Pride Alliance Center launches inaugural Pride Week

This year’s programming will mark the University of Iowa’s first Pride Week, which aims to recognize and provide support for queer students during the spring semester.


Jeff Sigmund

The University Of Iowa Pride Alliance Center, or the Pride House, is seen on Monday, March 29, 2021. The center is located at 125 Grand Ave Ct.

Marco Oceguera, News Reporter

Students at the University of Iowa’s Pride Alliance Center are implementing the first ever Pride Week program that began Monday and goes until April 2.

Because Pride events often occur at the same time each year around LGBTQ+ history month and Pride month, organizers are hoping to use the new Pride Week programming as a way to continue providing consistent support for queer students throughout the school year.

Despite the inability to host larger in-person events, the Pride Alliance Center and other organizers of Pride Week hope to actively engage queer students in pride programs and support members of the community by hosting various virtual events and launching social media challenges throughout the week.

While the university has historically celebrated both LGBTQ+ history month in October and Pride month during June, there are currently no similar Pride events during the spring semester.

Coordinator of the Pride Alliance Center Emma Welch said the idea for establishing Pride Week was first inspired by student concerns related to the lack of Pride events that exist during the spring semester specifically.

“While we love celebrating Pride Month in June, it’s at a time when it is much more difficult to connect with students,” Welch said. “We wanted to provide an opportunity to continue the celebration during the spring semester as well.”

Welch said the majority of the project has been planned and brought to life by students.

“We certainly had administrative support in moving forward with our plans, but the idea from it truly came from students of the Pride House,” Welch said.

Savannah DeGroot, center programming assistant at the Pride Alliance Center, said the overall theme of the event is “Growing Together Through All Kinds of Weather,” which is centered around addressing and recognizing the vastness of the LGBTQ+ community and the various identities that exist within the community.

DeGroot said because the queer community is so vast and encompasses individuals of various identities, issues including racism, transphobia, and biphobia often persist.

This drove the establishment of the theme of Pride Week and inspired organizers to kick the program off on Monday with a virtual event about the intersectionality between Black and Queer identities called “Identity Discourse”, DeGroot said.

DeGroot hopes that by exploring these important issues through such events, there is opportunity for growth.

“There are so many different experiences that people could have in and with the queer community,” DeGroot said. “Ultimately it is about growing together through all of that, through both the good and the bad.”

Welch added that certain events this week are quite serious in nature, and additional support and resources will be provided for students at such events.

Specifically for Tuesday’s event, which is called “Healing, Pleasure, and Sex After Trauma”, RVAP representatives will be available for confidential one-on-one support in breakout rooms.

President of UI Spectrum Joseph Haggerty said he’s excited that Pride Week will allow organizers to explore new ways to hold Pride events in a post-COVID world.

“We have seen a lot of detachment from queer issues on campus because of COVID-19,” Haggerty said. “I’m hopeful this will be a continuing program for the spring semester in the future.”