Pride and Inclusion

Pride and Inclusion

Brock Stobbs (He/Him), an Honours in Political Science student, shares some insights into UniQ Victoria’s Pride Week, happening on campus this week.

 
Past members of UniQ’s executive team, who put together Pride Week every year.

The rainbow community on campus is incredibly vast and diverse. LGBTQIA+ students come in all shapes and sizes, from all walks of life, and extend into just about every discipline our university has to offer. That is why it is difficult for us to connect and create an active community, but UniQ tries its best regardless.

UniQ Victoria is (currently) the only group explicitly dedicated to representing LGBTQIA+ students at Victoria and is just one of few queer students’ representative groups nationally.

Part of the way we promote inclusivity on campus is through hosting our annual Pride Week.

Producing Pride Week

Pride Week has been something UniQ has put together for a while now, and it’s always a challenge. Planning it, finding the money and resources to make it happen is never easy, and getting people to come is difficult but every year we manage. I’ve found that if you look hard enough, there’s always someone willing to lend a hand.

Some of the events we run, like the Ivy Party and our Quiz Night, are classics that we have inherited and never seem to get old. Others, like the Tea Party and the Board Games Bash, are pet projects of members of UniQ brought to life by the passion of those running them.

UniQ’s 2014 Pride Week Quiz night, hosted at the Hunter Lounge.

And every so often we venture into new territories, like with our Takatāpui Hui. A UniQ first, and hopefully not last, the Hui is our chance to put our takatāpui whanau front and centre. It has been challenging to bring a completely new event to life, particularly one so important. But people from all over—from Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association to Ngāi Tauira, to members of the takatāpui community and beyond— have given a little or a lot to make this happen. We even managed to get speakers from InsideOUT and Tiwhanawhana to speak at the Hui, which is something I’m particularly looking forward to.

Queerlient

Accompanying our annual Pride Week is our Salient issue titled ‘Queerlient’. As Communications Officer for UniQ, this has been my own (not so) little personal project.

When I first started working on bringing the issue together, I was quite ignorant to the realities of producing such a monumental magazine. The good being that there is so much potential. The bad being that people miss deadlines, the content sometimes misses the mark, and when it is good, there isn’t enough room to fit everything in.

Salient’s ‘Queerlient’ issue through the ages. ‘Queerlient’ is guest edited by members of UniQ’s executive team in collaboration with Salient staff, with this year’s issue guest edited by Brock Stobbs (He/Him) and Miia van Beusekom (She/Her).

Forty-eight pages is all we had to share the love. Not everyone will be happy, but I’ve learned that making everyone happy isn’t possible. You just do the best you can, and with this issue, I think we have. Features, columns, reviews, and having all queer news was a lot to coordinate, but with the help of the amazing staff at Salient, we pulled it off.

Beyond Pride

So for this Pride Week, I hope you find something that you fancy and hopefully this week will help bring our rainbow community closer together.

Brock Stobbs (He/Him) is a recent commerce and arts graduate, now studying Honours in Political Science. He is the Communications Officer for UniQ Victoria. You can follow him on Twitter @brockstobbs

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