Ally Changes Name To Clear Confusion

Julia Fawbush, Staff Writer

The university’s Ally Club changed its name for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Kayli Boyes, senior occupational therapy major and president of the club, changed the name to from “Ally” to “MUnited” to make it known to students that the club is diverse, accepting, inclusive, and to clear up confusion about the previous name.

“Not everyone really knew what Ally was, so I figured changing the name to something a little more Misericordia-oriented, and maybe calling it something more inclusive, people would kind of get what it’s about,” she said.

“I think the name change is perfect,” said Linh Nguyen, Manager of Multicultural and Inclusion Initiatives. “It was like an educational program for faculty, staff, and students. Since it started, Ally, now MUnited, is just serving such a different purpose.”

Boyes said the club is important to the university because it shows students how accepting campus is, especially for first-year and transfer students.

“They may not be able to find that sense of community,” Boyes explained. “The club is definitely there to not only promote education about the LGBTQIA+ community, but the diversity that we have on this campus is very vast and large, and this club is there to showcase that for the members who do choose to join us.”

Nguyen also emphasized the importance of having a sense of community on campus.

“Just being able to find community over one identity or interest, providing each other support, empathizing with one another, it’s really important to provide them a community and a sense of belonging on campus,” she said.

Nguyen explained that, while the university provides an affinity group for LGBTQ staff, faculty, and allies, MUnited is the university’s student group. She said renaming the student club “just made sense.”

“Since we’ve broken off into different groups on campus, it just made more sense to rebrand because our Ally program is still our education program, which is also like our safe space program. It serves a different purpose,” she said.

MUnited will focus on student-driven events, fundraisers, and field trips during the academic year. Nguyen said the club will focus on community building and socializing events, such as tie-dyeing pride flags and attending local community shows, like “Rent” and “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

She said events like that are meant to unite students.

“It’s really just about gathering students and for them being able to be proud of who they are.”

Boyes said the club has been very important to her. She wants to make sure the club will be passed onto the next president on solid footing so he or she can keep building and make sure the club sees the potential it has.

“The club is my baby at this point,” Boyes said. “It introduced me to my family; it introduced me to so many people that I adore and love, so I just want to make sure that same feel is transferred to next year when I’m not here.”