By Jensen, Randy on June 17, 2020.
The University of Lethbridge celebrated the LGBTQ+ community that’s within and surrounds the institution with its annual Pride flag raising ceremony, Monday morning.
For many years, the U of L has celebrated the diversity of its students, faculty and staff, and promoted equality through all of the different departments. The university says it is important for them to demonstrate and be an example for the promotion of equality for it to spread deeper into the community.
“It’s an important demonstration of leadership in the community for the university to celebrate Pride on an annual basis to promote diversity, equality and inclusion perspective, just signalling to the broader community the importance of including the LGBT community in everything we do,” says Kurt Schlachter, U of L board of governors chair. “Learning starts with acceptance and feeling that you are part of a community as well as feeling welcome, and accepted and respected for who you are. The differences are celebrated because diversity brings a new perspective and differences in perspective which leads to better collective thought and decision making, so it is a huge value to feel safe and welcome in the community.”
The U of L says that all of its programming is founded on the concepts of equality, diversity and inclusion. Many recognize there is still a lot of work to be done within society, but institutions like the U of L are taking steps to help educate the public on the importance of equality.
“It is an important start off to this week of celebrating Pride, and I think that raising the flag shows the significance that we are showing its importance and that the university is willing to put it out there, willing to listen to these voices and allow people to celebrate who they are,” says Jonathan Diaz, ULSA president. “At a society level, there is still a lot of work to be done and it is up to every single level, whether that be individual or institutions, to take the steps that will slowly get us to a large community of acceptance and inclusion.”
Over the years, the U of L has worked on improving and promoting equality, as well as providing many resources for students to thrive and feel accepted during their education experience. One of the more recent installations for LGBTQ+ members is the gender-neutral bathrooms which has made the university experience better for those who need them.
“A big step that I noticed over the last couple of years is the university putting in gender-neutral bathrooms, which isn’t a big deal for the people who don’t need it, but it is a great thing for people who need those sort of safe spaces,” says Diaz.
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