Simpson College PRIDE plans events, works on big projects


The Simpsonian File Photo

Simpson PRIDE has hosted a variety of educational events this October in celebration of LGBTQIA+ history month.

by Mo Marks, Staff Writer

Simpson College PRIDE has spent October celebrating LGBTQIA+ history month on campus. So far, they’ve hosted a trivia night, an educational event about how to speak to and about LGBTQIA+ people and are planning a future pumpkin painting event. 

In addition to their numerous events, PRIDE is working behind the scenes on more serious initiatives. 

Led by PRIDE Vice President Dylan Seibel and in conjunction with Keyah Levy, Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), the organization has been pursuing two main initiatives: ensuring the presence of gender-neutral bathrooms in all academic buildings and expediting the name change process. 

The two have also been monitoring and responding to incidents of homophobia on campus and against students. 

“Like most DEI work, it’s slow,” Seibel said, in regards to trying to get gender-neutral bathrooms in all academic buildings. 

The problem isn’t just that the work is DEI-related, though. While PRIDE pushed for bathrooms to be transitioned from just male or female to neutral, the college would prefer to add a gender-neutral bathroom to buildings and keep bathrooms that are currently gender-segregated in their current form. 

“It has come to be a lot harder than anticipated through the donors that supply the buildings,” Tatum Clayburn, president of PRIDE, said. 

With the college mandating new infrastructure, rather than transitioning current infrastructure, it has become that much harder to successfully see these initiatives to completion. 

The name change initiative has gone far smoother. In the past, students have struggled to have their deadnames removed from school websites such as SCconnect, their email and Moodle. This can be a significant source of dysphoria, removed from Simpson tools like SC Connect, Simpson emails and Moodle. Now, they can message the registrar’s office to get their documents changed. 

PRIDE is planning to be more involved on campus in the future. Simpson is sponsoring some students in the group to attend the Gayla being hosted on Nov. 5. They’re also planning a safe sex giveaway and bringing back the drag show which has traditionally been hosted in Spring each year but was put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Levy emphasized the importance of making students feel safe on campus.

“It shouldn’t just be education, education. The whole idea of diversity, equity and inclusion is to create a lifestyle, and some cultural changes around how we work with people from different backgrounds,” Levy said. 

For students interested in joining Simpson College PRIDE, the club meets by Zoom on Mondays at 7:00 p.m. Allies are welcome. Access to the zoom link will be provided through requests sent to the club vice president dylan.[email protected] or president [email protected]

*Mo Marks is the social media manager for Simpson College PRIDE