WLU PRIDE Club presents ‘Second Chance Prom”

One of PRIDE Club’s promotional flyers for the upcoming Second Chance Prom.

The West Liberty University (WLU) PRIDE Club is holding a prom on Friday, March 25, 2022. This is the first prom the club is having since PRIDE Club was reestablished in spring 2021.

PRIDE Club was restarted by Emma Beatty, sophomore human biology major and president of PRIDE Club. “I wanted to reopen the club because it is important to have a safe space on campus where LGBTQIA+ students and allies can come together.” Beatty noted that the club has around 50 members and they meet about once a month.

Creed Kidney, sophomore creative arts therapy and illustration major and vice president of PRIDE Club said, “This is the first event I’ve ever felt comfortable taking my partner to. Of course my feelings and comfort level here at WLU are wildly different than the ones I had at my high school, but having this kind of event on campus specifically for our community, where truly anyone is welcome to come as they are, be who they are, and love who they do, is like a dream come true.”

Kidney added, “Myself and the rest of PRIDE Club’s executive board, President Emma Beatty, Secretary Andria Templeton, Treasurer Kaitlyn Bailey, Social Media and PR Chair Maddie Linzy and Senior Representative Riley Duda, were the first members of the club, as WLU used to have a PRIDE Club here on campus, but it kind of fell apart over time as many of the members and executives graduated or moved on.” Kidney noted that they, Beatty, Templeton, Bailey and Duda were some of the people to respond to the call of reforming the club which was made by Director of Student Life Activities and Title IX Coordinator, Kate Billings.

Dr. Kimberly Underwood, associate professor of sociology, is PRIDE Club’s advisor, but the club also works closely with Dr. Felipe Rojas, associate professor of Spanish and the Diversity Committee. “Having faculty members like Dr. Rojas, Dr. Underwood and the entirety of the Diversity Committee makes everything feel so much more safe and normal. That’s all I want is to feel normal when I walk into our dance with my boyfriend and celebrate the beauty of love and self-expression with so many of my friends who have worked so hard to be able to make such an event a reality for the Hilltop,” said Kidney.

PRIDE Club’s prom will take place from 8:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. at the Gary E. West Event Center. Beatty explained that anyone is welcome to attend the prom. “We are charging admission to the event. It will be $5 for PRIDE Club members and $10 for all other students. We are also asking that students bring their IDs to the event.”

PRIDE Club’s mission is to “create and foster a diverse LGBTQIA+ affirming community of students, faculty and staff,” according to Beatty. “We aim to promote advocacy and action towards bettering human rights, with a strong emphasis on LGBTQIA+ issues, as well as promote awareness and education of the LGBTQIA+ community, its background and current standing.”

For more information regarding PRIDE Club, contact Dr. Underwood at [email protected], Dr. Rojas at [email protected], President Beatty at [email protected] or Vice President Kidney at [email protected]