The center is committed to creating a safe environment for the LGBTQ+ community at UH Hilo.
The LGBTQ+ Center at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo recently celebrated its one-year anniversary with a Rainbow Sherbet Social at the Campus Center Plaza. All students and faculty were welcome to this event which included rainbow sherbet, music, a slideshow featuring pictures of previous events, and conversation.
The focus of the celebration was “what it means to be an ally.” Everyone who showed up to the third-floor Campus Center event was asked to sign in and write down on a strip of paper how allies can help to improve the issues faced by the LGBTQ+ community.
- For more about the event, see Pride in the Rainbow State (Ke Kalahea, the UH Hilo student newspaper, Sept. 25)
In the first year since its creation, the LGBTQ+ center has hosted and participated in many events on campus including Hilo Pride Parade, the social justice film series, and Coming Out Day. These events were a great success for the center, with large numbers of students and community members in attendance. As a result, the LGBTQ+ community was able to spread awareness and create a more inclusive community.
“UHH LGBTQ+ Center is committed to creating a campus that honors and celebrates diversity regardless of sex, race, gender, or gender identity,” says Laura Sherwood, the center’s coordinator.
More events and trainings
The center is committed to creating a safe environment for the LGBTQ+ community at UH Hilo. In order to do this, they are offering Safe Zone Training. UH Hilo student Leilani Clark is the Safe Zone coordinator for the LGBTQ+ Center. She urges students to attend the upcoming training sessions. The Safe Zone Training aims to educate LGBTQ individuals and allies alike on how to “develop, enhance, and maintain” a supportive campus environment. The training sessions will take place September 28th, October 26th, and November 30th from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. in Campus Center, room 306.
For the fall 2017 semester, the LGBTQ+ Center has planned a number of events to take place on the UH Hilo Campus. One highlight is Ally Week. On Tuesday September 22nd, staff from the center and allies set up tables at the Campus Center Plaza, educating students about what it means to be an ally, and transmitting the information gathered at the Rainbow Sherbet Social.
October is celebrated as LGBTQ History Month. The LGBTQ+ Center has a number of events in store including Coming Out Day on the 11th, Spirit Day on the 17th where students are encouraged to wear purple, and a showing of the film Outrun on the 18th.
To close the semester, the LGBTQ+ Center is holding an event on December 1st at Campus Center Plaza for World AIDS Day. All students and faculty are encouraged to take part in these events.
The LGBTQ+ Center recently moved and is now located in Campus Center, room 311. The UH Hilo community is welcome to visit the center at any time to receive support, make connections, learn more about the LGBTQ community, or simply to enjoy conversation with fellow students. It is intended to be a safe space and hate-free zone where everyone is welcome to be themselves regardless of gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.
Jamie Josephson (senior, English) is a public information intern, and Kimiko Taguchi (senior, geography and environmental studies) is a photography intern, both in the Office of the Chancellor.
-UH Hilo Stories