By Melissa Ponton
Asst. Arts & Entertainment Editor
A rainbow has appeared in Hillwood Commons after a summer full of drab and gray. This rainbow adds a layer of hope and peace within the campus, and has spread peace and harmony among the land with activism and kindness. Where is this rainbow? It can be found in Room 102 in Hillwood Commons on Wednesdays. This rainbow is known as the Rainbow Alliance.
The Rainbow Alliance is Post’s gay-straight alliance, a place where members of the LGBT+ community and their allies work together to create an all inclusive and harassment free school environment. The officers of the club are President Nicole Ludwig, Vice President Nicholas Frank, Secretary Genesis Cabral, Treasurer Meg Winthrop and Head of Public Relations Sarah Kadtke.
The club went off the radar at the end of last semester. Ludwig revitalized the club this semester with the help of Frank.
“I was wondering what happened to the officers, and I found out that all of them either graduated or they were too busy to start the club [this fall],” Ludwig said. “I felt like when I found this club during orientation [that] I was really happy it was here, it made me feel a lot better about this school and what type of community we have here,” she added.
Frank, a close friend of Ludwig’s, was inspired by her passion for the organization and resolved to assist her in bringing the club back, although he was not in the club last year. “When I saw Nicole was really trying to push it, I realized that it really is a vital cause.”
Ludwig recalled the sense of comfort and safety she felt upon joining the Rainbow Alliance, and wanted to share that experience with students at Post.
“There’s still a lot of ignorant people that don’t know a lot about our community and our struggles and I thought that it was important to continue to bring awareness onto this campus,” Ludwig said.
The club officers have a lot planned for this year, including the return of their annual event “Drag Me to Heaven” in spring 2019, as well as tabling for various LGBT+ holidays such as National Coming Out Day (Oct. 11), and possibly an LGBT+ all-inclusive prom.
One of their most important goals is to educate the campus community, and to prove that all individuals, regardless of gender and or sexual orientation, deserve the chance to pursue happiness.
Storm Keeler, a freshmen art therapy and psychology major, agrees that the club serves a pivotal purpose on campus. “I joined the Rainbow Alliance to help spread awareness to the issues the LGBT+ [community] face and hopefully cultivate more acceptance on campus while simultaneously providing support for the other LGBT+ individuals in the club,” Keeler said. “I think it’s incredibly important to have a LGBT+ and allies based club on every college campus to help counteract the hateful messages LGBT+ youth experience every day.”
Ludwig wants to combat stereotypes that exist about the LGBT+ community, like how one must look in order to be accepted as a lesbian. She herself struggles with people accepting her sexuality because she is a “feminine” individual. But most of all the club members just want people to know that they’re here, and they’ve been part of society for as long as every- one else.
“Some people think we didn’t exist until the 20th century. We just emerged from the ground, and started wandering around during the Civil Rights Movement just in time for Stonewall,” Ludwig said.
Meetings are on Wednesdays during common hour, in Room 102 in Hillwood Commons.