For most people, October is a month that they associate with spooky goblins and ghouls, or pumpkin spiced drinks and dishes. At Ramapo College, however, the month of October is a time to celebrate diversity and acceptance. The College, therefore, took the first of October to celebrate these sentiments and proclaim the month as Queer and Trans History and Disability Awareness Month.
Members of Ramapo administration, staff and students all gathered at the Grove to attend the Opening Ceremony and kick off the month of education and recognition. The cloudy sky helped offset the warmer weather, creating a pleasant day for the campus to commend the joyous occasions and embark on a month informational festivities.
Assistant Director of Equity and Diversity Programs Tamika Quick read the opening proclamation, expressing the importance of commemorating these communities throughout October. Both Queer and Trans History Month and Disability Awareness Month serve to recognize these marginalized groups of people and encourage awareness and unity surrounding these two communities. To encapsulate these ideas, Quick announced that the theme of the month is “Strength and Inclusion.”
“I encourage our entire campus community to join me in celebrating these occasions,” said Quick.
Ramapo students and staff will have numerous opportunities throughout the month to celebrate these occasions. Quick, along with the Women’s Center Student Office Manager Berlyann Rivera, designated the next portion of the event to informing attendees of just a few of the various events that the College will be hosting this October.
In regard to Queer and Trans History Month, Rivera stated that some of the spectacles that students can look forward to among others are Pride Fest, which is taking place on Oct. 10, and the Gender Bender Ball, which is occurring on Oct. 31.
Quick listed various events pertaining to Disability awareness month, including but not limited to an open conversation on representation and autism in the Women’s Center on Oct. 4 and a panel on invisible disabilities on Oct. 12.
Quick and Rivera also shared that the month will conclude with a closing ceremony and performance to reiterate the month’s sentiments and celebrations.
The College’s Office of Equity and Diversity’s mission is to “ensure the community celebrates diversity and create a favorable campus climate for all,” according to the school’s website. These months are a key component to this celebration of diversity, as they help harness a culture of acceptance throughout the College and promote inclusion.
“I think it’s really important that we host events pertaining to these important months,” said junior Molly Krawczyk. “I’m glad that Ramapo makes an effort to recognize months like these.”
Senior Stephanie O’Brien agreed, stating, “I think it’s great that the whole campus can take part in this.”