By Staff Writer Samantha Wahl.
The UMass Dartmouth Pride Alliance, Mitch Berube tells The Torch, was once a vibrant organization. Berube works for the Center for Women, Gender, and Sexuality at UMass Dartmouth and speaks with a soft sense of regret as she explains the Alliance’s disappearance from campus.
Characterized by advocacy and a sense of camaraderie between the LGBT community and their allies, Pride Alliance was always a safe space for discussion and acceptance. As recently as 2015, the Alliance would coordinate screenings of LGBT films, invite guest speakers to campus, and raise awareness of LGBT struggles by bringing events like the National Day of Silence to UMassD.
But that was three years ago. Over the last couple of years, the Pride Alliance has slowly lost its steam. The Pride Alliance first ran into significant difficulty in Fall 2017; it was listed as “cancelled” on MyOrgs for that semester. There was a revival of interest in Spring 2017, with the organization hosting a smattering of events. Now, though, its entire executive board is gone without anyone to replace them, and the Alliance is in a precarious position. It is in a state of limbo; a completely inactive organization. But it doesn’t need to stay that way. The Alliance is due for a resurgence- and this Monday, October 15, Berube is hoping it will find the new leadership it needs.
What will it take to revive the Alliance? Really, just fresh faces. Since the Alliance is a pre- existing club, revivers would not need to jump through the same hoops that exist for brand- new organizations. This is because the club has basically already been approved to exist. This eliminates much of the bureaucracy that usually comes with starting up a new student organization. All that’s needed is a driven, enthusiastic group of students to take the reins and breathe life back into the Alliance.
Berube tells me that there is already a staff member willing to be the advisor for Pride. This is important if the Alliance is to get back off the ground, because in order to be fully recognized by the school, the organization needs three things. Firstly, they need an advisor. Secondly, they need an executive board (e-board), composed of students, which usually consists of a President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary. It also needs at least seven members in addition to the e-board. With an advisor ready to go, all the Alliance needs is motivated, passionate students to serve as officers and members.
For now, the club’s future is uncertain. But Berube remains hopeful that in the right hands, Pride Alliance can flourish again.
“We [at the CWGS] are hoping that it can be reformed and once again become an advocacy group.” Berube shares with The Torch earnestly, “goodness knows we need one these days.”
That hope is all there is to go on, for now. The next chapter of the Alliance’s story is yet to be written.
There will be a meeting on October 15, at 5 PM, at the Center for Women, Gender and Sexuality for people interested in reviving the Pride Alliance. All people who would be interested in either serving on e-board or joining the Alliance as a member are welcome to attend. The CWGS can be reached at 508.910.6567.
PHOTO COURTESY: UMASSD MYORGS