Multicultural and Ally Join Forces

Kailene Nye, Reporter

Students in the Ally and Multicultural Clubs collaborated to host an event in celebration of Black History Month.

Members ran a discussion panel on black LGBTQ+ culture Feb. 27.

Kayli Boyes, junior occupational therapy major and the Communication Coordinator for Ally said this was not the first time the two clubs have collaborated.

“Even from the start of my freshman year, Ally and Multi have had a great relationship,” she said. “We’ve partnered with them for a couple events before and they were always fun.”

Iana Davis, junior mass communications and design major and Multicultural Club vice president, said working with Ally helped create a deeper sense of support between the groups as well as promote the clubs’ presence on campus.

“The clubs share the same office, and so it was only time that we did partner up to help both clubs boost attendance and hopefully get new members. We want to show support to each other’s club because the values of both clubs are very important and it’s something that the campus needs to have more education on and experience with,” Davis said.

The panel discussed prominent black figures in the LGBTQ+ community and aimed to educate people on what representation has looked like for black members who identify in this community.

Davis said education was the most important purpose of the event, and she hopes people left with a better understanding of the lives of those who differ from theirs.

“I hope they learned something, understood other life forms, were able to experience life through someone else’s lens, gained compassion, and learned how to discuss hard topics.”

Boyes said was important because it helped show the diversity among students.

“I feel that having an event that both Ally and Multi host shows the diversity this campus has. Not only that, but members of both clubs can educate other students in a way that cannot simply be learned in a classroom,” she said.

She added that the collaboration demonstrated the importance of unity.

“Along with that, other clubs have different ideas and those new ideas can put on amazing events students enjoy,” Boyes said.

Davis said working with Ally is crucial because because both clubs promote understanding and unity between students of multiple cultures and identities.

“It’s important because if we don’t do it, it’s not like the school is,” she said. “The school only represents anything multicultural in the month of February. After that, it’s forgotten. As for Ally, the school does nothing to show support in that social class, so if the clubs don’t do it and make people feel open and welcomed to do it then all we have is a campus that is miseducated and shielded from reality.”

Davis added that the knowledge students grow from these events prepare them to make a positive mark in the world.

“If we don’t allow students the introduction to all forms of life, what kind of mistakes can occur when not shown in the real world.”

She added that teamwork creates positive publicity.

“We collaborate with those who have the same goals and values as us in the hope that students can take something away from our events even if it happens to be friends or insight, just something.”

Both Boyes and Davis said their active roles in the Ally and Multicultural Clubs have brought great meaning to their lives.

“Being a member of Ally has given me a family,” Boyes said. “I came here as the only person from my high school, far from home, and scared out of my mind. The officers my freshman year took me under their wings and quickly made this university my home. They’re some of my closest friends and I can’t imagine my life without these wonderful people.”

Davis said her position has helped her learn more about herself and others.

“I’ve been given the opportunity to stand in a position of leadership where I have a set of expectations and I have to hold myself accountable for my actions and the success of something. The club has helped me find a safe place to call my own where people look and feel and think like me; people I can relate to and people who have taught me a great deal about myself and life. It’s been an amazing experience to learn not just about my struggle but others’ and know that I’m not alone,” she said.

She said she hopes to do more events with Ally and other groups in the future.

“We have so many changes to make for the club. and it’s going to be a long journey for us, but we are starting with making changes internally before we really make changes externally. A healthy balance is what we are striving for, and I just hope that in future we can get more people to support us and want to talk with us. Our club has grown in numbers, but we would love more and want this campus to grow with us as we start from the bottom.”