The PRIDE at SF State Committee is an ad hoc committee that first met in September 2008. The Committee initially identified as the “Safe Zone/Allies” Committee, because one of the reasons leading to the formation of the committee was to review and identify the benefits of establishing a safe zone project at San Francisco State University (SFSU). (A safe zone project is a program that promotes awareness and non-judgmental treatment of the LGBT community by providing education and training and identifying a network of students, faculty, staff and community members who are willing and prepared to provide support and information to LGBT people.) At that initial meeting, the committee also gathered suggestions for strategies to increase visibility and a sense of community on campus for LGBT students, faculty and staff.
In the following months, the committee decided to conduct focus groups and administer surveys with students, faculty, and staff to assess additional support they felt SFSU could provide to support the LGBT communities on campus. A common theme emerged from these focus groups and surveys: a desire for a social event on campus for LGBT students, faculty, staff and allies. An event was held on April 14, 2009, that was attended by approximately 65 people. The event included a presentation from Caitlin Ryan of the Family Acceptance Project as well as small and large group discussions on strategies for developing a supportive community at SFSU for the SFSU LGBT community and allies. Attendees also joined the ad hoc committee to assist with further on-campus organizing and joined a new SFSU listserv that the committee had established for sharing announcements about LGBT concerns.
The PRIDE at SF State Committee continues to meet monthly. Its current focus is prioritizing the ideas and suggestions from attendees of the April 2009 event and developing them into actionable strategies for increased visibility and safety on campus for LGBT students, faculty, staff and allies. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This history of the PRIDE at SF State Committee was provided by committee member Rick Nizzardini, LCSW, Clinical Counselor at the Counseling and Psychological Services Center.