TRUSU begins offering weekly LGBTQ socials

Members of the TRUSU Pride Club at the Back-to-School BBQ. Dale Drozda (bottom left), Elena Plotnikoff (top left), Alex Jensen (mid left), Katrina Esguerra (mid right), Paolino Caputo (right). (Marcela Arévalo/The Omega)

Members of the TRUSU Pride Club at the Back-to-School BBQ. Dale Drozda (bottom left), Elena Plotnikoff (top left), Alex Jensen (mid left), Katrina Esguerra (mid right), Paolino Caputo (right). (Marcela Arévalo/The Omega)

The TRUSU Pride Club is launching weekly socials later this month to provide open opportunities for LGBTQ students to socialize on campus.

Led by Pride Club president Paolino Caputo and LGBTQ representative Caitlin Orteza, the socials will be taking place on Mondays at 5 p.m. in the TRUSU board room beginning on Sept. 19.

Caputo hopes that the socials will stabilize and promote new membership to the club.

“The difference between this year and previous years is that we are shifting our event planning elsewhere so that there is little business at the meeting and just an opportunity for people to get to know each other,” Caputo said.

“We want to give people a place that they want to come back to every week and to basically solidify and create a bit more of a community on campus.”

The club also aims to create and maintain a safe space for LGBTQ students through the socials. In addition to making new friends, the socials will also provide support to those who need it by making club executives and representatives readily available.

“Finding people that are a part of the LGBTQ community is pretty hard, especially for people that are new to town or are international students. So having something like the Pride Club, where they have consistent once-a-week meetings, I think is great for people,” Orteza said.

“These are events that are just casual where people can just show up and meet other people.”

According to Caputo, the socials will also address fragmentation in the community by keeping to a consistent schedule where members can meet regularly. While there are several pride events in the Kamloops community, there is a need for more regular social events.

“I think the initiative is important particularly in Kamloops where we see a lot of different pride groups so I think creating a stable space for people to get to know one another and to rely upon is important,” Caputo said.

Ideally, Caputo would like to see the socials lead to a permanent safe space on campus, like many other universities have.

“I feel like our university is a bit behind in that regard and I think that there is definitely a lack of space for more socially-related resources,” Caputo said.

Caputo and Orteza encourage those who are interested in learning more about the TRUSU Pride Club socials to visit the club’s Facebook page (TRUSU Pride Club) or Twitter account (@TRUSU_Pride).

Also upcoming on Sept. 28 is the TRUSU Pride Parade, which starts at 11 a.m. and follows a path around campus.