By Sarah Vick
Each month this year, SGA is focusing on different clubs relating to diversity and inclusiveness. September and the first half of October focused on HOLA, and the rest of October is Open Up’s time to shine. Open Up is most known for its participation in Winston-Salem Pride every year, but the club does much more.
Officially founded in 2001, Open Up is an important resource for the students. Not only are students sure of their identities able to connect through Open Up, but those who are questioning are able to come as well. Reaffirming that one’s feelings and identities are valid is something that Open Up as an organization is able to do for our Salem siblings. The club is on campus to educate students as well. Their constitution states:
“Open Up is organized and will be operated for social and educational purposes to promote the following:
- A safe space for LGBTQIA+ people
- Advocacy for justice for LGBTQIA+ people
- Education for Salem’s campus and the wider community on topics including, but not limited to, LGTBQIA+ visibility, justice initiatives, and sexual health.”
Earlier this semester, Open Up held a panel on gender identity, walked in the Pride Parade and decorated shirts for Pride. They also held a game night so that members could get to know the board. Future events planned include more educational panels, the annual Drag Show in the spring semester and a mixer to get people to meet new friends. They also hope to start a support group in collaboration with one of their members.
“Open Up is a safe place for students to come and learn more about LGBTQIA+ community and be able to open up as a person. Whether you blossom by being able to learn more or if you find a safe haven to share your identity, we’re here,” says Bri Otero, Open Up Secretary
Students can email any of the officers or send to the Open Up email, firstname.lastname@example.org.