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SAGA continues to advocate for LGBTQ community

| Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Saint Mary’s Straight and Gay Alliance (SAGA) is planning for another year of events and activities on campus aimed at improving the experience for the LGBTQ community at the College.

After one meeting, SAGA’s goals for the year are coming into focus, the club’s officers said.

“We’re approaching [SAGA] from a different angle this year,” president Abigail Lynn said.

“We were focusing a lot on the gay and lesbian side of things [last year],” Julia Hannigan, vice president, said.

Lynn expressed a desire to expand the reach of SAGA’s support to a wider group of people.

“One of our biggest goals on campus is to create an environment that is really inclusive and offer support,” Lynn said.

This year, the group plans to actively make meetings a more inclusive experience for those who identify with other groups while continuing to support the lesbian and gay communities, Hannigan said. Specifically, she said that SAGA wants to foster a more comfortable and inclusive environment for transgender community members. In an effort to promote such inclusion, attendees at SAGA’s first meeting of the year were asked to share their preferred pronouns. As members received this action positively, Hannigan and Lynn expressed hope that such openness will lead to more involvement.

“Everything we’ve done in the past has been open to everyone,” said Lynn, while adding that the organization’s members need more support in the coming year.

In the past, SAGA’s active membership has remained at a relatively consistent size, so the officers hope for growth.

“What we’re trying to do this year is actually get more people involved with everything that we do,” Lynn said.

Lynn noted that the only SAGA meeting so far this year boasted higher attendance than in the past.

“It was exciting,” Hannigan said. “We were so happy.”

With the new year and new members, the planning process for the year is underway. The organization wants to simultaneously foster a sense of community within the active membership as well as facilitate events for the wider campus community.

Regarding events in the near future, Lynn said there are plans for events surrounding LGBTQ history week and National Coming Out Day, both of which are in October — the month observed in the U.S. to commemorate the history of the LGBTQ rights and civil rights movements.

In addition to these, a mixer with PrismND — Notre Dame’s LGBTQ and ally organization — is set to take place in early October.

“A lot of our events and meetings will be second semester … so we don’t have everything set in stone yet,” Lynn said.

SAGA’s next meeting is Sunday and the group regularly meets every other Sunday in the student center — in conference rooms A and B — at 7 p.m.

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