UVU Spectrum Club may sound like a new organization on campus, but they have been around for over ten years. Formally known as the Gay-Straight Alliance, the club changed their name last year to the UVU Spectrum Club: Queers & Allies Association.
The cause of this change was to sound more inclusive. The club is not only for members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community, but anyone who feels they are in the minority. The club’s main purpose is to promote awareness, not only of sexual orientation and gender identity issues, but also any marginalized group here on campus.
Frey Seagrove, current president of Spectrum Club, also identified community building as another main purpose of the club.
“We try to build ties not only within our Utah County area, but also with the Utah Pride Center that is located in Salt Lake and the Utah AIDS Foundation in Sugarhouse.”
The club also has ties with the Queer Student Alliance at the University of Utah to provide more support for students at both universities.
Seagrove emphasized that the club is open not only to students from the LGBT community, but also to straight allies. “Our club is very much for heterosexuals that want to be allies, that want to promote tolerance, to help individuals accept themselves.”
Spectrum also offers support to anyone who feels they may be on the outside of the norm and to anyone who wants to help those who feel that way.
“It’s not about who you’re sleeping with,” Seagrove stated. “It’s about respecting yourself and accepting who you are [as well as] respecting others.”
Recently there has been a lot of attention focused on anti-gay bullying across the nation that has led to several teen suicides. These tragedies have promoted the YouTube viral video series titled “It Gets Better.” Various people ranging from celebrities to regular people have uploaded video confessions of what it was like to be bullied because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The purpose of the videos is to reach out to teens and others who are bullied for the same reason and give them hope and reassurance that “it gets better.”
Seagrove was very positive about the potential effectiveness of the campaign. “I think it really does offer that bit of hope,” Seagrove explained. “A lot of people turn to suicide because they feel hopeless.” He also emphasized how just knowing that there are others out there who have overcome what someone may be feeling provides a lot of hope and courage to continue living.
When asked about the current legislation in the state of Utah concerning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, Seagrove became serious, abandoning his cheerful demeanor for a more somber one. Spectrum has made numerous attempts to get the administration to include sexual orientation and gender identity included for protection against discrimination.
“We’ve encountered roadblocks here on campus like, ‘Oh, well, it’s not really a problem so we don’t have to address is until it is a problem.’ ”
Seagrove’s frustration was obvious on this matter, wondering why the administration feels they need to wait for a student suicide to address the matter of discrimination instead of taking preventative measures.
“How will they explain that to the student’s parents?” he asked.
Students who are interested in joining the UVU Spectrum Club: Queers & Allies Alliance are urged to email.