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Athletics Hosts First Ever LGBTQ Pride Hoops Night

Ian+Whitman+during+Pride+Hoops+Photo+by+Joseph+Tucci.
Ian Whitman during Pride Hoops Photo by Joseph Tucci.

Ian Whitman during Pride Hoops Photo by Joseph Tucci.

Ian Whitman during Pride Hoops Photo by Joseph Tucci.

Sean Browne, Sports Editor

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Pace Athletics and the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Diversity Programs hosted its first-ever LGBTQ Pride Hoops Night for the men’s and women’s basketball games against Southern Connecticut State University on Dec. 7 at the Goldstein Fitness Center.

The purpose of the event is to show appreciation to LGBTQ members and its community at Pace.

“This is an opportunity for us as a department to illustrate our appreciation, support , and celebration of students, faculty, and staff who identify as LGBTQ,”  said Athletic Director Mark Brown. “That is one of the beautiful things about Pace, we are so open and supportive of all of our students and faculty.”

Brown acknowledged the importance of support for different groups of people, especially after the presidential election a month ago.

“Lately with all the negative rhetoric going around the election, talking about deporting people and retracting laws, it just felt like the right time for our institution to make a stand about the celebration of people regardless of how they identify or worship,” Brown said.

Numerous organizations were in attendance co-sponsoring the event including the LGBTQA Center, Multicultural Affairs and Diversity Programs, Pride @ Pace, The Loft LGBTQ Community Center, Jacob Burns Film Center, and Center Lane LGBTQ Youth and community Education Center.

A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales went to Center Lane.

Assistant Director of Multicultural Affairs & Diversity Programs and LGBTQQ Coordinator Rachel M. Simon was very pleased with the student turnout.

“We were nervous when we ordered all the t-shirts, but we were out in the first quarter of the first game,” Simon said. “I expect a supportive embrace from the Pace community and I am pleased to see it happen.”

Simon believes that over the years Pace has done a better job in showing support of the queer community.

Pace graduate student Edwin Rodriguez agreed as he has seen much more support over his six years at Pace.

“I have seen the growth over time in support for the LGBTQ community here at Pace,”  Rodriguez said. “I am really pleased with the direction the school is heading in.”

The Athletic Department and Multicultural Affairs claimed that this will be the first of many events co-hosted by the two.

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