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SMC Straight and Gay Alliance hosts Ally Week

Alicia Smith | Friday, October 1, 2010

Saint Mary’s College Straight And Gay Alliance (SAGA) showed appreciation for the allies of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community by hosting Ally Week, which began Monday.

The second annual Ally Week was dedicated to the students who support members of the LGBT community and SAGA offered different events each day. The first Ally Week took place during the Spring 2010 semester at the College.

The week offered students a chance to learn how to get involved and show their understanding for members of the LGBT community, Karen Borga, president of SAGA said.

“It’s important to LGBT students because it’s support that they can see,” she said. “[They can see] that there are people on campus who care about them, who want to know that they are safe.”

Additionally, Borja said Ally Week is a way for all students to come together and provide encouragement for their fellow students.

“For straight students, it’s a way for them to show support, in maybe other ways that they haven’t been able to before, or might not know how to show that support,” she said.

A table was set up in the Student Center Atrium on Monday offering students a chance to sign a pledge to become an ally. Over 150 students signed the pledge, which was displayed on a bulletin board outside of the Noble Family Dining Hall throughout the week.

“For me, as a gay student, it’s for me to show appreciation for those who enabled me to come out.” Laurel Javors, a senior at the College said.

Javors said Ally Week allows LGBT students to feel more comfortable on campus and express gratitude to those who are allies.

“Without allies, I don’t think coming out for gay students is possible,” Javors said.

Borja said another goal of Ally week was to educate women. On Tuesday, students were offered an open house for the Women’s Resource Room, a place designed as a safety space on campus.

On Wednesday, discussion titled “I’m an Ally. I’m out too!” was held in the Student Center Lounge and included stories from a professor and student allies.

Thursday SAGA presented “The Laramie Project.”

For Friday, the final day of Ally week, SAGA encourages all allies to wear their pins, stickers and T-shirts that were distributed throughout the events of Ally Week, Borja said.

Borja said SAGA plans to offer several other events throughout the academic year including National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11.