McDaniel College, despite its small student population, is a diverse campus. Students from many different backgrounds consider McDaniel home every school year.
Celebrating these differences is very important at the school. On Oct. 11, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion hosted a special lunch in Englar Dining Hall to celebrate the 30th anniversary of National Coming Out Day.
Jose Moreno, the director of the office, coordinated the event along with the help of the McDaniel College Gender and Sexuality Alliance and Sodexo dining services.
“I feel that it is important because at McDaniel we strive to celebrate and appreciate all cultures, races, ages, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and religions,” Moreno said. “The coming out process is a very important step for people to be their authentic self and a very important part of their identity.”
The event included a special themed lunch and giveaways. There were also multiple Maryland organizations that support the LGBTQ community at the lunch who provided information for interested students.
The whole event was organized to not only inform, but to celebrate National Coming Out Day. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay rights. This march is significant for the LGBTQ community because it led to the creation of many LGBTQ organizations.
Students all around campus feel as if though events like this one are beneficial for the entire student body.
“I think this is an important event because everyone should feel equal and welcomed on campus,” said Cera Tarr, a sophomore at McDaniel. “I also think it will be cool and fun to interact as a whole McDaniel community.”
Events such as this one help remind our school community that it is not only okay to be different, but that we are encouraged to be. It is truly our differences that make our campus such an amazing and welcoming place. Everyone, no matter what their differences may be, should feel safe and appreciated here at McDaniel.
The Office of Diversity and Inclusion hosts a variety of different events throughout the school year, much like this one, that focus on unifying and appreciating the entire school community. The McDaniel Gender and Sexuality Alliance also puts on events throughout the year, including Pride Week, which was held the week of National Coming Out Day.
“Being someone who’s struggled in the past with accepting my sexual orientation, events like this one really make me feel like I belong here at McDaniel,” said a current sophomore at McDaniel who wishes to be kept anonymous. “It makes me happy that people like me who have struggled or are struggling are able to look around and see that they are accepted no matter what they identify as.”