EWU Pride Center hoping to expand its homebase


Photo by Laura Lango

Angela McGreary in the Pride’s Center’s current location, Showalter Hall 105.

By Katie Dunn, Staff Writer

Students visiting Eastern’s Pride Center may find themselves wedged in like sardines in a can for the center has outgrown its current location.

The center is located in Showalter Hall 105 and has space to seat a dozen people before students are forced to find room on the floor.

More than 50 students attend each meeting and event, said Sandra Williams, the Pride Center coordinator. Because there is no room, Pride Center events have to be moved to new locations like the Women’s and Gender studies lounge in Monroe 207.

According to the Pride Center’s official website, the center’s grand opening was during winter quarter of 2010.

“We did fine during the 2010-2011 academic year, but when we held our first Eagle Pride meeting in the fall of 2011, there were so many students that showed up they overflowed into the hall,” said Williams. “We had to move the meeting outdoors onto the lawn. That was my first indication that we had outgrown the space.”

Williams said moving around to different locations for events took away a feeling of safety for some students and they stopped coming to meetings.

At the end of the 2011-2012 academic year, the Pride Center staff asked students if they preferred to hold events in larger spaces or if they wanted to stay in the center, even if it meant crowding.

Williams said they overwhelmingly chose to stay in the Pride Center.

After that, Williams said she began talking to Eastern administration about finding a larger space for the Pride Center in order to accommodate students’ need for space and safety inside the center.

ASEWU President Dahir Jigre said the renditions of the PUB remodel include a space for the Pride Center.

Whether the vote for the PUB remodel passes or not, the Pride Center still needs more space.

Brendan Hargrave, ASEWU vice president, said the Pride Center moving to a new location is the first agenda of the Student Union Board of Control.

“The Pride Center has so much more that it can offer students in the way of support and educational programs, but we are being hampered by the lack of room,” said Williams. “A larger space would enable us to more comfortably house our weekly Eagle Pride meetings as well as expand our programming and offer things like workshops, discussions, ally training, lectures and a mentor program within the Pride Center space.”