The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Athlete Ally fundraises for Trans Women of Color Collective

Students walking by Farinon on Tuesday may have seen members of Athlete Ally at a table with tie-dying, a prize wheel, and free stickers—all in a fundraiser for the Trans Women of Color Collective (TWOCC).

“We decided this year to begin fundraising at games and events, and we let the whole club decide on which organization to pick,” senior co-president of the club, Jill Warabak wrote in an email. “We really wanted to promote and raise money for a great cause that not many people know about, and TWOCC seemed like an amazing choice.”

According to their website, the TWOCC was created “to uplift the narratives, lived experiences and leadership of trans and gender non-conforming people of color, our families and comrades as we build towards collective liberation for all oppressed people.”

“In the past, Lafayette’s Athlete Ally chapter has fundraised for the Trevor Project, but with everything going on in the NCAA with transgender athletes and the oppression of transgender women of color in America, our club decided that we wanted to fundraise to support the Trans Women of Color Collective,” junior co-president Caitlynn McTernan explained in an email.

Warabak said that the event had a prize wheel and jar of gummy bears for a classic “guess how many” game. The grand prize was a coffee press and coffee, which was donated by the Lafayette OID (Office of Intercultural Development).

“Our biggest part of the event, and my favorite part, was the t-shirt tie-dying,” Warabak wrote. “It was great to see so many people come and have fun. We had a large student body turnout, and a lot of athletes as well. We also had professors, staff, and sports medicine faculty stop by too!”

McTernan said that the club got really good feedback from those who participated.

“We are just happy that people had a good time,” McTernan wrote. “We saw some people walking around in their newly tie-dyed shirts and sweatshirts today so that was awesome to see as well.”

Warabak explained their executive board is very new and many of their club members haven’t been on campus for very long. However, they have been working hard this year to set up Athlete Ally games for every sport during each semester and over winter interim. They had been planning this past Tuesday’s event since the fall.

“Going forward, I’m sad that I’ll be graduating but the executive board who will remain has a few amazing ideas in place,” Warabak wrote.

Both Warabak and McTernan said that the club hopes to do more work with the athletic department in terms of inclusivity in athletics, making more revisions to the student-athlete handbook, providing department-wide resources and mandatory safe-zone training.

“We had a lot of fun at the event and are excited about future Athlete Ally events,” McTernan wrote. She explained that in the future, they hope to establish student-athlete study breaks once a month. This way, LGBTQIA+ student-athletes and allies will be able to socialize in a completely inclusive space outside of individual sports and academic settings.

“Our club promotes inclusivity and being a good ally, but it’s important for every athlete to remember that they’re not alone,” Warabak wrote. “It’s tough being a student-athlete and Athlete Ally is a resource for EVERYONE, not just those in the LGBTQIA+ community and regardless of the issue at hand.”

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Caroline McParland, Sports Editor

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