In the beginning, it was students who made it happen. Over the past decade, it’s been the students who’ve partnered with staff and faculty to sustain and nourish the CSUN Pride Center and made it the vibrant, vital campus home it is in 2023.
On April 11, Matador alumni, current students, staff, faculty and friends gathered in the University Student Union (USU) to celebrate the center’s first 10 years of supporting the LGBTQIA+ community on campus. After a reception in the Plaza del Sol, where the community browsed a timeline of Pride Center history, more than 120 people gathered in the Grand Salon for an anniversary gala, dinner and reunion for some of the center’s founding student activists and leadership.
“James Baldwin said: ‘You have to go the way your blood beats. If you don’t live the only life you have, you won’t live some other life, you won’t live any life at all,’” Debra Hammond, USU executive director, told the crowd. “I want each of you to know that we are standing in support of your right to live your lives — to dream, to aspire, to belong and most importantly, to make this world a more just and equitable place for each and every one of us. Thank you for allowing us to be part of that legacy. It is an honor.”
The Pride Center officially opened at the USU on Sept. 27, 2012. That grand opening was built on the work of multiple student clubs and organizations, as well as the Queer Studies Program and faculty in the College of Humanities, said Sarina Loeb ’13 (M.S., College Counseling Student Services). Loeb served as the center’s coordinator at the time, and she’s now the USU assistant director for resource centers. To the alumni — the founding student leaders — Hammond said: “We owe you a debt of gratitude for helping us to step into our responsibility.”
Here are some photo highlights of the 10th anniversary gala.