Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Good Problems at Gay UNCG

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As many of you know, I am a member of the Executive Board of UNCG PRIDE!, UNCG's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning and Allied Student Association. It is with great joy that I get to share this news about UNCG PRIDE! After a summer's worth of planning with the Executive Board for this academic year, we had our first meeting last Thursday with such a large turnout we could not fit everyone into the same room. Seventy seven people signed in but of course this does not count the people who never sign in at events such as these. I would not be afraid to say that it is very possible that almost one hundred students were present at the first meeting. This is our problem, although it is a good problem. I, along with one other current Board member, were on the Executive Board last year as well. The experience which we have had with PRIDE! is one of working with a student organization which attracted, at most, thirty people to one meeting. Many of the things we did last year cannot be done this year, including many of our discussion based meetings. So our good problem is that because we have so many people the Executive Board is now going to have to make a concerted effort in trying to do events and activities which can include and involve all of those seventy-some people. Many people who went to school at UNCG two to three years ago and many students still at UNCG can probably remember when PRIDE! almost collapsed due to one of the Executive Board members wanting a change in the Constitution of PRIDE! Last year (the year following the fall out) was mainly a year in which to rebuild and regain the strength we had before all the turmoil. A former Board member who attended last week's meeting said PRIDE! had not seen such a large turnout in almost three years. Evidently, last year's "rebuidling" year is exactly what the group needed. It makes me so happy to see that PRIDE! is once again becoming the strong and large group that it has been in the past. From our humble beginnings as the Gay Student Union in 1974, we have done nothing but grow. UNCG is special in the fact that our school has had only one GLBTQQA student group in its entire history. Many universities find themselves having numerous groups, with numerous missions. More often that not, those numerous groups all fail and collapse. UNCG PRIDE! has been on this campus since 1974. We are one of the oldest GLBTQQA student groups in the nation and I would even go as far to say that we are the oldest in North Carolina. My hope is that we will continue to grow and solve this good "problem" of having so many people interested and involved. It will be a challenge, yes, but I am quite sure that we can do it. We've been here thirty-one years... I don't think we'll be giving up anytime soon! UNCG PRIDE! meets every Thursday at 7:30pm. Check pride.uncg.edu for meeting locations throughout the semester. This week's meeting (9/01) will be held in the Faculty Center on College Avenue.