SAMRU Pride Centre hosts re-opening ceremony
By Nathan Woolridge, News Editor
SAMRU’s Pride Centre recently moved locations to Z211 on Wyckham House’s second floor. The decision for the move came after conversations with the Pride Centre community, which involved suggestions for full-time staff and more volunteer presence in the centre. The centre decided that an entirely fresh start would be appropriate.
The new space is connected to the Relationships, Identity & Sex programmers office.
According to a press release from SAMRU, the new space has a “more welcoming physical shape; a dedicated breakout room; a higher profile with windows looking out onto the West Gate entrance; and a dedicated communications and marketing plan.”
The Pride Centre celebrated the new space with a re-opening ceremony on Oct. 17 — which involved guest speakers and food and beverages.
SAMRU held two focus groups where they analyzed notes and feedback, discussing their options for improvement of the Pride Centre. The first focus group on April 17, 2018, allowed individuals to speak about how the Pride Centre was meeting or not meeting student’s needs. Later on May 8, SAMRU held the second focus group which ultimately led to finalizing decisions surrounding the changes they felt needed to be made.
The focus group notes led to a Pride Centre planning meeting on May 16. The notes from that meeting say that the old location was “tainted by bad experiences many people have had.” The plan also goes on to highlight that a new change of location would “be a really important way to indicate a reset of space, community, intention.”
There were discussions regarding if the move would cause any issues. Meeting notes suggest that there were some concerns with staying in the old location: “[the] odd room shape is hard to make welcoming; bottleneck near door is intimidating for newcomers.”
The centre decided that the pros outweighed the cons in the decision to move because, “creating a new space is a good opportunity for building community ownership.”