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G.L.A.S.S. hosts opening ceremony for LGBTQ+ History Month

Cayla Monzon | The TickerOn Oct. 3, Baruch College’s Newman Vertical Campus played host to the LGBTQ+ History Month’s opening ceremony event, allowing students to win prizes while learning about issues affecting the community.

The Gender, Love, and Sexuality Spectrum Club kicked off LGBTQ+ History Month at Baruch College on Oct. 3 with one of their biggest events of the month, the opening ceremony.

LGBTQ+ History Month is a month-long celebration for groups of people that identify with the community, such as people who are gay or transgender, and it also observes the history that corresponds with them, including the history of gay rights and relevant civil rights movements.

It is worth nothing that, in comparison to previous years, the opening ceremony for LGBTQ+ History Month was not heavily advertised in Baruch’s Newman Vertical Campus, where the ceremony was held, or on Baruch’s social media pages. 

In fact, the event was held at the same place and time as the Undergraduate Student Government’s event, “You Had Me at Aloha! And Ono Bowls,” which gave free acaí bowls out to students. Students were able to partake in the opening ceremony while waiting to receive the bowls, but the event
was still smaller than in previous years.

 For the opening ceremony, G.L.A.S.S. representatives handed out stamp papers to a multitude of students and asked them to visit three stations placed in the triangular sitting area near the second-floor lobby, where each station would stamp their paper after the completion of its activities.

After the three stamps were collected, students would walk over to the tables set up between the Office of Student Life and the Bearcat Den. Students could then trade their stamped papers in for either prizes — water bottles, laptop stickers and more merch — or food. Music was provided by WBMB Radio to accompany the event.

The theme of the event this year is fright around the world, “incorporating people from different backgrounds and LGBTQ communities, and putting them together as a whole,” Ann McDonnell, a sophomore and member of the History Month committee, said.

In the past, G.L.A.S.S. used to host a parade around the 25th Street plaza of the campus to kick off the month, but the club decided to host in the lobby in the form of a ceremony “to get more interest and more people to get engaged with what we are trying to do,” said Cassandra Castelant, president of G.L.A.S.S. and a senior majoring in digital communications and media.

Castelant made it clear that, “some of the issues we had was coming up with a theme, coming up with event ideas and people being hesitant to come to events.”

You’d be surprised of the conclusions of things you realize when you let go of all your pre-conceived notions on what they are supposed to be, and we need people where they’re at.
— Catarina Raymond

She said she hopes to increase awareness of the club through these events,  get more students to become allies of the LGBTQ+ community and eventually join.

The Office of Health and Wellness also helped out a lot in setting up and organizing the ceremony.

In fact, Catarina Raymond, a PAWS Peer Mentor with the Office of Health and Wellness, said that the office “[works] with partnerships with GLASS pretty often. We try to help them out as much as we can, so today, I was able to help them out with setting up the tables.”

Raymond mentioned that with the start of LGBTQ+ History Month, “Everyone is really excited to share awareness and understand the history of the LGBT community.”

Students themselves expressed a number of feelings with their thoughts towards the ceremony. Shannon Paige, a junior majoring in accounting, said that she feels like LGBTQ+ people “are the most accepting type of people. I honestly love that, because that’s what I look for.” 

She also said that she believes positivity is being spread around campus due to the ceremony.

Castelant said that the ceremony also served as an educational event.

“We try to make the education process as easy as accessible as possible,” she said. “We want to get people to know more about the topic instead of just coming to the event and leaving.”

Castelant said that she wants Baruch students to keep an open mind because “you’d be surprised of the conclusions of things you realize when you let go of all your pre-conceived notions on what they are supposed to be, and we need people where they’re at.”

Similarly, Raymond said she wants everyone to be “open-minded, understanding and open to learning.”

McDonnell raised the thought that “the whole world isn’t LGBTQ-friendly yet,” but with the support of Baruch students and the work of G.L.A.S.S., she hopes that we’ll get there.

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