There may be cake and balloons, but it’s not for a birthday celebration. On Wednesay night, they were for something much more important.
Under a rainbow flag displayed at the front of the room, Plattsburgh State students gathered to give recognition to allies of the LGBTQ+ community Wednesday evening in the Warren Ballrooms of the Angell College Center.
The party was sponsored by RADIUS, PSUC’s inclusion resource since its founding in 2016.
“Those we are recognizing are not necessarily members of the LGBTQ community but absolutely are allies within it that help the cause,” Assistant Director of Campus Activities Jacob Avery said.
In preparation for the event, a notice was sent out on the Student Digest asking students to take time to nominate those in their life who they felt were important allies to the LGBTQ+ community.
More than 15 people were handpicked by RADIUS team members to receive a spotlight at the celebration.
“We’ve got students that have been nominated,” Avery said. “We’ve got faculty and staff nominated, [and] we’ve got community members and departments.”
Violence prevention education and outreach coordinator Zyahijah Nadler gave out the first award of the night.
“It’s just a piece of paper, but it’s a pretty piece of paper, and it’s our thank-you to you,” she said.
Multiple Greek organizations on the Plattsburgh State campus were recognized. Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority was honored for its chapters support towards the LGBTQ+ community and it support of an LQBTQ-based foundation. Theta Alpa Lambda Multicultural Sorority was awarded for its ability to bring together a diverse group of women through the bonds of sisterhood.
During the awards ceremony, speakers such as Avery and Title IX coordinator Butterfly Blaise, along with many other RADIUS members, kept the conversation and tone of the event lighthearted.
Performers used song and dance to break up the flow of awards and to further communicate the event’s messages and themes to audience members.
One of the messages communicated through song was “no one stands alone, we’ll stand side by side” from the church hymn “Draw the Circle Wide.” The choir invited audience members to clap along with the tune.
RADIUS made sure to promote its upcoming events, including next month’s first-ever RADIUS Prom on May 3.
The ceremony closed with a rendition of “Lean on Me” sung by almost all attendees and slices of celebratory cake.
Email Abby Talcott at firstname.lastname@example.org