a one-stop webpage, providing information about support services and groups and links to a variety of resources. Regardless of the time of year, support on campus can be found in many forms including through our friendships, within the classroom, or from services and groups.

I encourage you to participate in the U of A Pride Week events and join in the celebration of our strong, diverse, and accepting community. What we celebrate and learn this week will help us continue to engage in conversations of equality and respect for all identities on this vibrant and beautiful campus.

Dr. Robin Everall
Interim Vice-Provost and Dean of Students