Pride Parade celebrates diversity and inclusivity

From screaming in the library to marching through the campus with the support of passers by, inclusivity was continuously talked about by attendees of the Pride Parade on Tuesday.

The University of Alberta hosted the fourth annual Pride Parade with a turnout hundreds of people shouting and marching. Starting in CCIS and weaving its way from SUB to Rutherford and ending with a carnival in the PAW Centre, the Pride Parade involved people from numerous campus groups, such as Drew Delbaere from Student Connect.

“(Pride Week) makes everyone feel supported and feel like they are a part of this community and that they are included in it,” Delbaere said. “Walking around today, seeing everyone’s face and seeing all the cheers, its really what I can feel.”

Other members of organizations in attendance included the Office of the Registrar, the UAlberta Ambassador Program Counseling and Clinical Services, St. Stephens College, and The Landing, among others. OUTreach and the Institute of Sexual Minority Studies of Services, Pride Week’s organizers, handed out candy, noisemakers, colorful beads and, including everyone in the campus-wide event. Incoming Students’ Union executives also marched in the parade. Mike Sandare, Vice-President (External)-elect, spoke of the intersectionality of Pride.

“Its good to have the entire student body coming out and supporting something like this because we need it as a campus,” Sandare said. “We need to be more inclusive and we need to support everyone. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’re about, everyone should be able to come together.”

Michael Phair, newly appointed Chair of the Board of Governors, was also in attendance and says that Pride Week means a great deal to him, as he has been in involved with Edmonton Pride Week for 30 years. Previously, Phair was the first openly gay elected official in Alberta and worked as a city councillor for 15 years.

Phair said he’s glad that students are excited about the events and that the U of A is showing that inclusivity is important to the school and its students.

“On the campus at the university, what it says is that we’re very inclusive and we recognize that there are differences among different groups of people,” Phair said.

“We want to make sure that they feel welcome, that they are contributing, and that they are respected like every other citizen. That’s what’s going on today, it’s a chance to say yeah we’re here and we make a difference.”