A look back at Pride Month at UVU

UVU is one of the many universities across the nation that observes a Lavender Graduation event for LGBTQ students. (Photo by Natasha Colburn)

In memory of the Stonewall Rebellion, Utah Valley University celebrated and recognized LGBTQ Wolverines during Pride Month. Here are some of the events that happened around the campus and community. 

The month began with the lighting of the UCCU Center in the colors of the rainbow, alongside the placement of pride flags around campus. The event was in celebration of the third Lavender Graduation for LGBTQ students.

The LGBT Student Service president is Emily Branvold, who uses they/them pronouns. They have been the president since January 2020 and have been at UVU since 2015. 

“It’s an uphill battle,” Branvold said, of being a member of the LGBTQ community on campus. “But for the most part, people are willing to learn and grow.” 

On Monday, June 28, UVU Spectrum organized an event called “Paint Your Pride,” where students ate and painted together. Chase Schetselaar, who uses he/him pronouns, was the president of the alliance club at UVU from 2019 to 2021. 

“It’s difficult to navigate some spaces,” Schetselaar said. “And I will sometimes choose a different label for people who might try to argue with me about who I am. Never at Spectrum.” 

Schetselaar described the club as a form of social support for queer students.

Pride Parade in Salt Lake City was another event that happened earlier in the month. Usually, the Spectrum Club and the LGBT Student Services have the opportunity to be a part of it, but this year they were not able to attend. Branvold had the opportunity to march. 

According to Branvold and Schetselaar, UVU has done a lot to be inclusive but there is still a lot of work that can be done. Read about how to become a better ally to LGBTQ students here and reach out to LGBT Student Services at [email protected] for additional services and safe-zone training times. Readers can follow @spectrum.uvu on Instagram to stay updated on their activities. 

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