By Sabrina Messaoudi
Southern California’s most popular and longest running LGBT Festival, located in Palm Springs, returned once again. The Palm Springs Pride Festival attracted people from all over the Coachella Valley and surrounding cities on Sunday Nov.5, 2017. This year, College Of The Desert was present too, as they contributed to the Pride Parade.
Several students, staff and even President Kinnamon participated in the Pride parade. Participants wore “COD Pride” shirts and carried the “Roadrunner Pride” banner as they walked down the parade route downtown Palm Springs.
COD student, Marcus E. Harvey II, says it is important for College of the Desert to participate in the Pride Parade. “Yes I do believe it’s important, because it shows that the community does care about this very important topic. It shows that this is a real topic that needs to be discussed and not looked down upon.”
Tommy Ferrier, student center assistant, has been involved in all the planning. According to Ferrier, LGBT pride is getting more and more important every year. “Appreciating individuality and uniqueness and diversity increases student engagement. When they feel valued they want to be a part of it more. I think that for a stronger more effective school, appreciating the individual and celebrating them as much as you can is a big part of that overall success of the school,” Ferrier says.
The pride parade was not COD’s only move to support the LGBT community. A COD club, named GSA (Gay-straight alliance), recently hosted a national coming out day. Many students joined the club as they participated in many fun activities that revolved around the LGBT community.
Joseph Aguirre, director of Student Life, was the head-planner of the Roadrunner Pride and was also involved in the National Coming Cut day. He says: “The Palm Springs Pride Parade is an important endeavor to celebrate the diversity of our campus and send a message to our community that COD prides itself on being an inclusive campus for people from all walks of life,” said Aguirre.
Not only the office of Student Life is involved in the LGBT community. COD also upholds an important message in their values saying: ‘We embrace the diversity of our community and uphold the dignity and worth of the individual.’